Margaret’s First Fish

Evan Swensen
2 min readJan 10, 2022

Margaret and I honeymooned on Nes Perce Creek in Yellowstone Park. We camped in the exact spot where I pitched my tent years earlier as a boy scout and earned merit badges. My new bride celebrated catching a husband by landing the first, most, and biggest fish. Like all fisherman who carried the day, she rubbed it in. My retort to her needling was, “I’ll never take you fishing again.” Over the years, I’ve almost kept that threat. Not on purpose, but by default.

In our marriage’s early years, we kept close to home with only a few days out each summer. Then babies began arriving. When I was fishing with the older ones, Margaret tended the newest arrival at the tent. We camped and fished a lot, but Margaret spent a lot of time looking after little ones. We joked about me not taking her again because she outfished me on our honeymoon. It got to be the family tradition. “Don’t catch more than Dad. Be sure and let Dad catch the first one. I’m sure Dad’s 12-pound silver is bigger than my 17-pounder,” was repeated many times in jest. Mom kept fueling the issue by claiming her absence from the water was because of the honeymoon humiliation. Fact is Mom would rather tend babies at home than in a boat or on the bank.

The babies have grown up with families of their own. Married children now take their own children fishing and build their own family traditions. Margaret and I take to the outdoors alone, together, but she’s wiser now. She never admits to outfishing me.

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Evan Swensen

Book publisher, editor, author, Author Masterminds charter member, founder of Readers and Writers Book Club, and bush pilot.