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JohnF

Rambling Thoughts on a Rainy Sunday Morning

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I never lost Dad’s old battered green tackle box, and it still holds some rusty snelled hooks, a tin of assorted lead, a white folding knife with a scaler blade inside, a dirty red and white bobber and a few of those scarred wooden ersatz pike lures that I tried to use as a kid. With it is a telescoping rod with a dirty red rubber grip and a level winder reel that holds black woven line of some kind. The whole rig weighs a ton. There’s also a Genesis split bamboo fly rod with a missing tip and a square steel short rod with a trigger that snaps out to lock the reel in the seat. Dunno what ever happened to his creel and net, oh, and there was a green worm can and a minnow bucket as well. Remember your dads having that stuff?

 

When our boys were little they both wanted to fish but I had no interest myself. It was some sort of ethical aversion to killing, even hurting, fish. But I didn’t want to stifle the boys by imposing my own biases so I went to the local CTC store and bought them cheap Berkley rods with spinning reels, and turned them loose. I still have those setups and am slightly embarrassed at how little I must have known about angling when I bought them. They were about the longest, heaviest, clumsiest rods I could find and the reels were better suited to hauling in record muskies than rock bass.

 

These days Matt (our youngest) is getting even with me for my apathy by ignoring my pathetic pleas to join me for some fishing. Eternal optimist I, I remain ever hopeful he’ll come around one day. With any kind of luck it will be while I’m still hale and hearty, or at least alive and able to share the fun with him, even a little bit. And if he doesn’t get the bug, then perhaps I’ll be able to have my way with his kids, my future grandchildren, though he shows little inclination for procreativity yet. He seems disgustingly comfortable with the string of beautiful girls that glide through his life, and there’s been no sign of any marriages on the horizon, let alone babies, dammit. For now I’ll just keep my fingers crossed.

 

For my own part I had been an avid if unskilled fisherman up until my mid teens but then girls, sports, school, and girls lured me away. Two summers working in a meat packing plant sealed the deal, and I turned my back on hunting and fishing for the next forty-five years.

 

Then something happened to me a few years ago to reawaken the urge to angle. A good friend dragged me down to the river, put me on a smallmouth, and with that first little dinky fish I was as hooked as that wee bass was. Apparently I had used up my quotient of blood and gore experiences stored away during the slaughterhouse years. So, my hunter/gatherer urges back in full swing, I’m back in the fishing game, buying and upgrading tackle and gear, reading and asking questions, suffering the trials and tribulations of once again being a fisherperson.

 

There’s something primal, visceral, about angling. Perhaps it appeals to those aforementioned hunter-gatherer instincts - some inherent atavism that lurks in every man and woman. Not everyone hears the siren call, but those who do rediscover the simple pleasure we felt as a child, communing with nature and the fish. We didn’t know what it was then, and we’re hard-pressed to explain it today, but it draws us in and ensnares us in those slimy smelly velvet chains we welcome.

 

I can’t help wondering if all my carefully chosen fishing tackle will one day be mere curiosities like Dad’s stuff. In the meantime , I’ll just continue to buy and try, discard and replace, relegating the surplus gear to the judgment of future fishermen as to it’s efficacy and value. It’s hard to imagine some of my latest acquisitions ever being deemed mere curiosities though. Will Dad’s stuff from the 50’s, the boys’ stuff from the 80’s and my shiny new 21st millennium stuff all be dumped into the same pile one day labelled “Old Junk”?

 

Why not? We do it with our old people, so why not our fishing gear, right?

 

JF

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So, it is raining out your way?

 

A good time to pontificate. Thanks for the read.

As for a response, yes our carefully chosen and cared about tackle will be considered antiques and curious. I just inherited my dads tackle box two weeks ago and transferred all of his lures and hooks into my bag. I have stored his rods away to use with my future grandchildren hopefully.

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Fishing Canada was a re-run again, eh?

Jim

 

Weren't those shows all made as reruns? :P

 

JF

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John there's no reason to feel like "Old Junk".

 

I'll keep reminding myself of that when I'm trying to roll out of bed in the morning.

 

JF

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There’s something primal, visceral, about angling. Perhaps it appeals to those aforementioned hunter-gatherer instincts - some inherent atavism that lurks in every man and woman. Not everyone hears the siren call, but those who do rediscover the simple pleasure we felt as a child, communing with nature and the fish. We didn’t know what it was then, and we’re hard-pressed to explain it today, but it draws us in and ensnares us in those slimy smelly velvet chains we welcome.

 

 

JF

 

Only the smart ones get this---the rest of the zombie world is way too busy complaining that their Latte' Crappucino's are too cold.

 

Also to get back those child like days---go fishin with a bobber------it takes on that feeling we all had waiting in anticipation for it to sink outta sight.

I've caught tons of trophy fish but I have the most fun flingin floats and watching patiently for the mostly smaller fish you'll catch.

 

Bushart

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Also to get back those child like days---go fishin with a bobber------it takes on that feeling we all had waiting in anticipation for it to sink outta sight.

I've caught tons of trophy fish but I have the most fun flingin floats and watching patiently for the mostly smaller fish you'll catch.

 

Bushart

 

With you on this one. A friend of mine who is the best steelheader I know told me when he introduced me to it that the best part was watching the float go down.

 

I target pretty much everything besides musky...and use floats for different applications for all most all of them.

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Dad has been gone for two years ago now but many fond memories were rekindled by your post. Until I came to Canada in 1973, we fished quite regularly together both in the trout streams for Browns and off the North East coast for Cod. I was fortunate enough to live within 1/2 hour drive of both. Our tackle back then was pretty primitive too until I scraped the money together to buy a 12 1/2' glass rod and a centre pin reel. Believe it or not the steelheaders in this board didn't invent that reel........lol. My son and daughter were never really "hooked" but my eldest grandson is becoming like I was at his age, smitten with the fishing bug. It has taken me 35 years to get my lovely wife involved but even she will now put up with a few hours of me throwing enormous muskie lures in return for a few hours of walleye or smallmouth fishing for her.

 

Thanks John........

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I grew up in that hunter gatherer heritage and am damn proud of it. I have old tackle that I still use, and some that has a special place on the wall. They always remind me of the happier and simpler days of my childhood. I like 'simple' fishing; of watching that float go down and the initial hookset, then trying to figure what you got on the end of the line. Truth is I still have more fun chasing pannies.

You don't need grandkids per se. I get a kick out of taking area kids out for an expedition. Nothing beats the looks of excitement, astonishment and pride on their faces. There are too many kids out there who don't get that kind of opportunity.

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Indeed, thank you sir that was a pleasure to read.

 

It's what one does when one no longer has a lawn to cut, gardens to weed or a pool to clean. This new condo life style is very .... small. Sure hope I get used to it soon.

 

JF

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