Raising Strong Daughters #2: Girls Need to Fish With Their Dad


Little girls may not necessarily need to learn to fish in order to survive as adults.  But any time they feel like they’re the only person or the most important person in the world to their dad has to build a strong sense of value and security that carries into their adult lives.

I recall family camping trips at a local state park when my kids were small.  Macy was 6, Maddie 4, Karrick Ryne 3 at the time.  Camping with large groups of friends who also have small children creates large doses of chaos (and volume).

There were times when I would “sneak” Macy away from the surrounding wildness of the other 12 kids and head to the shaded lake shore with our fishing poles.  Quiet time.  Just one of my little girls and me.  Sometimes she was content to play with the worms.  Sometimes she caught fish and got excited.  But these moments were special……..just the two of us.

We never talked much.  Still don’t today.  Actions speak louder than words.  Just  being there for your daughter consistently has great value (especially at times when conversation becomes awkward).

As Maddie got a little older, she tagged along too.  It always seemed like the natural thing to say when we were together, “Girls, my favorite thing in the world to do is to go fishing with you!”  And it truly was.  I knew life was good.

I’m sure they didn’t know how much they meant to their dad during those times.  But it’s because of those times that they know how much they mean to me now.

Daughters are to be treasured by their dads.  If we want them to stand strong as they grow older, they must know how valued they are every step along the way.  I may be stretching things a bit here, but I’m betting that little girls that do a lot of fishing (or other things obviously) with their dads have a lot less doubts and insecurities as they get older.

Dads need to look for and create those times where their girls know they are the most important thing in the world to you.  Erase doubts.  Make them a priority.  Treasure them.

My girls’ interest in fishing faded in their teen years.  I booked a fishing charter on vacation a couple of years ago, and I’m pretty sure my girls only went because they didn’t want to hurt my feelings.  Somewhere in their minds, they probably heard, “girls, my favorite thing in the world to do is to go fishing with you.”  So they went.  And I was the one who felt treasured.


I pretty much quit inviting them after that.  Didn’t want to guilt them into it.  On a beach vacation last year, I had been rising early in the morning to surf-fish with my boys most days.  One night Macy shocked me by asking if she could go the next morning.  I was truly touched.  Just like old times.  Quiet times, just the two of us.  Not a lot of conversation.  Just me and my big girl.  The unspoken bond built from a lifetime of moments like this (and a shared memory of being told “you can’t fish here anymore because catching sharks is illegal.”………somebody forgot to tell the shark).


Not strong because they fish…….strong because their dad treasures them, spends time with them.

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