“Sonrisa” is the Spanish word for smile. My dear Grandma would say it to me as she gently tried to awaken me each morning during my summer time stays at her little casita. She would softly shake the bed and say, “Sonrisa Mijito.” which was her way of saying, “Get up, son, it’s a great morning.” I obeyed out of respect for her but I rarely saw a reason back then to smile about getting up so early, especially during summer break.
As the years have passed though I have come to deeply appreciate the memory of my beloved “Abuelita”. I fondly recall her unwavering love for me and her love for the simple joys of life including a beautiful morning.
I thought of her as I got up with the sun this morning.
I’m not sure why I arose so early since I had not gone to bed until almost 3am. Nevertheless, I was up and ready to go at first light. I stumbled out into the kitchen, fired up the coffee maker and opened the back door for a look around. All was still and I noticed that the sky was clear and just turning into the lighter shades of blue indicating a beautiful day ahead.
I peeked back into the bedroom and listened to the regular, deep breathing of my wife and knew it would be several hours before she roused.
So, I quickly and quietly got dressed, gave her a quick kiss and whispered to her that I’d be back shortly, to which she mumbled back something sweet-sounding but incoherent.
Back in the kitchen, I pulled down the large travel mug, practically drained the entire pot of coffee in to it and slipped out into the crisp morning air. Even though it was early, there was no need for a jacket or even a heavy shirt.
I caught myself smiling.
As I backed out of the driveway I made some quick mental calculations. El Dorado Park just seemed like the right place and the right distance away for the time I had allotted so I headed west.
When I got there, there were the usual early morning walkers and bicycle riders but only one other angler at my first stop, Horseshoe Pond. I could see small Panfish working the reeds and I could see an occasional olive-backed “torpedo” busting through the schools of Bluegill causing a momentary boil of activity in the water. I rigged my new 4-wt with a small tan wooly bugger and began working the weed beds near the shore myself.
My first Bluegill was a feisty and determined male in full breeding color.
The other guy fishing on the opposite bank saw my immediate success and asked me if I would mind if he moved a little closer to where I was fishing. He was using a little spin casting rig with bait and bobber and was only casting out a few feet at most so I invited him on over. Since my primary goal for the morning was to try out some new gear, any fish I happened to land where icing on the cake.
After about an hour and a half, I was feeling pretty comfortable with the new gear so I decided to switch rigs and move over to the other side of the pond. I wanted to test a couple of theories I’ve been working on so I rigged up the penfishingrods set-up I mentioned in a previous post and began casting to an area I knew was frequented by Carp and Bass.
I gave myself five minutes before I would pack up and head home.
No sooner had I said to myself, “OK, last cast,” when my rod doubled over and some 30 yards of line peeled of my reel in mere seconds.
Whatever was on the other end zigged and zagged across the middle of the pond and the fight was on. The little PenRod performed admirably, to say the least, and I was having a great time just trying to outmaneuver the fish on the other end.
Unfortunately…or maybe not so, the fish shook off after a few moments. Either way, I was seriously content though my heart was pounding, my hands were shaking and the zing from the drag still echoed in my ears.
I reeled my little ultra-light lure in and touched up the hook with my little hook hone before tossing a few more casts across a narrow outlet of the little pond. After a couple of casts I decided to pitch it back to the same spot where I had just hooked up.
Sure enough, another strike, almost as exciting as the first. That one too, shook off after a few moments but, again, it did not matter nearly as much as I expected it would.
However, this time when I reeled in, I knew I would have to get back to the reality of the day and the errands that still needed to be run and the office tasks that still needed to be completed and so on and so on but for just that brief little while I was on holiday and life was just grand, as they say…and I smiled all the way home.
I love this addiction called urban flyfishin’