Tucked in the corner of Leigh and Scott Wiegel’s garage, all dusty and full of cobwebs, sits an old, lightweight fishing rod and reel, the one Leigh used when she was young while fishing and boating with her father.
“We always had a boat when I was growing up,” says Wiegel. “We camped just about every weekend, and on vacation we would tow it to a lake in Missouri or Canada and spend a month on it. We had plenty of time to fish.”
While fishing was a passion of both Leigh’s and Scott’s fathers, the two have become busy since the birth of their two children, Carly, 6, and Nolan, 4.
“Scott and I actually used to have a boat — well, two actually,” says Wiegel. “We had a fun family boat that we weren’t able to use enough so we sold it last year and a fishing boat that was once Scott’s dad’s who passed away seven years ago.”
The fishing boat didn’t get much use this summer, either, but they keep it, looking forward to sharing their love of the water, boating and fishing with their kids With their youngest, Nolan, getting older, however, the Wiegels look forward to taking the kids fishing at nearby lakes.
“We both really enjoy being on the water. Scott grew up in Dubuque and spent days fishing on the Mississippi River with his dad,” says Wiegel. “We want to teach our kids to fish, just like our dads taught us. It’s kind of a tradition that we want to pass on from our parents to our kids.”
Perhaps next summer, the old “South Bend” fiberglass fishing rod and Zebco reel will be cleaned up, and the old line will be replaced with new and called back into action.
Two reels, rather.
“My dad was a bit of a gadget guy,” says Wiegel. “He couldn’t have just one reel, so he had two for this rod. It was a rather odd pole; a cork handle with no place to hook your finger, so you had to use either an open face reel, which is kind of hard for a kid to handle, or he found this simple closed-face reel that uses a finger to let the line out, not a thumb, so we could use it on this fishing pole.”
In addition to the old pole that can be used by their kids, the Wiegels have inherited an assortment of fishing lures. Some, as much as 50 years old, are still in as good of shape as when they were new.
“Both of our dads were always buying new fishing lures,” says Wiegel. “Between what we have from the two of them, we’ll never need to buy another fishing lure again.
“Being on the water reminds us both of growing up with our dads. We both miss it and will be excited to continue our old family tradition, especially using our dads’ old equipment.”
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