I Don’t Know If I’m Going Fishing Today
I remember saying that right before an empty can of something was thrown at me by my brother or one of the other mechanics working at the local garage. Back when I was 18, I would go on a work binge, and then take time off to loaf and enjoy being young. Mostly I fished.
What I didn’t know back then was, telling a bunch of dudes who chose a profession that involved long days under the hoods of hot cars, that I “might go fishing” was absolutely crazy. I was lucky I didn’t get a wrench thrown at me. I remember them yelling at me to go fishing or I was not allowed to hang out any more – I didn’t want to lose my access to donuts and truck repairs so I got out of there fast.
Now one of my older brothers lives a mile from the surf and I call him on my way home in the evenings and say “are you going fishing tonight?” Any answer other than “Heck yes!” gives me a heart ache.
Now I can get pretty irritable if I go long enough without some time on the water. That said, I manage to fish at least once a week (even in the winter) and there are a few tricks to keeping this going.
The first is always have your stuff ready. I have a kit for every situation. If it’s saltwater, I grab a big tub with my boot-foot waters, stripping basket, and a few boxes with the proper flies. My trout gear is it’s own bag of boxes and tippets and “etc” – for guiding I need only to add loaner gear and plastic tub of picnic gear.
Second is the schedule. I’m the worst at watching my calendar – work, family time, a spouse who travels – it’s a job all to itself! I sure am good at finding a window in all that stuff where I can get out for a time and wet a line. I’ve learned to set expectations after quite a bit of time in the dog house. If I’m going to be home well after dark I need to let everyone at home know I’ll be late. They’re not worried about me but rather want to know when the trash will be taken out and the dishes cleaned up.
Last week I was over in Annapolis for the Maryland DNR SFAC meeting and, despite the rain, managed to squeeze in an hour of time catching white perch (and losing a big bass at my feet) before heading home. I knew I’d have the entirety of Sandy Point to myself in the bad weather. I could have spent time getting to know the rest of humanity on Rt 50 but I got to let the flood of rush hour traffic flush out before hitting the road. I made it home in time for bed-time stories -same as if I’d sat on the road for a couple hours.
There are blues in the wash and trout to be chased. Get the grass cut and get out there!
Knee Deep Fly Fishing