In the past few months we’ve seen several touching stories involving fathers and sons on this site: Joe Cermele’s “Hook Shots” birthday gift to his dad and Online Editor Nate Matthews’ epic father/son road trip down the length of the Rio Grande. Well here’s another touching, sniffle-inducing father/son story about how fishing binds a young man and his quadriplegic father.


From this story on
_In a perfect postcard of nearly 60 years ago, Fred Iacovoni can see himself as a barefoot kid of 7 or 8, a beat-up Mitchell 300 spinning reel and rod in one hand and bag of orange spawn in the other. He is fishing from a pristine bank at Tippy Dam, angling for steelhead that make the Manistee River their part-time home. Later, he will pull lunch out of a sack and share time with Wiggler Joe — long gone now — a river rat who only put his teeth in when women came ’round. The sky is blue, the fish biting and the river a siren. But an accident put those images on hold the day Fred was injured in a diving accident at a neighbor’s pool in 1979 at age 33. He was rendered a quadriplegic on Independence Day, cruel irony that.

Fred has fished some since, from a wheelchair, limiting the time and place and frequency. A heart attack in November slowed his 64-year-old body even more. Enter the son. His name is Fred, too. He was 3 when his dad got hurt. The younger Fred learned fishing at his father’s knee — which lure when, and how to coax fish from the bottom, the weeds, the eddies. “Kinda weird,” he admits. “When I was that kid, it seemed like work, then. But I was young.” Today, at 39, Fred fishes for the intrinsic joy it offers. For himself. And for his father. Each time the son goes out now, he has his cameras. He snaps photos and shoots video of the fish and the fishing, then transmits the images to the father who no longer can be there in person. The elder Fred will be sitting in his chair, or reclining in bed when his cell phone or computer announces gifts en route. Miles from the lake or river where his son is fishing for the both of them, the father sifts through images that transport him to another time, another place._

Thoughts, comments or reaction as I reach for my hankie?