Canadian and American Football

As we drove to the pond my dad said, “you’ll be suprised when you see them.”

“Well, if we catch anything.”

He chuckled. “You’ll catch something.”

I’m weary of sure things–especially in fishing.

My dad’s friend is a retired doctor who lives in a house perched on a ledge that overlooks where I grew up.  He also has a pond filled with trout.  We didn’t go for the view.

It wasn’t a big pond but bigger than I thought it would be.  On the east side a spring fed the pond and trees bordered it on the west.  Damsel flies mated everywhere, but nothing else was in the air.  The otherwise still pond surface was interrupted by big backs breaking and splashing.  I wasn’t sure what they were rising for, but they were–and everywhere.

I tossed on the first fly I found in my box which was a Turk’s Tarantula. I went over to where the spring fed the pond and tossed in a  warm-up cast.  Instantly something big took the fly.

The fish fought. For longer than I thought it would, but eventually I pulled him in.

This was the pattern. I would toss out a cast, occasionally wiggle it a bit, and wait for a hit.  Nearly every cast produced a fish, and not just a fish, but bigger fish than I ever catch on my home waters.

I became complacent. I expected fish instead of tried to earn them.  I stopped playing the fish and, just started pulling them in–which resulted in broken tippet.   I lost my Turk’s and threw on a salmon fly imitation knowing full well that I was miles (if not a hundred miles) from the nearest salmon fly hatch. I got hits, but not many.  I changed to a woolly bugger.  I could see it sink in the water, slowly undulating down to the bottom. The fish swarmed.  Something took it.  The fish’s silver head shot out of the water and broke my 3x tippet without much effort.  It surfaced again, but this time it cleared the water.  He was a rainbow that  looked like a fat kid belly flopping in a public pool.

It was fishing. I guess. Like Canadian football is technically football. The truth is I missed the current pushing up against my legs; the small subtle, takes; the tense feeling of not catching fish.  Would I go to the pond again? Yes. I’d go right now.  But it’s not the same and I think it would get old.

As we drove back to the house my dad asked, “so, what do you think?”

“It was fun.  The fish were huge.”

“You didn’t even see one of the big ones.”

“You’ve seen bigger in the pond?”

He chuckled again, “I’ve caught bigger in the pond.”

Every Day In May graphic.

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