Turtles

Turtles

May 11, 2020

Melissa and I traveled to Northwest Arkansas yesterday to attend an appointment that could only be accomplished on Sunday afternoon.  This area is an hour and a half from our house and located in a larger city. The business she visited asked you to pull up outside and phone to let them know you were there.  We were early and sat in the car for a bit before Melissa called and went inside.  Since I had several hours to kill, I decided to fish one of the local lakes.  The lake I choose sounded promising as the description mentioned it had year-round trout.  Did I mention I happened to bring my fly rod?

The short drive through town to the urban lake was bustling with traffic.  It took twenty minutes to get to the lake, but would have been shorter if my GPS had not taken me in a huge circle that veered off to the left and then took me back to my original spot (Does this ever happen to you? )  When I arrived at the park where the lake was located, I was in dismay.  There were 100’s of people out enjoying the day.  I drove through four different parking lots and every space was filled.  I was almost to give up when I saw a single spot on an access road into the park.  I stopped, set up my rod and began the walk to the lake.

The number of people made even this difficult.  I am limited in the places I can fish because I need to account for my back cast.  That ruled out the steep treelined banks around most of the lake.  The spots I could fish were already taken by other fisher people.  As I took the half mile walk along the trail to the dam, I noticed three turtles equally spaced on a log.  It seemed they had a better concept of social distancing than any of the humans I saw.  The water in the spillway was shallow, but I could see fish darting in the water below the bridge that spanned the spillway.  I tossed out my line and immediately got strikes.  They were small.  After my ordeal I knew it would take me awhile to get back to pick up Melissa.  I left happy knowing I caught fish.

THOUGHTS:  I was surprised by the difference between my town and the city we went to for Melissa’s appointment.   Few wore masks and even less kept distanced.  The trail I took had a line down the middle and as I approached another group, I would step off the trial and let them pass.  Another difference was the lack of greeting along the trail.  Most either talked with themselves or ignored me as I walked by.  There were two notable exceptions.  On my way to the spillway I passed a man carrying a bucket and a pole.  I asked if he had any luck and he showed me the crappie he had caught.  Then on my way back another family group with poles asked if I had any luck and I assured them I had.  It seems even though the times have changed, and way of life may be different, people who fish are still bound together.  I hope you can say this about your groupings as well.  If it is possible, Stay home. Stay safe.

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