July 29, 2013
Yesterday I fished alone on a long wooded stretch. I typically don't like fishing alone. If I have a fishing partner I have someone to talk to and a photo subject also. Yesterday was different. I went alone to have some me time. Some recent news had me thinking about why I fish.
Yesterday when I fished I was thinking about my past and what led me to this journey that is trout fishing. It was easy to establish my starting point and my motives. The big trout bug bit me on my very first outing at age five.
Early season trout fishing is cold and stark. The snow is typically deep and I wear out easier. The environment is not inviting like the lush greens of Summer, but there is an allure to those days of frozen guides and numb fingers. The long Winter has made me forget the gnats and mosquitoes of late September. My heart yearns to brave the crisp days of Wisconsin's early season.
I like to be the first one to place their footstep in fresh snow of opening morning. It make me feel like I am the first angler to ever set foot on that stream. One of my biggest smiles I can ever remember fishing is when the snow was coming down hard on one of those frigid openers. The snow was going down the back of my coat and then that big broad smile was painted on my face. You would have had to experienced it yourself to feel what it meant to me. The solitude was deafening.
Summer brings hot and biting insects. My lust for the stream is dampened by the stifling hot, but I trudge on. What more could an angler wish for? I am one of those crazy guys that wade in water and mud up to their belly buttons and enjoy it. The only thing that could make it better would be a slow steady rain. Are you smiling now?
My very good friend was diagnosed with liver and colon cancer this Spring. He is upbeat and positive. I was bashful at first to talk to him about it. It made me feel so mortal and close to death myself. We talked this weekend about it. He was candid about his condition. His positive thought process was obvious. I noticed he smiled a lot during our conversation. I need to learn to smile more often.
This story is dedicated to Rodney Johnson. I hope there are lots of fish and game to make you happy in heaven.