Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Before the calm.

Dad and I waded a windy shore last Sunday. It had been a while since my last real fishing trip. A while since the weather hasnt been blistering and blotchy cold. A while since I havent had leaks in my waders. Even when I caught my only fish the time before and when I tried to string it I could barely run the old dull tip through a small flounders bottom jaw. And even after I had to make a strong second effort to grip the fish so that it wouldnt slip through my fingers when force from the poker was applied, the thrill of victory didnt last long. I was soon again pre hypothermic with a buttcrack full of salty dampness. Today was different. Today was warmer. The water temp just a hare under 60 where we were. God it was beautiful to have the air warmer than the water for a change. The cold north wind from days before blew out all traces of freash water and the southerly gale replaced it with tannic, opaque, glorious salt water. Clear enough to see your feet.

We didnt see any mullet the whole afternoon untill after the bite. While the sun was scorching red and orange and retreating behind low horizon clouds one final time before the bay quenched its light. There was a bite. Not a frenzy by any means but a flurry of willing fish who moved around us before the blue hour. Most of the day it was searching the one spot. Waiting. Touching and mouthing with bent lures and cursing. "we have enough hooks on these baits that if they get close enough well catch them" Thats what we said. And it is true. More than enough hooks.

Totally excited. Even a trip like this gets my imagination and blood moving and wishing it wouldnt end. The trout were all beautiful and strong. A school of three year fish maybe. All around twenty inches and all giving memories of old times new meaning. This is it. This is where Im from. This is my church. This is where my ashes will be spread. To drift the muddy shell. To wain with the tide and lay to rest by imaginations limit, on the bottom looking up. Viewing the seasons, and the never ending struggle.

Dad landed a rare winter flounder. Although we landed about five total. The one he caught was pushing five pounds. Probably the biggest either of us has caught while wading winter months. We joked about the winter flounder run. Good times. There does seem to be more this year. Maybe because of the hurricane. Maybe the rain. Maybe we are just lucky.

Sunday was beautiful weather. Calm, warm, fog. I mentioned that we should have gone that day instead. the bait was jumping at the waterside resturante late in the evening. But dad remarked that on days with perfect weather you probably wouldnt do as good as those windy tough days. Thats old wisdom. And a way to view adversity with optimism. But I knew there was another bite. All huge hungry fish. In a frenzy before one of Febuarys last cold blows. March awaits. There werent any eggs in any fish I cleaned. Next month there will be. There will be more released fish. And more high hopes while swimming flys and lures.

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