April 13, 2020
Let’s go catch some tiny fish! It had been a long week compiling information to post on-line and Melissa needed to get outside. One of our shared activities since we married ten years ago is to go fishing. While many fisher people brag on the largest catch, Melissa and I like to remember the smallest fish we have caught. I admit, I like to catch big fish. I always try a variety of ways to hook a larger fish while Melissa goes straight for the bobber and worm. It is seldom this proven technique does not pull in at least a few Bluegill. This resulted in me calling her “Queen of the Tiny Fish.” As Melissa reels in fish after fish I usually succumb to the lure of the tiny fish and join her.
Even though it wasn’t stated, I knew exactly where to go fish. We have a small pond in a park not too far away that we fish quite often. We’ve never caught anything other than tiny Bluegill and the occasional catfish. The pond has the added attraction of rarely having anyone else there. This seemed the perfect location to practice social distancing. I even put our masks in the car just in case.
When we pulled into the park, we were the only ones there. We set up our gear and true to form, Melissa caught two Bluegill before I even got my fly rod assembled. I fished a popper until I caught a tree and then switched rods to a spinner with no luck. After Melissa’s fifth catch the lure of the tiny fish sucked me in. I threw out my bobber and caught three fish in quick succession. As the sky darkened and the wind picked up, Melissa’s bobber was yanked violently under the water. She set the hook and excitedly yelled, “It’s too big to hold onto!” She fought the fish for almost a minute before giving me the rod. I brought the fish to shore and stood there amazed. It was the biggest Large-mouth Bass either of us had ever caught. I slid the exhausted fish back into the water and dreamed of catching it another day on my fly rod. Melissa is no longer the “Queen of the Tiny Fish,” now she’s “Queen of the Fish.”
THOUGHTS: I’ve often found our expectations guide our results. I don’t start fishing for tiny fish because I have the hope of catching something bigger. In contrast, Melissa fishes to catch fish and size doesn’t matter. We are strictly catch and release, so maybe her expectation is more appropriate. The same may be said about how we approach life. When we expect to fail in life, we are rarely disappointed. When we hold the expectation, or at least the hope, of achieving great things we can be pleasantly surprised. If it is possible, Stay home. Stay safe.