It was a glorious wild brook trout, or at least I think it was, for as I struggled again to get my phone out in the hope that I could capture this precious moment, I found the phone was of course still dead. As I subsequently released the fish with no witness or proof, something obvious occurred to me. I was so intent on taking a picture of the moment that I missed the moment.
I didn’t even take a good look at that gem of a fish, because I was going to take a photo and then look at that. With the broken phone and no camera, that could not happen, and I was then left with what? Just myself, and the memory and the water rushing into the past? Was that good enough? It seemed that my fear, anger and mania was my barrier and my entrance into something more important. Maybe that was the lesson of the wrecked phone– to slow down and savour. Maybe this was something that fishing has been trying to teach me– the basic lesson of nature–that most living creatures, especially humans, are greedy little bastards, and to really know life, we have to work at savoring.
I was contemplating this as I sat and smoked a cigar with my beer and digested the sandwich that Jon had graciously offered me at his house. (Ok, I took it without asking like a greedy bastard). I had stopped by to chat with him, trade flys and get directions to Walkers pond. Once there, I proceeded to catch yellow perch after yellow perch in my pursuit of a smallmouth bass. That never happened, but after two dozen or more other fish on a Ghetto conehead EP fly, I began to wonder again why I ever fished or tied anything other kind of fly. I did manage to enjoy the warmth of the sun in the north wind and indeed felt a sense of ease. This is something that mostly has eluded me in fishing.
I finally took all this over to Bass River to complete my personal Spring migration. For to return every year at the same time to the same place has begun to give me a sense of belonging, which is also something in life that has mostly eluded me. And as an epilogue to a fine day, and after 100 casts in a brutal north wind with my new douchbag, fishing buff on, with a really high tide, sun completely down and with the same EP fly, I hooked a fat, fiesty 18 or 19 inch schoolie, who fought like…well, like a really great bass. I kissed that first striper of the year really hard on the head, walked back to the car and rinsed my mouth out with some sterilizing, 100 proof bourbon, and headed home.
Thank you friends, for listening.
Keep your lines tight and your rod up,