A fisherman should always be thankful. Because despite what Simms or Orvis will tell you, equipment doesn’t catch a fish, faith does. And after so much faith is put into something, once the result is achieved, thanks are in order. No matter the outcome.
Yes, faith is one of those touchy subjects that people try to avoid. A cardinal sin (no pun intended) in social conversation etiquette. Stick to the weather or how badly the bears are doing, just play it safe. But, of course, we are the Riverbums. We don’t play it safe.
Don’t walk away just yet, we’re not going to talk about religion or politics. Faith is something that doesn’t just sit in the pews of a chapel or hide out on battle fields. It is much more encompassing than that. And if you’re a fisherman, you know this all too well. Come on admit it. You put your faith into everything the minute you leave the house. Packing the car, driving, unpacking the car, suiting up, wading in, hooking, sinking, casting…
All of that time and you have faith. Because why else would you even get out of bed to go to that river, stand in that water, and cast and wait and cast and wait? Faith, my friends. It is the fruitful parasite that hides in all the hopeless romantics, poets and fishermen of this world. But, with faith, comes thanks. Didn’t your mother ever teach you that you should say ‘thank you’ when someone gives you something? Well, little did you know that she was instilling a ticking time bomb of perpetual acknowledgement and gratitude that would slowly eat away at your conscience every time you entered the river or caught a fish.
Because the first time you ever stood in that water after a hard week’s worth of work, felt that current below you, looked up to the sky and said, “Thank you”…you were hooked! You didn’t make that river or fill it with fish. You still have the power to walk, wade, cast and catch. So, you better thank someone. Or at least something. We do every time we enter that river, no matter how long we have or how we got there. “Thank you for another chance to fish. Thank you for this beautiful day. Thank you.”
And now we can’t stop. Because we put our faith into something. Whether that be God, our stuff, the river, a good Cuban cigar! For if we forget to say thank you before and after, our faith is diminished. Punified by our weak human notions that we are entitled or even privileged to be in the water. A place where we don’t really belong or are welcomed by the elements. But, say thank you, and it’s like asking the captain to come aboard or kneeling with your hand out to pet a strange dog. You are paying your respects to the river, giving your appreciation, showing how humble your spirit is, so that you are welcome and invited. Then, your faith can work its magic because it is in its purest form.
So, with our faith on the line and our thanks well said, we ventured on this Thanksgiving day to the Sheboygan river in Kohler Wisconsin to fish for steelie. AC was excited to finally get back in the water after 3 business trips and long hours at the office hindered her riverbumming. She was very thankful as she waded into the water and sighed a breath of relief. Turns out her gratitude did her well, because after a few casts, she landed her first ever salmon…
AC’s first salmon…
17 lbs Salmon
It was a well deserved fight on her caster adorned by a red bellied white and yellow jelly with a black jig head. Hooked along the eddy of a bend, she set that salmon right before a treacherous boulder.
Netted in under 5 minutes
Releasing it back slowly. (we hold the tail and guide back and forth to allow water to fill through the gills and better reacquaint the fish to her surroundings)
A beautiful Thanksgiving day in Kohler with temperatures reaching high 50’s and mild wind. We spent 7 hours casting away and although only one fish was produced, the day was a huge success of great weather, clear minds, and pure enjoyment on the water.
Dad on the Sheboygan
As we climbed out around 5:30 to head to the nearest brewery, AC caught sight of a slide she just had to try…
So, thank you for taking the time to read this post. We truly appreciate you and your readership. Ok, that was a bit much. But, like we said, faith and thanks go hand in rod. And we have faith you will be back for more Riverbumming.
Until next time…we’ll see ya on the other side of the river!
AC & Dad