Sat. Nov 26th, 2022

This First Particular person column is the expertise of Lorie Berberian, a Lebanese Armenian dwelling in Toronto. For extra details about CBC’s First Particular person tales, please see the FAQ.

My dad is a proud fisherman. He has all the time been fascinated by the game, a lot in order that he used to spend days fishing within the huge coasts of Lebanon, absorbing as a lot solar and surroundings as he might. On a number of events, my mother, brother and I’ve accompanied him on his adventures. I used to climb on giant rocks and watch him catch a great deal of fish. 

However when our household immigrated to Canada in 2015, fishing went on the again burner. My dad was working additional lengthy hours and our household did not personal a automobile. The accumulating monetary obligations of newcomer life in Canada weighed on all of us, however particularly my dad, who was consistently agitated and skeptical in regards to the thought of relocating right here. We wanted to go fishing as a household once more, however we have been too busy to attach the dots. 

Three years handed. We have been higher off financially, however my dad hadn’t but reconciled along with his new way of life. 

Then, one summer time day in 2018, we have been driving again from a household gathering in Cambridge, Ont., and have been speaking about how we wanted to discover a strategy to calm down. I all of a sudden had a lightweight bulb second! What if all my dad wanted to calm down in Canada was to expertise fishing in its freshwater lakes? 

My dad was immediately consumed by the concept. So the following day, we sat down collectively and discovered in regards to the fishing guidelines in Ontario, purchased him an open air card and a one-year sport fishing licence. 

Inside two days, my dad purchased himself a brand new fishing rod, bait and deal with and we launched into our first fishing journey in Ontario. After hours of making an attempt with none luck in Lake Simcoe, we caught a medium-sized fish. Seeing the wobbling fish and the serenity of the lake felt like our eyes have been lastly open after a daydream. The catch restored our hope of  dwelling in Canada. We returned dwelling with a way of reduction and accomplishment.

We have been each hooked to that feeling, just like the fish we reeled in. 

Lorie Berberian, 10, and her father throughout a fishing journey in Lebanon. (Submitted by Lorie Berberian)

Again in Lebanon, I cherished watching my dad fish. I even held the rod till a fish bought caught. However I wasn’t allowed to solid a rod or land the fish myself. That all the time pissed off me as a result of my dad did not consider my 10-year-old self might do it on her personal. In his defence, fishing in an ocean requires stepping over harmful piles of boulders and getting near crashing waves. 

Right here in Canada, I started fishing once I was 15 — sufficiently old for my dad to show me learn how to manoeuvre across the risks of fishing. The calmer nature of lakes in Ontario additionally helped. 

It took a little bit of apply and a complete lot of braveness to study to connect dwell bait to hooks (they’re so squirmy and slimy!) or dislodge fish from them, however my encouraging mentor did not quit on me. In simply a few days, I mastered setting the hook and discovered to sense the shivering of the tip of the rod. From then on, summer time afternoons have been booked for fishing with my dad. 

The change in my dad was additionally outstanding: he was lastly trying ahead to his free time, as a result of he might image precisely the place he deliberate to spend it. 

Collectively, we’ve got explored the peaceable rivers and lakes of Scarborough, Ont., close to Rouge Park and Unionville, the place we’ve got caught a bunch of catfish. We’ve got additionally crossed extra animated waters farther away — like Excessive Park in downtown Toronto, L’Amoreaux North Park, Beachfront Park in Pickering, Ont., the Elora Gorge, Oriole Lake, and a lake in Milton, Ont. Generally we drove greater than an hour simply to fish. These magnificent waters allowed us to catch perch, carp, bass, catfish, salmon and groupers. Our newest discovery has been the walleyes and carp in Port Maitland, Ont., within the waters of Lake Erie. 

Lorie Berberian, proper, and her dad on a fishing journey in Lake Simcoe, Ont. (Submitted by Lorie Berberian)

Our shared fishing experiences have deepened our father-daughter bond. We started to consciously plan round our busy life to spend high quality time collectively and share our passion. I’ll always remember the look of pleasure on my dad’s face in Milton once I caught two catfish without delay on the identical fishing line. Each baited hooks had efficiently snagged fish. He taught me how to try this. We knew no person would consider it, so we had my mother take photos to avoid wasting the reminiscence. On one other momentous night time on the north shore of Lake Ontario, my dad caught his first giant bass after three hours of fishing and was beaming with pleasure your complete night time. I bear in mind pondering, “Now that may be a completely satisfied man.” 

Regardless of the remaining monetary pressures on our household, my dad had discovered a manner to deal with them and that made all of the distinction.

Lorie Berberian’s dad fishing for bass in Pickering, Ont. (Submitted by Lorie Berberian)

I am in awe of my dad’s persistence and dedication to regaining his mastery. In any case, he hadn’t held a fishing rod in over 4 years. Generally you’ve got newbie’s luck, however catching fish repeatedly requires the proper bait, gear, location, time, talent and mindset. Over time, my dad even started instructing newbie fishermen the methods of the game. 

Throughout our adventures, we met many fishermen from completely different backgrounds that made each of us really feel extra at dwelling in Canada. Assembly similar-minded people that have been from varied walks of life allowed us to know the fantastic thing about range and created a way of group the place we least anticipated it. It is by means of these experiences that we expanded our gaze on even better facets of life in Canada exterior its awe-inspiring waterways. 

Lorie Berberian’s dad, again proper, along with his spouse, entrance proper, and household mates at a dinner serving a foremost course of the fish he caught. (Lorie Berberian)

My mother’s curiosity has been piqued by the gorgeous landscapes we preserve describing and she or he additionally joins us. Plus, the numerous dinners across the desk that includes freshly caught fish have grow to be an opportunity for us to have fun our family and friends and newfound peace of thoughts in Canada. 

One may even say the game has tied a fisherman’s knot between our household and our new dwelling. 

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