Last week I decided to get away from everything for a while and go fishing.
I just needed to relax and not have to worry about anything other than what I might have for breakfast in the morning if, indeed, I even felt like getting up early enough to have breakfast.
I didn’t want to even bother looking to see if my socks matched – two similar socks is usually good enough for me at the best of times. My point is, I really just wanted to get away from all my cares.
After very little planning and even less preparation I found myself turning the ignition and starting out to head on up to the cabin.
I had packed both my six-weight and little three- weight Orvis rods. I also grabbed enough fly boxes full of assorted fly patterns in various colours and hook sizes to match any hatch or situation that might rise or arise. A few changes of clothes, a rain jacket – just in case, mosquito repellent, sun block, a couple of M. C. Beaton paperbacks and I was off.
At the very last minute, I even managed to remember to put my empty cooler in the back of the Expedition. On my way out of town, I bought what I figured I would need to sustain myself for four or five days. Not that I was in a hurry. It’s just that I wanted to get out there and cast a line.
Three hours later and I was putting my boat in the water.
I have stayed at this particular little lake many times over the past 20 or so years, and spent many hours just sitting in my boat, casting a line and enjoying the peace and tranquility. Time spent fishing always does my soul good.
Now I am sure there are those who would look down their nose at fishing this particular lake, where a 12-inch rainbow trout is almost considered a ‘whopper,’ and anything over 12 inches is talked about well into the next fishing season. However, over the past 20 years, I have also figured out that one can still have a lot of fun by simply matching your gear to the size of the fish in the lake. Catching a 10- or 12-inch trout on a three weight is like catching a 16- or 18-inch fish on a six weight.
One day, I caught 17 fish and not one of them was over a foot long. The Orvis belonged to my father. It was one of his favourite rods. I think I have come to understand why.
On the third day, in a particularly warm, unproductive afternoon, I was fishing near an island at the far end of the lake where there is a prolific amount of bird life. This includes blue herons, kingfishers and a couple of osprey. I found myself watching a young family that was fishing from a boat nearby, a couple with two young girls who were also not having much action in the fishing/catching department. They were, however, quite engrossed in watching several kingfishers that were swooping down and skimming the surface of the water in an attempt to catch small fish – even smaller than the ones I usually catch, although apparently large enough to make a meal for a bird the size of a kingfisher.
A few minutes later, we all watched as a great blue heron flew from its perch in a tree and landed in the shadow cast by a large rock on shore. It stood there, knee deep in the water, motionless, waiting ever so patiently to catch a fish for its dinner. When fishing, patience does indeed have its own rewards.
It was as I was watching the heron that I suddenly, finally got a hit.
For some reason, I couldn’t be bothered setting the hook. I just didn’t want to disturb the heron or the family enjoying watching the majestic bird.