No, we aren’t off at some exotic place. I’m just staying at home and checking out the various lakes and rivers I like in the Chicago area.
That means I won’t be fishing for anything exotic. No tarpon. No shark. No bonefish.
I’m fishing for such domestic aquatic critters as bass, catfish, bluegill – maybe a walleye or pike.
Of course, it is July. The temperatures are high, the air thick and the fish rather sluggish. (This is what is known as a fisherman managing expectations in advance of a trip to the lake.) Under these conditions it is more than possible to fish all day and catch nothing.
Which brings me to one of the most important things about fishing – at least for me. I enjoy getting out on the water, seeing unusual birds overhead, watching the deer sneak down to the shore for a drink, hearing the frogs, enjoying the nature that doesn’t exist when your fingers are on a keyboard and your ear full of telephone.
Sometimes when I get home (assuming my family wasn’t along for the ride) I’ll get the obvious question: “So…how was the fishing?”
I always say it was great (except for the one time a big rock jumped in front of my boat when I was on the Illinois River, which is a whole different story).
The next question: “So…how many fish did you catch?”
The answer, of course, varies. Sometimes I can say I caught dozens, but sometimes the answer is close to “zero.” (It is a rare outing in which the answer is literally “zero.”)
But if I report that all I caught were a couple bluegills and a little catfish, the family is likely to say: “So…the fishing really wasn’t so good.”
And I make the appropriate correction: “The fishing was wonderful; it was the catching that wasn’t so good.”