Alright, go ahead and laugh but when I was a kid one of my favorite TV shows was the secret agent satire “Get Smart” starring Don Adams and Barbara Feldon.
Now, what I probably really recall were the endlessly syndicated re-runs which aired about the time I was old enough to start understanding the point of the jokes and running gags that peppered the series but in any event, I can still remember abandoning the math homework and racing to the living room whenever I heard that distinctive “da dum da da…da” theme song.
Admittedly, Agent 86 (aka Maxwell Smart) was not on par with the suave, sophisticated James Bond of the big screen and his gadgets never worked the way the ones Q made but he was definitely more accessible via broadcast television and he did manage to foil the evil plans of the bad guys and win the affections of the stunning agent 99 in the end.
Besides, Max was definitely more in keeping with what might be attained by an awkward kid who lacked the fluid grace and animal charm of Agent 007 but who still had aspirations of saving the world and getting the girl.
Whatever the case, some forty years later, I will still catch myself uttering one or another of the trademark phrases from the show… much to the embarrassment of my bride and the befuddlement of anyone under thirty years of age to whom I happen to be speaking.
This past week, for example, had me muttering the phrase, “Missed it by that much” — one of Maxwell Smart’s pat exclamations, rather frequently.
On Saturday, My fishin’ buddies Sean & Ray and I took some folks down to the beach for some saltwater casting. Long story short, the action was slow. When I did finally manage to hook onto a fish it turned out to be a halibut – but it was a short one – so back it went. Missed it by that much.
On Sunday, my wife and I had to make an unscheduled maintenance trip up to the getaway house in Big Bear to address damage left in the wake of several winter storms.
As we pulled into the driveway late in the afternoon, about an hour before sunset, our neighbor and his daughter came strolling across the street with a stringer full of fat Rainbows, none smaller than two pounds. Turns out he and his little girl had just gotten home a few minutes before us after a smokin’ hot bite suddenly turned off. Missed it by that much.
On Monday, after a full day of hard labor we snuck off for a couple of hours of fishing at the lake but once we got set up and ready to roll, the wind kicked up and the bite turned off again. Missed it by that much.
On Tuesday, the weather took an even bigger turn for the worse so instead of a morning of fishin’, we high-tailed it off the mountain, arriving at the lower elevations just as the first flakes of a mid-Spring storm began to fall back at the cabin. Missed it by that much.
On Wednesday, I got a call from my Mom. My Dad had undergone a series of tests and while the doctors were concerned, he was gonna be alright… Whew, missed it by that much.
Someone once told me that baseball’s great “Sultan of Swat”, Babe Ruth, actually had a record number of strikeouts as well as his record number of home runs yet he is remembered for the later rather than the former. Both records required, however, that he swing away with all that was in him. The difference between fame and failure for him was only a matter of “missing it (or not) by that much”.
So it was that the events of the week got me to thinking and I resolved to keep gettin’ out there as much as possible and keep fishin’ whenever I can and keep lookin’ for those moments that take my breath away wherever I am so come the end of my days, I won’t be saying I missed the fullness of life by just “that much”.
I love this addiction called urban fly fishin’
Switch to our mobile site