Man, oh man, oh man, what a month.
Social obligations have stacked up one after the other like jetliners flying into LAX on a Friday night: Mother’s day, birthdays, anniversaries, speaking engagements, business-related trips and professional continuing education courses… all have merged into a perfect storm to keep me away from my fly rod.
Not that the celebrations of life are less important than fishing. In fact, if anything, this month has clearly demonstrated the width and breadth and depth of my blessings. Still in those reflective moments between and betwixt the hustle and bustle — while speeding past one of my favorite urban lakes or flying over the San Bernardino mountains on approach to John Wayne airport or quickly flipping through the stack of fishing magazines piled up on the counter – well, then is when I am most acutely aware that it has been a good month for the social graces and strengthening family bonds but a lousy month for fishing.
Mind you, there have been plenty of enticements. There have been tournaments and classes and competitions galore. Everybody seems to be sponsoring some sort of something or other with valuable prizes and untold amounts of prestige available for the taking – all for a nominal entry fee, of course. And there have been the phone calls and offers from fishin’ buddies but alas, it just didn’t happen. The fly rod sat untouched…or rather, unused. I’ve carted it around in the back of the car hoping to squeeze in a half hour or so here and there. I’ve washed the line and prepped it for the season. I’ve changed the leader and restocked my fly boxes – typically in the deep hours of night but I just haven’t fished.
One bright spot did occur last weekend when my wife and I made a quick overnighter to Big Bear. Over a relatively laid back cup of morning coffee the love of my life actually suggested we go fishing.
Once I picked myself up off the floor, we readied up and soon were at the lake with rods in hand. Naturally, since it was our only free day up there, the weather was less than cooperative and the wind howled across the water strong enough to form whitecaps.
Now, my bride has gone out with me on about half a dozen ventures and has yet to land a fish. She has hooked up on a fish, played a fish and had a fish break off just feet from the shore but she has yet to actually land a fish so, needless to say, I too really wanted her to catch a fish.
So the fly rods went back into the car and out came the spinning rods.
We also opted to head over to Grout Bay which is more sheltered and therefore less windy.
When we arrived at Grout Bay the water indeed lacked the white caps seen on the rest of the lake but it still rippled and splashed and roiled. Carp were everywhere and they were…busy.
It didn’t look good for fishing but then I glanced over at my wife and she had the “Look”. You know what I’m talking about. The fixed gaze, the shaking hands, the raised pitch in the voice… She beat me down to the water.
We fished hard for about an hour and a half but, alas, some things trump even food (if you know what I mean) and we could not entice a strike.
By the time we decided to call it quits for the day we had tossed a whole lot of hardware and cleared a whole lot of weeds from our rigs but had not landed a fish. Still, we had spent a very pleasant morning in a very pleasant place doing something I already love and something I am happy to say my wife is growing to love.
Man, Oh man, oh man. What a month.
I love this addiction called urban flyfishin’.
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