As adults, we can look back on our childhood and identify weeks, days, moments that are simply unforgettable. No matter how old we get, we will always have certain childhood experiences etched in the corners of our minds forever. For me, snap shots of family backpacking trips in southern Montana are irreplaceable in my treasure chest of life memories. Nobody can take this type of wealth away from me.
I know that Tikchik has fostered these experiences for many young kids, most of whom were brought to the lodge by their fish obsessed parents. The same parents who probably have fond memories of being hauled out to a river or lake to drown worms with their dad (or mom). Hence, the tradition of fishing, and more importantly, telling fish stories has been passed on to yet another generation. It is a succession that is both beautiful and a little sick.
I have literally watched young kids at Tikchik have fishing experiences that so deeply affect them, that those moments become pillars of their childhood memories. At Tikchik, there have been some epic battles between 65-pound half-pints and 30-pound King Salmon and other Goliath fish. This is truly something special to witness. I have heard with my own ears numerous accounts of catching 100+ fish in a day, beating big brother in darts, flying next to grizzly bears, catching more fish than Dad, playing with the lodge dogs, WILD boat rides, and catching the biggest rainbow of the week. All of these things add to the magic of Tikchik. Meeting Mickey Mouse and riding on Space Mountain won’t have the same effect after a rainbow nearly pulls you out of the boat at Tikchik Narrows Lodge!
Fishing is one of those nostalgic activities in life that seems to have more dimensions than is comprehensible. Even as a child, it has a way of penetrating into the soul, and leaving us an impression that lasts a lifetime.