The Big One

I love fishing. I love all aspects of it. Fresh water and salt water, I don’t care. There is the shopping for fishing stuff, worrying over which lures might be the best to bring in the big ones. Carrying my purchases home I’m filled with the expectation of all the fish they will catch. I love preparing my tackle the night before for a day at the lake or beach. I may purchase live bait with the same expectations. Finally I am out there, usually alone, with nature. There is a feeling you get from being next to the water and the wildlife surrounding it. I love watching the sun go down, or if I’ve been fishing all night, come up. And nothing compares to cooking and eating the fish you have caught.

There’s not a lot of fish catching involved in my trips. Years of practice has not improved the supply of fish to my table. Plenty of books and magazines on the subject have been read and studied. I really don’t understand why I still don’t catch many fish.

As the sun goes down the lake becomes like glass, and it’s so quiet I can hear my own heartbeat. The stillness is broken only when I notice a red tail hawk circling high overhead. The orange and red colors of the leaves and their reflections around the lake stand in stark contrast to the blues of the sky above, and the lake below. I half expect to hear the rustle of leaves, perhaps by a squirrel or rabbit. Instead I’m startled when an old bass interrupts by thumping the surface across the lake from me. It grows calm again. I watch the other end of the lake. Flop, he goes again! He repeats his exercise every two or three minutes, slowly making his way around the perimeter. I may catch him yet, but either way I’ll be out here again. Some things remind me life is not a destination, it’s a journey.