To quit or not to quit? ‘Dad, get over it’ …


I’ve probably plunked down a smooth 4 G’s for the privilege to flail the water with lures and baits at disinterested fish.

In the expense column are Miss Emma, rods, rubber waders, a Yakima rack system, a tackle box jammed to the gills with untold hooks-weights-lures, a GoPro, dry bags, top dollar coolers, et al.

Better make that 5 big ones. The cost of fish per pound? Gold is cheaper.

Surely Ellen and Reid roll their eyes when their old man is in the dumps. As is her custom, Ellen isn’t afraid to tell her dad to ‘get over it.’

Good point.


February 23, 2016

Ellen/Reid: Reid, I really appreciated your “Don’t quit!” response to my self-pity text about my latest fishing failure near Charleston. You need to come down here so we can validate our abilities. It was just so deflating to get up at 0-dark thirty, jet out of the house at 3:45 a.m. and drive 225 miles at breakneck pace to release one little speckled trout. I went to a new place on the Wando River on the Mt. Pleasant side of Charleston and once there, at the highest of the high tide, I wondered aloud ‘How the hell am I going to fish this?’

IMG_0849

Miss Emma surveys the scene along the expansive Wando River. We met our match and paddled back empty handed. But really, as the carnival barker might yell, “You pays your money and you takes your chances.” Hell yes. Emma and I ought to heed Reid’s sage advice: “Get back out there.” And we will – next week.

There were no visible creeks, just an endless expanse of grass alongside wide, wide water. The prevailing thinking holds that the reds venture into the grass at high tide to feed on small crabs so I paddled in, but saw no fish tailing, no disturbances to tip off their positions, no nothing. We retreated to the more familiar structure of some docks where the one little speck took a plastic bait. The prevailing thinking also says speckled trout mass together, and where you find one, you’ll find more. But nothing else came to the surface. There were three rods on Miss Emma and I alternated from a popping cork and fake shrimp to cut mullet on a Carolina rig with the final rod rigged with a lightweight copper colored something-or-other. A couple of strikes and that was it. I tucked my tail and headed back to the ramp a few hours earlier than might have been otherwise. What was really debilitating was a small flat boat of young guys seen and heard just a creek or so away from us reached the ramp the same time as we did. They had boated multiple reds on virtually the same bait I’d been flinging around and about. I do think it’s the fisherman rather than the fish. But damn it, I’ll keep trying, so next time Emma and me are gonna go back to the barge and the water we know. Still, it pisses me off to lack the well-rounded skills to catch fish in any environment.

My friends Tom Bohr and Vince, who will return again this summer to the Bridger Wilderness with you and me, Reid, invited me on a three week hike around the French Alps, with Mount Blanc as the centerpiece. I committed on the spot. This is supposed to occur less than a week after we return from Wyoming so I’ll have to get my travel ducks in a row. I told them I’m on a budget and Tom assured me we’ll be relatively thrifty. Ah well, there goes a chunk of your inheritance. But I’ve not been on this sort of junket, aside from Australia, so it will be really fun with those guys. It pushes my plan to slow walk the Camino de Santiago east to west across southwestern France and the northern tier of Spain into 2017. The plan as of now is to take that six week trek by myself, and this new invitation actually gives me more time to plot that excursion with side trips to Germany to see friends Claudia and Frank and England to watch the Liverpool Reds of the English Premier League.

The fourth journalism class is tonight and the rubber is meeting the road. The students are to have written a news feature and a pitch letter to publications and paper/electronic outlets. They’re working harder than they might have planned on for a grade-less class. But they just have to deal with it. That’s what they signed on for and I’m not about to cut them any slack.

It’s about time to get the container garden going along the back driveway. Looks like lettuce and, when the temps are truly warm, another attempt at a tomato. I’ll be sure to abide by the HOA’s gardening edicts this year, without any added drama such as your old man inserted last year. No more coyote sightings of late. But they are apparently around since no feral cats have been seen as of late. The predators are doing what they do best.

All right, enough gibberish for now. Gotta finish tonight’s class notes and then watch a few YouTube videos about how to fish for reds in the high grass and into the creeks. No reason to quit now.

Love, Dad

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