Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fish Break

I'm buried in work right now.  Buried.  I'm working long days, sometimes 7 days a week trying to keep up.  I'm not complaining, I need the money.  It does tend to put a cramp on blogging and fishing.  And writing.  Writing takes time, takes thought, energy.  When I have the details of three jobs swirling through my brain, not much in a creative way gets processed.  When I'm this tired creativity shrivels on the vine.  It's not writers block, it's just a lack of mental energy- it's all been spent elsewhere.

Today I've determined that no matter what, I'll take my lunch on the water somewhere.  All my work is on or near water.  Today lunch found me in Walloon, on lovely Walloon Lake.  Walloon Lake is a bastion of old-style up north summer cottages.  Hemingway had a cottage there.  They say Michael Moore does.  I've heard Jeff Daniels does too, but who knows?  Walloon Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in Michigan, period- from a main body sprawls radiating arms, its crystal clear waters run about 100 feet deep.  It hosts good populations of trout and smallmouth bass.  I grabbed two slices of pizza at the general store, scarfed them down, donned my waders, grabbed my 8 weight and flies and waded out at the public beach.  While doing this I finalized another customer appointment for 4 pm. This gave me 45 minutes before I had to leave.
I waded out, facing into a stiff north wind.  The wind made casting tough, but it also tends to drive fish to the windward shore, cruising for food churned up in the chop.  I waded across fine yellow sand to the edge of the color break, stripped out fifty feet of line, started my double haul and watched the wind pile my line 20 feet left of my aim.  Strip, strip, strip then cast again, harder this time, eyeing the ruffle pattern on the surface, trying to time my forward cast between the gusts- still 10 feet of line left on the water when I cast.  Strip, strip....strip, strip, strip...strip, strip.  Cast again.  Still 10 feet left.  This wind is killing me.  I count to 15 this time, willing my fly to the bottom.  Short strips, 3 inches at time, strip, strip, strip.... strip, strip... the line comes tight, arcing through the water as I strip set.  There's a substantial, angry weight on the other end of the line.  I've worked hard already today, gotten a lot done.  I have two other jobs that need attention, and more to bid.  But at this moment, the only thing on my mind is 3 1/2 pounds of angry smallmouth.  We tussle it out for several minutes before she comes in, fat bellied and ready to spawn.  I love this time of year- the fish have come up shallow and can be caught on a bright sunny day like today, right on the public beach.  I take a couple of photos and send her back.  Ten casts later I catch another, slightly smaller, just as fun.  In water this clear these fish are beautiful, their blazing orange-red eyes stark against pale bronze.  I love these fish.  I'll be back.  This is why I live here- you can take a fishing break.  I make my way back to my truck, one leg damp from the seeping leak that has developed.  Oh well, it should dry enough by the time I make my way north and meet with my next customer.


  1. Glad you got a little break from reality and slung some bugs...those smallies are some fun fish to wrangle!

  2. super sweet- it's 12:30 am, just got home from work and I want to go out and wet a line. You INspire, thank you.
    Tight Lines,

  3. My kind of lunch! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Awesome. I'm jealous. My current line of work is far from the water, and I still haven't hooked up with a decent Smallie yet this year.
    I see that Flextec rod in the pic... the very same one we have. I assume that's not the one you broke.

  5. Your priorities are all in proper alignment. Glad you got some fish time in to energize the creative juices- now, get back to work damnit! Great read as always. Thanks.

  6. Pizza and smallmouth. Now that sounds like a great lunch to me. 45 minutes of stress relief for free. Cant beat that. Tight Lines.