Jeepers guns! I think Spring is finally here! All kinds of wild & crazy fun is waiting just outside to get tangled up in.
The snow is nearly gone. Buds are showing up on the ends of tree branches, adding reddish brown contrast to the blue skies. Grey squirrels are nibbling on bud ends while performing daring stunts at the extreme ends of the smallest branches. Peepers be peepin’. Critter tracks are visible in mud again.
Red-wing blackbirds are being observed on fence posts and on last year’s cattails. Northern Rough-Winged Swallows are starting to make their nests. Green is starting to show up on lawns (that aren’t still covered in sand). Deer are moving back into their spring/summer patterns, which means they’re on our lawn day & night.
Lakes & ponds are opening up. One of my boys asked me what my favorite thing to do in the whole world was. That’s a big question. There’s a lot of Adventure out there to experience. But I knew my answer and was out of my mouth almost before he was done asking.
FISHING and the epic struggle associated therewith. The action. The disappointment. The sunrises, sunsets and twilights. Where nature can be for you and in the next breath be against you. This subject is too vast & delicate to explain with all justice, reverence and detail due in a single, simple entry, as it is deeply part of my soul and is as old as mankind’s battle for food & survival. I can’t speak for all the generations before me but my oldest memories are of fishing with my Father, my Brother, my Grandfather, getting tackle down at LaVerdiere’s and all the years gone by since where more memories upon memories have been added to the collection of stories, – some triumph and some tragedy (not always my own, as Bear & Squirrel, whom have yet to be introduced, can attest).
Now I am blessed to fish with Mrs. Fox (who often times out fishes me), our 4 boys and a handful of gentlemen that frequent hallowed waters of fellowship.
Hard to say what kind of fishing I like best. Long as the fish are biting is all I care. Ice fishing. Fly fishing. Spin fishing. (I do not condone worm fishing unless you need to and unless you’re keeping the fish – we’ll discuss that later).
I’d trade a week of eating for a good day of fishing. Not that a good day of fishing is hard to come by – it’s never often enough. Starting at first light on a small stream or on a pond in my canoe, the Aboljacnagesic. Mists rising to meet the sky. My bride’s Blueberry Coffee Cake with hot, black coffee. Eagles diving to eat breakfast with you. And suddenly you’ve got a fish on, and by the way…you caught it on a fly you tied or traded for with a friend, and the rest of the day is a blur. I don’t get fancy with gear either. Outfits go for hundreds and hundreds of dollars but I probably couldn’t tell the difference. I run pretty basic but reliable gear from L.L. Bean for fly-fishing and an Ugly Stik with 4# line for an ultralight set up. We can talk about all that and associated tackle another time.
An individual is never so capable of ignoring hunger, pain, fatigue, phone calls, heat, cold, wind, rain, snow, bugs, bats in your hair cuz your canoe is still on the water at dark, lightning, light nor dark as when fishing is good and steady. I love fishing small streams, reading the water, guessing where fish might holding, blending in with your surroundings, becoming part of the scenery, interacting with wildlife, and breathing in the air. You can find out pretty quick if the woods and water have welcomed you as their honored guest. The trick is trying to clear your mind as good as you can before getting on the water or entering the woods.
I always say that a person never prays nor cusses as much as when they fish and the quarry ain’t bitin’. I don’t recommend the latter because it doesn’t help – and you can’t let the fish know when they’re winning either. I can’t help you with why they might not be biting unless we’re in it together – too many factors and some days you gotta settle that “a bad day of fishing is better than a good day in the office.”
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. – Henry David Thoreau
I would fish every day of my life if I could. There is some unexplainable connection to nature for me when I’m out in the woods, on the water and part of the ‘game’. It’s just a place where I feel I belong. I don’t catch the biggest or the baddest fish – but I have a good time catching what I do.
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Kasey Marsters “Fox”
May The Woods Welcome You