“Do fish sleep?” is a question we’ve all heard at one time or another. Personally, I could get through the rest of my life without ever knowing the answer. What I’d really like to know is; do fish laugh? If they can I’m quite sure there is a beaver-pond full of them having a great chuckle at my expense. Since I’ve retired from trucking, I’ve attained a new addiction; fly fishing. I’m beginning to think I would’ve been better off taking up free-basing cocaine.
It started out simply enough, it was a nice, cool evening so I thought I’d head on down to the beaver-pond on my property and try out a few new flies that I’d bought. I put a $5 wolly-bugger on the end of my line and started casting. After a few well-aimed shots my line was landing pretty nice. As I pulled back and tried to cast out a little further, the wind caught my line and wrapped it around a dead tree at least a half-dozen times. I’d mentioned in a previous blog that the beaver-pond was deserted. However, if I ever catch up to those brook-blocking bandits, I’m going to slap a failure-to-finish lawsuit on them. The nerve, leaving dead trees standing where I’m trying to fish. Cursing, I struggled to free my line which was stuck so high up the tree just looking at it gave me altitude sickness. Finally, after some tugging, jumping and more swearing, it was free.
I decided to try my luck a little further upstream. I chose a clear spot and started casting
again. After 5 minutes or so I smiled to myself. All I needed was to catch something and I’d be laughing out loud. Turns out I did catch something, but it wasn’t a fish. A submerged log thanks once again to those bungling beavers. I tugged and yanked but my fly was stuck. I pondered the situation. The log was only a few yards from shore. The fly cost me five bucks. I had to get it back. Once I was certain there was no one around, ( I was a kilometer back in the woods) I jumped out of my boots, socks and jeans, then started wading into the pond in my boxers. Instantly, I was thrilled that I didn’t have far to go as the water was colder than a school teacher’s leg. The first four steps went great, the fifth, not so much. As I inched ahead gingerly, the bottom beneath me suddenly disappeared.
As my left leg went south, my right scrambled, then slid in the black mud. Quicker than you could say “Titanic”, I was under water. It might have been fresh water, but the mouth-full I got was anything but fresh. Cursing, sputtering and shivering, I grabbed the fly and headed for shore. Once back on solid ground I contemplated throwing everything into the woods and never fishing again, but then I had a thought. “A little further upstream there aren’t any logs or dead trees.” All I needed to do was go home, get some dry clothes…Oh for the love of God! Is there a 12 step program to help me beat this addiction?