Msg 1 Posted: 07:33 AM 08/14/08 (CST)
I feel posed and calmly poised with this fish. Its not the one that got away. Its not my first, or the only time Ive caught one this size. The camera clicks, I lower the fish, the trout swishes away. Were not suddenly fishing buddies me, and the now fin freed.|
Fighting the fish is just now easing out of my arms and nerves. Getting the fly out of its jaw was tricky. Lifting the mass and girth of the fish for the photo was cool. Others streamside gawked and I liked that, but its exhilarating to let it go.
You work sometimes for hours at the chance to set the hook in something that big and that powerful. The fight, if you can call it that, is over hyped. Its not a fight. The fish struggles for its life, I just try not to lose it.
I have enough trouble keeping straight what Im thinking, so I cant begin to imagine what the fish one second swimming and the next being towed to shore is trying to comprehend so I will just leave that head game to someone else.
How I can get the same thrill from hoisting a stringer of soon to be walleye fillets and keeping them for a photo or releasing one back is another mental illness I suffer. Why I keep some and release others, lord only knows. What to do, what to do?
Trout, panfish, any game fish, this one stays, this one goes, is a moment by moment decision. The impulse is from where? If I let the fish go, did it release me somehow? So if I keep a mess of brookies, then what?
Catch and release is the opposite supposedly, of stringered and dinnered? I worked just as hard to catch the one I let go. The one I keep is more work because I have to fillet it. But it was fun to let it go and that makes no sense. Ah, for a mere moment in time Im the fish king. You live, you die? Thats all good except for the fish that never bites. That fish is never in the realm.
Its all about the fish I catch, the keepers. The victories then defined by what eternal consequences I mete out on a fish by fish basis. So its by the fish, getting the short end of the stick, I hold sway with the trident.
So with all this power I somehow command, I must use due diligence. With one on each shoulder, its an ever pressing test I take, every time I fish. I hope I pass. The trout whisperer