Outsmarted By Fish


 I set out today to catch some fish for lunch and dinner.  Looking under some stones and boards in the garden I quickly found enough worms for a good day of fishing.  

 I parked at the asylum lake preserve and made my way down the trail to my usual fishing spot.  The muscles in my legs told me they were still mad from the march to Bloomingdale two days ago.  My feet are not sore, nor my calf muscles.  Instead the parts that ache are the muscles surrounding my shins.  The small thin fibers that support my feet and ankles are the most angry for the journey I took this weekend. Walking to the car I looked like a drunk person stumbling around and losing my balance at times because my muscles were fighting to work.  

 On the trail to the lake I came across a man who was busy hunting morel mushrooms.  I have had no luck in the past with this hobby of mushroom hunting.  The lack of mushrooms in his bag told me I was better off fishing.  

 I reached my spot at 10am and put the line out to water.  The last time I went fishing the temperature rose quickly and the day was finished with 19 fish in my bucket.  Today was not such a day.  The wind was blowing a cold wind across the lake.  The water was whipped around and nothing was biting on my line.  Around noon Ben showed up to try and take home a meal.   He had the same results I did.  

 A few minutes later a ghetto fabulous man showed up with two kids.  Pulling a cigar out of his mouth he asked if the fish were biting.  We replied no and he said we must not know what we are doing because he pulled fifty out the day before.  

 Ben and I rolled our eyes and watched him leave five minutes later when nothing bit on his line.  After four hours of fishing and nothing in my bucket I called it quits and went home.  The temperature barley reached 60 degrees and there was a huge difference in how the fish acted. Another lesson learned in the long road to self reliance.  

 I came home to find more of the peas had sprouted in the garden.  The air was cool but the sun was out pouring rays down all day.  The quinoa I planted is about an inch tall now.  I am still harvesting garlic greens and young kale leaves for meals.  The fish I caught last week were buried in the garden in a spot I plan to grow some runner beans.  The fish I found is a great source of fertilizer for the soil.  Last year I threw them in the compost pile.  This year I decided to put them directly into the ground.  

 Last night I made the absolutely awesome mistake of having beers with an old friend. The evening was spent discussing writing and plotting out conquest of the world.  Steve was excited to starting working on his novel again after months of devoting his time to school.  He would be free soon to work on what he really wanted to do.  We dreamed, planned, and replayed lost days in our tales to one another.  The mixture of Oberon, Camarena wine, and Lion’s beer put us in a honest place with ourselves and the world.  Nights like that we could see the world for what it was.  The lucid drunken state put us in a place where we knew where we were and where we would be going.  Nights like those set us back on our mission to conquer our lives and set us back on track for where we wanted to be and who we wanted to be.  Its difficult to describe how two men with fairly low self esteem can bond together and leave an evening feeling like they can take on the world.  The element of surprise is on our side.  In a world that doesn’t put much faith in people like us we know that between our brains, determination, and talent we are not to be underestimated. I left his house feeling on top of the world, I was on the right track for where I should be in this world.  This morning the world was fighting back with a sluggish hangover.  Four glasses of water and two multivitamins later I didn’t feel any better.

 I may not have caught anything while fishing today but I did learn a bit of when it was best to fish for smaller game like Blue Gill and Crappie. Maybe I can schedule when to fish later but for now I have to check the weather and take it one day at a time.  


Matthew Gilman can be contacted on his author Facebook page and found on Twitter.