The Trials of Fishing
Fishing as a young lad can be very exciting in the Spring-time. Walleye and Northern Pike are seen working their way up the river to spawn, and they are hungry for any food that comes their way. Fishermen of all ages get excited over the possibility of catching the really big one to take home as a trophy, as well as enjoying the scrumptious meal with the family. Young boys are often seen watching the older more experienced fisherman. These elderly gentlemen are observed working their trade with their special lures and certain kinds of casting techniques that they effortlessly pitch into the swirling depths of the river before them. Watching these gentlemen fish as a youth was one of my greatest experiences that I could have as a young lad. These elder fishermen somehow knew where the best spots were, and the best time of day to catch these trophy fish. If a boy chose not to learn from these older anglers, he might walk home disappointed with no fish to show for his efforts. Then again, there were days where dumb luck entered into the scene and some kid walked home outshining the older fellows, but these times were few and far between. Overall though, fishing was a lot of fun with all its ups and downs.
Each day when heading to the dam I would first check out the people that got their before me. If they had full stringers filled with wonderful fish, then I knew that it was going to be a good day for fishing. If their stringers on the other hand were empty or had bullheads on them, then it would be better for me to head home and pursue some other endeavor. Perhaps I would ride my bike, or play in the park, and if I had bean-walking money in my pocket, I would head to my great uncles’ pool hall and play Snooker or Eight Ball. Either way, I wasn’t going to sit on some riverbank and swat mosquitoes the rest of the hot afternoon and get nothing to show for it.
At times though, events bare fruit in different ways other than fishing, even when you are trying to catch the big one, and it gets away. One day in particular I was on the bank fishing and some boys stopped by to see how it was going. I told them of the many fish I had caught (at the time I had an empty stringer that I had hidden in the water) and the different fishing techniques that I used. They seemed impressed, so I continued on with my oration. As I paused with my dissertation of my vast skills, they asked me if it was hard fishing. I looked up into the air as if relaying my extensive knowledge to a much larger invisible audience, and at that crucial moment, I saw myself as a font of wisdom, so I went on with my lecture, “Well boys, a man named Confusion once said “If you love what you do, you will not work a day in your life” They seemed overly impressed with my skills, my vast vocabulary and knowledge, so much so that they wanted to take up fishing as well. Just then, the noon whistle went off and they headed home to eat, but I could see from the expressions on their faces that they were sufficiently inspired. For myself, I waited until they were out of sight to pull my empty stringer out of the water and quickly head home to dinner as well.