July 25, 2020
The first trip outside the house for my son Alex occurred when he was two weeks old. We bundled him up and put him in his car seat and took off to one of our favorite fishing spots, Willard Bay. The seat also served as a carrier, so we did not need to rouse him to carry him down to the water. Alex was bundled up and doing fine as we began a stint of night fishing. As is normal, he eventually wet his diaper and we had to change him. When we unbundled him he began to cry unmercifully. Did I mention he was born in early January? As Alex got older, he would jump and shout each time we caught a “bish.” This welcome to the Great Outdoors has carried on to the love he shares with his own family.
Frankly, I am not sure why this was one of our favorite spots. We rarely caught fish. I think it had to do with familiarity. Utah mostly meant a different type of fishing and fish than I was used to in Kansas. Willard Bay had catfish and I could use the cat poles I had invested in prior to moving. I have moved from Kansas to Utah, from Utah to California, from California back to Kansas, and now from Kansas to Arkansas. Each move meant I needed to relearn how to fish.
I finally got to fish the low water bridge south of town where I work This has always looked promising and Sunday, I stopped to check the water level. The water was down but still deep around the bridge. The water was clear, and I could see dozens of fish hanging on the bottom in about eight feet of water. I came back a couple of days later and threw out my line. I tried flies, worms on bobbers, artificial lures, salmon eggs, plastics, and finally stink bait. While I did get a few strikes on my flies, I caught no fish. I have always said, if you can see them, they can see you. There is nothing more frustrating than being able to see what you want and not being able to get it.
THOUGHTS: Each move I made meant new states, but also different ecozones. The basics of fishing remain the same, but the habits of the different types of fish adapt to varying climes. I read the only difference in species of Trout depends on their habitat, what they eat and where they live. The same can be said about humans. Our differences derive from our native habitats. Globalization has brought the world closer than ever before. Our difference should be recognized and celebrated rather than downplayed or ignored. Differences are what make each of us unique. We need to live together celebrating our differences rather than using them for division. It is frustrating to see what you want and be unable to get it. Change is coming and it starts with you.