You know the old saying, “a bad day fishing beats a good day at the office.” I’ve tested the limits of that saying lately.
Conditions aren’t optimal at the moment. The tides are at the low end of the cycle, so the mid-morning high barely reaches my favorite ledge, so landing a catch is harder and less sure. The horse and deer flies are relentless, biting through my clothes and adding a rather spastic play to my lure as I try to retrieve it while laying about me in a frantic effort to kill flies. The bladderwrack sea weed is on the move, drifting in rafts with the current and snagging on virtually every cast. And, oddly, the large Dollies seem to have disappeared, so that the fingerlings are the only ones around to bite the lure. Their enthusiastic feeding, jumping out of the water all around me, just adds false excitement to the process, heaping insult on injury. I’ve lost three of my favorite, most expensive lures in the last two days. Over it all, the relentless sunshine burns me as I spend hours trying to catch a single fish.
I’m not a particularly superstitious person, but I do believe in irony. I felt a twinge of warning when I blogged previously that we were almost guaranteed a fish for any meal I fished for. The evidence seems clear: I jinxed myself!
And yet, I can’t stop trying. I love the rhythm of shore casting, and even the remotest possibility of catching a fish is too enticing to ignore. Besides, the pay off is excellent. With health experts saying we should all eat more fish, what could be more worthwhile than making the effort to catch a healthy, fresh-as-can-be meal for free? Win or lose, the end justifies the sometimes frustrating means.
Besides, it can’t last. The weather will turn wet, improving fishing conditions; the Dollies will return. Soon the salmon will begin moving through in greater numbers. It’s a dry spell, but my luck will change soon. I’ve just got to keep trying. Any time I get too discouraged, I compare this work to the kind I used to do, in an office. The old saying is right on the money!