In the style of ‘old school’ or classic comedy, my first cast of a lure this morning fetched a medium gray sneaker that someone else had cast aside. I heard no one shouting anything similar to NIKE OVERBOARD! so I drug the thing out of the water to dry along the shore.
My five-year-old grand-daughter, who I convinced to go fishing with me this morning, was amazed by this turn of events and promptly claimed to know to whom this tennis shoe belonged. The suspected loafer being no longer in residence at the camp to confirm, or deny my grand-daughter’s accusation, we decided to let the shoe drop and see what else might await our sharpened hooks.
After coaching the five year old on making a first rate cast with a jig off a spinning reel, I was in turn coached by her in a different area. After casting, she sat down and resigned herself to cracking pistachios while her lure rested comfortably on the bottom. I advised her that a jig worked best while in motion and that slow motion was perfectly fine. I was about to hop up on my soap-box and give a long-winded explanation that would validate my short assertion, when the lass produced the gumption to halt me mid word with a statement of her own.
“Papa! You have to have patience and wait for the fish to find it.” Her words, not mine. Regardless her point was made. Shutting my mouth, I returned to business and prepared for a second cast. The wind being a bit strong we had made our way to the dock so that our casts could travel back toward the shoreline. Second cast launched. Immediately upon retrieval I hit what I believed to be a snag and following upon the shoe incident I was thinking breakfast or any other activity would be a better use of my time. Being in delicate company, I also refrained from employing expletives to express my feelings. At that instant, the snag however gave a tug at the end of my line and all else was immediately forgotten.
Upon rising from the murky brown algae plagued water, a monster Speckled Sea-trout gave its head a mighty shake, a shake nearing in size and sincerity my ever-expanding grin of pleasure. Amidst tossing waves and howling winds we embarked upon that most eternal of struggles; the battle between behemoth and lowly fisherman.
Looking back over the past few months, it seems every fish of any respectable size that has come my way has left me with either tattered line, or even more chagrining, a failed knot. But not this time. This time the twelve pound Trilene held as did all associated knots. Dodging on-lookers, together, my grand-daughter the sage and I carefully walked the trout along the dock to shore. In all, the 20″ trout was more pleasing to lift from the water than a discarded shoe, but the most pleasing part of the affair was the company I shared.
I suppose, in the end, all we need is to show a little patience.
SSMatthews Barefoot Poetry April 25 2016