Sunday, October 16, 2011
End(s) of the Season
Would I really want to Carp fish all year? As the season winds down I want to fish, "just one more day..." There are other fish to chase of course and they are fun. Carp are special. Probably they are more special because they aren't available to me all year. I don't want the season to end but its good that it does. I am not resigning myself to it "being good for me" in some sort of stoic way; it is genuinely good that the season ends. I don't want it to end and I'm grateful that it does. Not being able to fish for Carp some of the year heightens the anticipation; it makes me savor the days on the river even more. It helps remind me how important it is to work at having a gratitude attitude. That's not just some fortune cookie crap; having a gratitude attitude is something I work on every day. Often I think saying, "Thank you," is the most profound form of prayer. I'm better at it some days than others.
During the last week of September my work plans changed so I was able to get away to attempt some Carp fishing. I fished stillwater the first day and had a surprisingly enjoyable time. The next day I headed to the river; I just had to see if there would still be some fish in the shallows.
I had to do a fair amount of wading before I saw a tailing fish. Move into place...one very good cast...the fly was stripped to his dinner plate...he turned... and moved away. Keep walking...
For the second fish I really didn't think my cast was all that good; the Carrot landed (I thought) too close to the plate. I got lucky. The Carp didn't mind the fly hitting the water. He picked it up just like it was real food. Dang I like that! With almost no wind the slosh the fish made on the hook set was visible and audible. Heading for deep water he got a good ways into the backing. I really tried to savor that fish thinking it might be the only one I would catch that day and probably the last one of the season. I was very grateful.
They came in spurts. I went more than an hour without seeing a single fish. Then I got four in just over an hour.
At the end of the day, with eight to hand and a couple lost in the weeds I was extremely grateful. Grateful for the mild weather, grateful for just the chance to cast to feeding fish, grateful for the takes, grateful for the golden grass, grateful for sunrise and sunset, grateful for friends and family, grateful for so many blessings. It seemed a perfect ending to the Carp season.
I just had to try one more time. If catching fish is the measure of whether or not I should have gone again then I should not have gone. But I still should have gone. I went with my friend, Rich, and we walked the river last Thursday for a few hours. In all that time we saw just one fish swimming near the bank. Was he lost? Did he not know the season was over? What was he doing? A single cast was all he allowed me and he swam away. It was as if he was looking up out of the river at me and thinking, "Is he lost? Does he not know the season is over? What is he doing?"
To the Carp's queries I say, "I am not lost. I am very 'found' when I'm on the river. Yes, I know the season is over. I am fishing. I am grateful."
Looking west from The Carp Lodge with the sunrise behind me.
Sunset at The Carp Lodge