Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I'd Rather Be....

It is currently 33 degrees Fahrenheit in my fair city. The wind chill makes it feel like 27...according to

Yesterday it was colder than today, and the day before that, even colder.

And yet, I have been carrying in my truck since last weekend a tool which aids me in my pursuit of my absolute favorite way to spend my calculator.

Just kidding. I hate math. I know some say it is great, that it has been the lynch-pin of civilization and that I could not be typing this without it. I still say the bad outweighs the good in the math world. Case and point, my sophomore year pre-calc teacher. Only something based in pure evil could produce such a man.....

But I digress.

I have been carrying around my fishing pole.

Yes, many say it is too cold. And they are probably right. But that is not going to stop me. The first chance I get, that line is going in the water.

I love to fish. When I was a kid, I used to dream about being a professional fisherman. Then I learned that they have to be super competitive and work hard to catch fish all of the time. That dream was destroyed. Because for me, fishing is not about catching fish.

And at times that is a good thing.

No, while catching fish is important, for me it is all about the act of fishing.

It is about choosing the spot.
Right over there is a tree hanging over the water. The fish will believe my lure came from the tree. No, maybe there where the land juts out, and I can get the most access to the water. No, there, where I can see an old submerged tree, that is where the bass will be hanging out. No, I am fishing for catfish, I need to find where the water is moving. Wait, there is a shady spot with plenty of space to sit, lay back, spread out, take a nap....if I were a fish, I would be there.

It is about choosing a lure.
Maybe because this one is your favorite spinner. Maybe because this water looks murky and the coloring might show up better. Or topwater is going to work better. Or because you dad loves rubber worms and you feel that you should actually learn how to use one some day. Or you believe that this lure is your lucky lure that you always catch fish with and actually once dove into the water to recover it from a tree it was snagged on.

It is about the casting.
Choosing the spot you want. Factoring for wind. Getting the right grip on the line. Releasing at just the moment. Deciding the lure is just as good where it landed, perhaps better than where you planned.

It is about the retrieval.
Bring it in slow. Bring it in fast. Let all the circles disappear before bringing it in. Reel for a moment and then let it rise. Then get mad/bored/loose sight of it and just bring it on quick to cast it back where you *#$%ing wanted it in the first place.

It is about the strike.
My dad has this ability to walk a rubber worm along the bottom of a pond and talk the fish into taking it. He starts with whispering. He becomes friends with fish, earns their trust. Then he urges. He encourages them to try the tasty morsel he has placed before them. Then he orders. Then he begs. I have seen this work dozens of times. Me, I like to make the fish think I am not expecting in any way for them to strike. "What, is that a lure I put in the water? Huh. Did not even notice. I was just looking at that beautiful cloud up in the sk- HA! Got ya! You thought I wasn't really fishing and that was not my bait, but it was! Haha! I wi- oh, nevermind...just a stick...."

But really, it is about the time spent disengaging. When you are sitting on the water, everything and nothing rushes through your mind at the same time. You can solve all of the world's problems, or try to decide if you like turkey or ham the most. You can wrestle with God, or you can think about Mickey Rourke in his acting comeback The Wrestler. You can contemplate the beauty of the world around you, or you can contemplate the beauty of the girl you wish was around you. And if you actually catch a fish, you can tell it what you have decided. It will be so desperate to get back where it can breathe, it will agree with whatever you say.

I can stay out fishing for hours, get lost in the day. Many a time have I headed out some sunny afternoon, or even morning, and had my papa or my brother come looking for me at dinner time. For me, it is a timeless activity that only has the constraints of others' schedules.

So why this post about fishing? I donno, I just really, really want to go.


j wright said...

I used to feel the same way when I was a kid...somewhere along the way I lost that. You almost make me miss it. :)

Jenna said...

TAKE ME WITH YOUUUUU!!!!!! This makes me smile in every way possible. Oh JC, you are one of my non-parkie friends who actually gets it!!

No seriously, once the ice clears off of the willow pond place at Tuttle, let's go fish for trout. Not the most exciting fish to catch.... but they start biting there this time of year.

Even if we don't catch anything, and we freeze our asses off, it'll still be great. You game?

Dad said...

Well you did my fever up. Now I too will begin to think of cool spring mornings. Mornings when the sun brings just enough light to spot your target through the mist. A water level over hanging rock or submerged oak tree that once stood proudly providing shade, now the home of my ambushing quarry. Mornings so still the water is a smooth unmoving mirror. Mornings with just enough chill that the rising sun feels like a comforting blanket on your skin. Mornings when your ears here only the symphony of wakeing birds. Then... the whine of the reel, line playing out as your lure of choice sails through the air decending to the "spot", entering the water with a satisfing gentle plop. You wait as the ripples exhaust their energy. Taking the slack from the line your eyes see an almost imperseptable movement. A twitch of the bait and the cool, quiet glassine surface violently explodes. The rod in your hand pulls into a perfect bow as the object of the moment leaps into the air. Your skills matched against hers in an ages old battle. Having won this time you return this beauty to the water. Complete satisfaction comes over you as she slips back into her world. This is the kind of morning you have brought to my mind. Thank you. Now where did I put that tackle box.
Thanks Dad, for taking me fishing...thanks John for going with me. Lets grab Sam and head for the water.

Sam said...

Whoa! Dad is on blogs now! And, apparently, he needs his own so he doesn't have to use your comment board anymore, haha.

And soon as the weather breaks, we're hitting the water. Boat, no boat, whatever. Just a couple of lines, a cooler full of something cold, and nothing but hours of nothing to do. Yes....


Kelley said...

wade needs to get out fishing too.
you men.

sara said...

"it is a timeless activity that only has the constraints of others' schedules." i love it.