Catch and Release: Fly Fishing with Dad

As a child, she was always angling for her father’s attention. Still at it decades later, she booked a fly-fishing trip for two to Montana. Here’s what happened after he took the bait

by Elisabeth Robinson
Dad Hal and daughter at ease.
Photograph: Katherine Wolkoff

“Thank you. For this trip,” he says, gruff again. “You know. I’m not effusive. But inside I am. Inside, I’m effusive, honey.”

“Good, good. Me, too, Dad.”

“Next trip’s on me. Maybe tarpon fishing in Florida. Do you need any money?” he says with a smile, slipping a $100 bill into my hand.

“In fact . . .” I hug him and say, “Could you make it $200?”

He shakes his head and waves good-bye. And as he walks away, this time I’m not disappointed at all, only sad to watch him go.

Elisabeth Robinson is a screenwriter and novelist who lives in New York.

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