The River Less Traveled

What are you like when you wait in line? Like at the DMV or the airport? Frustrated? Annoyed? Ready to kill the person behind you that can’t stop complaining so you start imagining the things you would say before the big punch like, “Eat my dust,” or “Bet you’ll be complaining about this when you wake up…in the hospital.” That’s it, you’re tough!
The patience of a sportsman is an acquired taste. The act of waiting is one regularly practiced by a seasoned angler. And the life of efficient endurance while muttering, “one more cast” over and over again is so habitually occupied by every fisherman that it begins to drain his mind of worry and angst like sucking poison from the body.
I pity the man who hasn’t learned what it’s like to wait and wait hard for something. The seconds, minutes, hours, days and years spent investing in the act of pure and unadulterated hope. At first, standing in that water, virgin to the thought of actually spending the whole day with a rod in your hand waiting for something to bite the other end of it all factored down to temperature of water, location, lure type, time of day, etc. What kind of  person spends their Saturdays off standing in the middle of nowhere hoping some prehistoric second rate creature is fooled by mass produced plastics wrapped around a metal barbaric hook meant to snag the poor creature and then dangle in mid air only to be thrown back in with the scars it carries only to forget minutes later due to shortness of memory as he yet again swims past a fluorescent yellow twisty tail attached a rounded, impossibly bulbous eyed bug that seems to be swimming at a trajectory course not physically possible for such an aquatic being to travel at and yet the fish says, “hmm, that looks surprisingly fake but delicious, I think I will go after it and …” OUCH! Take that 8th grade English professor! See, run on sentences can be fun and effective!
But we digress. After all, when it comes to patience, digressing is a big part of it. Taking your mind away from the impatience, deviating from the pain of stillness and bore, immersing yourself and mind into something more enjoyable. And that’s what fishing has come to be. Spending a whole Saturday standing in water is the greatest test of patience and fortitude.
And the only reason we fishermen put up with the patience is because we are in love with the water. What other reason could a human have to wait so long standing for something?  Because of this great infatuation of some major cruel summer crush. The connection a fisherman has with the river is one of perfect compatibility. No one judges the other because of who they are or argues because of some silly issue. The river accepts man and man accepts the river. Just as a perfect relationship calls for. Give a little, take a little. Laugh at the falls together, bask in the warmth of the reflection of the sun against the surface. Man respects the river for what it is and the river respects man. A perfect balance of harmony that is fueled by patience. When the river is high, fisherman waits for it to lower. When the fisherman is working the weekends, the river waits for him. And when the fisherman stands all day in the hot sun wading miles for the perfect catch and that 6 o’clock shadow casts down on him as the river offers up the lunker of the week, well… that’s just a match made in fishing heaven. Yep, that’s where all the fish go. Your welcome….

AC with the Sunset on her back
One amazing shot of a bass emerging for a top water lure…

We started off with yellow and orange twisty tails on white jigs as we started reeling them in around 9 am. It was a steady 70 degrees all day with a few lingering rain showers here and there. But, nothing too detrimental. After all, what’s a little rain when you’ve survived a few tornadoes…
Reeling them in on the flats…

 
He caught about 10 standing there and by the 6th one, he was just dropping them before I could shoot…

 
Like a Boss (Your Welcome Danny)
“Like a Boss” (Your welcome Danny)

And now for a quick intermission of something completely different…. A segment called, “Cars we see on the road that we think are pretty so we take lots of pictures of them.” 
His and Hers
AC’s favorite

And back to our usual blogging…
Dad decided to be adventurous and venture over to a side of the river we had never been too before. He made it there, reaching up to his armpits in water. Turns out it wasn’t the deep that got him, but the shallows. As he was just about to step on the boulder you see below, he tripped and fell in about a foot of water. Our best falls are the ones in easiest wading. The river likes a laugh here and there and we sure had fun joining in as Dad stood up, soaked in river water. Still a trouper, he fished on in his soggy bottoms only to catch more fish than AC…Of course!!!
Patience really is a virtue. Because it’s worth it to wait for something good. Something meaningful. Something with a tail that likes to eat bugs! So, with dozens of smallies caught over a 10 hour period, we waded out, headed to the local reservation farmers market for fresh cherries and made it back in time (2 am) to well, hit the sack!
Until next time… We’ll see ya on the other side of the river!
Cast Away,
AC & Dad

4 thoughts on “The River Less Traveled

  1. Great writing in this post. People always find it interesting that I like to fish because I am so impatient. There is a lot of standing, waiting and hoping when it comes to fishing. It is a time to reflect and get to know yourself. Maybe that's why some people don't like it. There's no one to please or give you praise. It's just you and nature's beauty. If you can't find happiness there I pity you.

  2. Hi guys. Sorry, but I have to disagree with you about patience. Granted I have patience when it comes to fishing especially when I fish alone, but when it comes to other stuff, none. Now I'm older than both of you collectively (according to your profile) and I can tell you that as you get older, your patience gets shorter. I'm probably calmer than most my age (I'll be 67 next month), but here's a list that ticks me off, immediately. The person in front of you in the supermarket line that writes a check and takes 10 minutes to do it. The person who drives 25 in a 40 mph no passing area and WILL NOT pull over and let you go by even though the law requires it. The person who comes to a passing lane and doesn't pull to the right or goes just fast enough to parallel the guy in the right lane. I won't continue, because I've said enough for now, but like Ginsu Knives "Wait there's more".

  3. haha, trust me, We are the same way! The river is the only thing we wait for…and maybe good ice cream. Love the Ginsu knives reference, can't wait to hear more. ;)Thanks for the hilarious post!

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