Sunday, November 17, 2013

fish tales

The best thing about yesterday (besides it being the weekend) was that I got to be in my kayak in paradise for a while.  It was one of those days where it looked ready to rain all day, but it didn’t.  It was warm enough to be out in long sleeves and no coat.  I considered playing golf, but Someone has tendonitis in his elbow and can’t swing a golf club right now.

The lake was splendid!  Besides me, there was only one fishing boat on the whole lake.  It was occupied by three drunk men.  I didn’t get close enough to confirm that they were drinking, but from across the water I could hear them opening cans and laughing.  Nobody sober would be so loud if they were really hoping to catch fish.  I paddled far away from them, all the way to the dam.  It was silent there – no planes, trains, cars, or even birds.  Nothing.  That, my friends, is just amazing!

No boats at the marina.  Love that sycamore tree!

Fishing is not something I’ve ever liked doing much of.  My first husband liked to eat fresh fish, so he fished oftentimes in the summer.  Sometimes, I even went with him if he was fishing for bass at night.  We’d spray ourselves down with insect repellant because the mosquitos were relentless.  We used artificial bait, which I greatly appreciated because I don’t like impaling worms or crickets on fish hooks….it’s just gross.  For me the fishing aspect of the adventure was secondary, though I admit when the fish were biting, it was more fun.  I just liked being out in the boat at night listening to the frogs and bugs, and drinking whiskey.  We’d pass a whiskey bottle back between us and have a good evening….even if the bass weren’t biting.  Usually they did though.  We’d catch a few nearly every time we went.

When I was young, my grandparents sometimes took my brothers and me to Roosevelt Lake to fish on Sunday afternoons.  My grandmother usually fixed a picnic lunch and we made an afternoon of it.  My grandfather and little brother loved to fish.  One time, we had been fishing off the dam, which was made of large cut rock, and was about 10 -12 feet above the water.  I was about 6 years old and was not at that moment fishing or paying attention to anything in particular.  I heard a splash and turned to look just as my grandmother shoved me off the dam.  As soon as I surfaced in the cold water, I heard her shouting to save my little brother.  I looked over and he was close by, trashing around.  I grabbed his arm and swam over to some rocks we climbed up on.  My grandfather reached down and pulled us back up on the dam.  I remember thinking how strong he was to be able to pull us up like that.  It’s probably good my grandmother pushed me in.  I’m not sure I would have been brave enough to jump, even if was to save my brother.  By the way, he was a decent-enough swimmer to have made it without me.  He was thrashing because he didn't want to let go of his fishing pole. 

brothers and me, somewhere near Roosevelt Lake

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