My wife asked me earlier today, "Why don't you just
write about one of the nicer catches you have had?"
So, with that spark of inspiration, and a one hour nap,
I dove into my computer. All sorts of episodes fluttered
across my mind. Big fish, a lot of fish, unusual ones,
early fish adventures. Hard to believe I had so many to
choose from. Then another element seemed to niggle its
way into my mind. Did I ever lie about any of the fish
I caught? Okay, make that a fib. You know, add a fish
or two, a few inches, perhaps a few pounds? I'm sure
that I have done it. I don't like the fact, but, we all
do it, right? Is it really, really lying if it's about
I mean, come on, it's just fishing. Well, okay, fly fishing,
but we still do it. Don't we? How about a situation like
this. Let's say that you knew the 'limit' was five fish
a day on a certain lake. Keepers. On this particular day
you only got four. You're back at the parking lot, about
to get back into your car and leave, when another angler
just going out recognizes you.
"Yo! How'd ya do today?"
Now you're trapped. You know what's coming next, he's going
to ask how many you got. You've seen him fish here before
and for sure knows the limit is five fish. You actually
hooked seven, but three got off. Does that somehow make
five? Be ready now, here he comes.
"What'cha use out there? I'm going with a gob of worms as
per usual," he says as he starts sliding around the tail
gate of his truck and ambling in your direction. If you
say you caught five, will he ask to see them? Can you kinda
ease into the car and gentle outta here before he gets much
closer? He stops and leans against the tailgate to put his
So what if you only have four in your cooler? Big deal!
Stupid law anyway. Five? These fish are tough. Hardly
anyone gets five any more. Not like it was back a few
years. You mumble to yourself, "Oh crap, is he coming
over in this direction?"
"I have seen you out here before," he hails. "You always
looked to me like you were really good at this. Ya get
your limit again?"
"Ya," you smile as you swing your backside under your
steering wheel. "Didn't land 'em all today, but I did
You got 'into' five right? Even more, actually seven, just
didn't get them all the way landed. But, you can't let this
guy know you couldn't catch your limit, can you? With that,
you swing the door shut and toss him a small wave. Four/five.
What's the dif?
Still braced against his tail-gate, he raises his right hand,
and with an easy motion says, "Boy, I sure wish I was good
like you. Ya know, I never got more than two outta here at
any one time. These fish are real smart. Well, See ya. Have
a good one!"
You roll up your window part way and head on out. In the
rear-view mirror you watch as he turns and heads to the
water. ~ James Castwell