Sunday, February 28, 2016

Carp-e Diem

I started writing this post shortly after my last post (actually as sort of a continuation), but life moves fast and I haven't had a chance to post it until now.

When I was younger, I never fished fresh water, never thought I needed to and I probably didn't. Now that I'm older, I still don't think I need to but found out I really want to.

This past June, The kids and I were supposed to go with some friends and their kids on a fishing boat. Well, one friend got sick, so the trip was canceled. For fathers day, Lizzy bought me a fresh water pole and fishing kit. Sadly, I had bought Lizzy real nice pole several years before that she never had the occasion to use.

The evening after Fathers' Day, Lizzy and I trekked to the local brook, found a great spot to set up and began to fish. I explained to Lizzy that the best fresh water fishing bait was corn. She thought I was crazy until, after a a few minutes, she landed a blue gill. The fish was so small, I tried not to laugh. A few minutes later, she landed a large mouth bass, then a crappie and then a few more sunfish. All in all, we caught and released fifteen fish that night. Lizzy and I continued every evening for the following week. We caught cat fish, suckers, pumpkins, large mouths and a plethora of other fish. 

R., made it a point to tell us she thought it cruel to catch and release fish. That was until one evening when she joined us at the brook and made her first catch. She was hooked (pun intended). We started going fishing 2 then 3 then 4 then 5 nights a week.

Then it happened. One morning, while I was at the brook alone, I got a tug on my pole like no other fresh water fish had done. Shocked, I mentally struggled to figure out what had happened, dumbfounded I began to reel in my catch. It was a beautiful carp. Trying to get it out of the water, the weight of the fish snapped my line. I mourned as I watched the beautiful golden creature quickly disappear, right in front of me. Now in modern Ahab fashion, I rushed home and ordered a net off of Ebay, I had to catch the great gold carp.

I started visiting the brook almost every day with R.. Finally one evening while reeling in, something grabbed my line and ran. The drag was low but the pole still struggled as it bent and creaked. The fish jumped out of the water as my heart jumped from my chest and my mind yelled, “Thar she blows!”. I got the carp to the edge of the brook, R. quickly grabbed the leader and got the fish onto land. As I picked it up, Adrenalin shot into my veins, I caught the golden, slimy scaled fish and I survived. We took some pictures and realizing the poor creature was struggling returned it to it's environment.

If you asked me that day, what the greatest part of fishing was, I would have probably said, landing the big one. In the following weeks though, something happened, we found new fishing locales, we caught many carp and other types of fish. R., the kids and I spent hours talking, laughing and enjoying ourselves, as R. would say, “Enjoying nature, while catching fish once in a while.”

August came, Emily moved away to college and Lizzy went back to school. R. and I continued to to go to the brook and enjoy each others company when we could. Then as the leaves began to change, my work situation no longer afforded me the time to go fishing, R. and I decided that maybe it was time that we should pick other activities with our limited free time.

I'm sure we'll all go fishing together again, but for one whole summer, we seized the days, we valued the time and we created moments that will last a lifetime.

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