One of the reasons that I adore the warm weather is that it ushers in fishing season. Technically you can ice-fish, but I don’t count that as a thing. Given that many animals hibernate, migrate, or do as little as possible in the cold weather, it seems a bit counter-intuitive to volunteer to sit in the middle of a frozen lake for any reason at all, much less fish. I haven’t decided if the people who partake in such activities are bigger men than I, or if they’re simply borderline insane.
Warm weather comes, its time to fish. Last year the season was wasted, I didn’t cast a single line all year. Spring and most of the summer time was consumed by my training, and the spare time I had was taken up with playing catch-up at home between school and training shifts. All too soon the cold weather came and the season was done.
This year, come hell of high water, I was going fishing. And I have a partner now too. The Narrator has expressed an interest in fishing, and I’ve taken him out a few times already. The water is technically a bit too cold for what we’re trying to do, but we go anyway, and have a blast. He gets so excited about going that I have to draw a little blue fish on the calendar so he knows when the next outing will be, then he counts down the days.
We haven’t caught a thing at all yet, but we both like going. We’ll buy our worms and a snack, then drive to wherever it is we are going. Most of the time he gets bored watching the bobber with the live bait, so he switches to a top water plug and just drags that across the surface of the lake. It works out well because he gets to DO something, he loves it, and I’m not losing lures to the rocky bottom of the lake if he reels too slowly. We are working on his casting, he’s a little herky-jerky on that, but he’s only managed to spear himself once so far, so I count that as a success.
There’s a little pond off the side of the road near our house which I suspect doesn’t have a living thing in it except for a few tadpoles and newts, but we went and fished in it the other day when it was too cold and windy to go to the big lake. When the weather is 50 degrees out, a slight wind off of the lake manages to make your fingers freeze in minutes. Even though there was nothing in the water big enough to ear the worms we were offering, we had fun, and that’s what matters.
Back when I was a kid, there was a flood control dam a few miles down the road from where we lived. It was listed as a recreational area, so the state would stock it with fish every now and then. That is were I learned how to fish. My father took my brother and I out to a small spit of land that stuck out into the lake just where the feeding river dumped into it. My luck there was never very good, but it was fun to learn what each lure did, how to use live bait, and just do NOTHING for a short while. I wish that lake was still there so I could take my son to the same place I went to, but it was emptied after Tropical Storm Irene flooded it to capacity a few years back. Now it is just a hollow bowl with weeds and a muddy finger of river snaking through it.
Regardless, there are other places to go, so we do. I suspect as the weather gets warmer our luck will get better, and then he’ll have some real fun.
As for me, I used to love fishing all on my own. I would get up early in the morning and go find some water to sit by. I spent several mornings watching the sun come up on the Mohawk river when we lived near Albany. I never caught a thing there, but the quiet time was the best. Occasionally I would fish with friends. I had a guy I worked with who was an avid fisherman, and we would meet up from time to time and go. My brother-in-law and I spent many mornings out in lakes near his family’s home, and some of the best luck I ever had was in a canoe with an old college buddy at the crack of dawn.
But in the end, I always loved going out alone. Catching, not catching, it didn’t matter.
Something’s changed though. Now, I look down at The Narrator as he flails his too-short-for-him “Cars” themed fishing pole around in an effort to get my jitterbug far enough out into the water to make reeling it in worthwhile, and I listen to him tell me that “Fishing is the best way to pass the time” – and all of a sudden, I don’t think I want to fish alone anymore.