HOOKY

I love to fish. Early mornings. Late afternoon to dusk. Lake, stream, pond, puddle…I fish for whatever’s swimming. And there are days when I’m just as excited to catch sunfish on a micro-popper with my 3-weight fly rod as I am to set the hook on a smallmouth with a 6″ Texas-rigged rubber worm. Summer is my primary season to fish, since hunting for deer and geese has my Falls spoken for. But the truth is, if I can get out and fish, even once during the “off” season (using that term very loosely), it’s a great bonus.

There were times in my life that I’d have the luxury of spending entire days on the water. But, just like the shape of some streams change under the influence of current and time, my fishing opportunities too have changed. Kids, work, coaching, volunteer boards…no one season is long enough anymore, let alone a weekend or even a day. I am fortunate that my kids are getting to the age though where we can go fishing together rather than me taking them fishing – parents with kids that fish understand the huge distinction in that. But as for “me time” on the water – where I’m able to be as aggressive or slow as I’d like without having to maintain that extra level of kid-vigilance – my love for fishing, a certain personality trait I like to call “ingenuity” and a bit of good-luck has helped maintain a fruitful compromise.

The last two days I’ve been able to close my laptop at noon, announce that I’m heading out for a bit and then sneak off and play hooky from work for about an hour. I now have a co-worker-turned-fishing-partner as an accomplice who joins me too. It’s nice to have the comaraderie. We fore-go lunch. Eating is over-rated when you have a tremendous trout and fall salmon fishery not five minutes (or two miles as the crow flies) from work.

I say tremendous, not because it’s a blue-ribbon stream or because it winds it’s way through wild sweeping vistas – but rather, in spite of the sprawl of suburbia not fifty yards away, it might as well be fifty miles. I’m able to lose myself in the sound of the water, the reflection of the mid-day light on it’s roiling and determined surface. The gentle flight of my fly line finding it’s way silently above the flow. Heron, muskrat, squirrels, blue jays and cardinals busy with their day-to-day. Trees standing stark above the tangle of underbrush along the bank, waiting for winter. Waiting for the possibility of that electric shock when a trout picks my fly unceremoniously from some downward current off the near side of a boulder across and slightly downstream from where I’m standing.

For that brief time, that short respite from my desk and every other thing pulling me in every other direction, I get to breathe deep. I get to be a kid fishing away my summers. I get to recapture perspective and appreciation for what I’ve got. I get to be gone, gone, gone – even if it’s only two miles as the crow flies.

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4 Comments

Filed under In the water

4 responses to “HOOKY

  1. I have a river like that, less then 5 minutes from home/work. It’s amazing how quickly the buildings fade away and the sounds of the ‘city’ become muted the minute I sink two feet into the water.
    With two daughters of my own I understand the change between ‘taking them fishing’ and the day they suddenly started ‘going fishing’ with me. I love that they are now fishing buddies on the stream.
    I really enjoyed this entry and your writing style. You’ve lived up to your name (I adore words as much as I adore fly fishing) Adding your blog to my blogroll~
    Rebecca
    I’m having a hard time getting this comment to post. So, if you end up getting 5 comments of the same thing, it’s because I kept trying…

    • Thanks for the comment! I’m just starting to get some semblance of a rhythm with the blog. It’s good to have response from people already. I’ll be adding your site to my blogroll too!

      I had a stream when we lived in Northern Virginia (in Falls Church) that was like this too. It found its way into my thesis quite a bit – poetry mostly. More to come about it though, I’m sure.

  2. Caroline Lippert

    so lovely, I am a fan!

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