Jeez, it’s been a while. Sorry for that. I’ve been sorta busy though, what with selling every pretty young feather I own for prices that would make Lawrence Taylor puke (that is if feathers were under-aged hookers). Hey, if silly people are drinking the cool-aide, I’ll happily serve it to them.
Which brings me to an interesting observation: One of my fly-tying mentors once said to me that I would end up spending far more dollars outfitting myself with the accoutrements and sundries of fly tying than if I just purchased flies from the bin at my local fly shop which, he correctly cautioned, wouldn’t be nearly as satisfying. Well, I must say I was beginning to accept that truism until the feather hair extension tsunami came ashore. Now I can happily say, along with thousands of other eyes-are-bigger-than-your-fly-tying-ability, underachieving hair spinners, “Ha! In Your Face!”
Anyway, the other reason for not writing is… uh, well, I’ve been fishing. So for your amusement I will now attempt to be both interesting and entertaining as I arrogantly try to throw down a piscatorial post, regurgitating to the starving-of-late Perfect Fish loyal followers the last few months or so-th of fishing.
About the time Hydra and Leo minor appeared in the night sky, crocuses and skunk cabbage long since freed of the frozen earth, my blood began its irrepressible boil, to which I am merely a puppet with a fly pole wandering aimlessly along spongy sod banks, cobbled streams, bouncing down macadam paths loaded with bugs and paddle and car topped canoe looking for a fight.
Every other weirdo with a long rod is traveling along the same wavelength and so we begin bumping into the same folks with whom we shared laughs and beers and utterly untrue fish stories when last the weather was pleasant, only now to discover that we are shells of our former selves and look upon one another with suspicion and not a little bit of loathing. Like the late-night Striper Brother Triumvirate (clearly, not brothers. No brothers I know spend as much time together as these three whackos) comprised of Shit Talker with his shit talk and musings on tide and fish movement, and Rusty Stoeger who, while clearly not a contractor, nonetheless drives an sparkling F-350 with a back-rack and not a dent or wood chip in the bed-liner, and finally Para Cardia, his belly spilling into his stripping basket and clutching a beer cradled in a polyurethane zipper pouch sporting a plastisol rendering of a naked woman with impossibly generous breasts, a glistening inch of greasy cigar stuck to his lips which, when he smiles, peel back to reveal graying dentition tumbling in various directions like headstones in a colonial cemetery. All three are camped out any warm spring night, on the one jetty in the known universe where striped bass are likely to show, casting and joking and awkwardly striking up conversation with intention to discover whether I am catching fish and where I am doing it, looking disapprovingly at my rig while I attempt to ignore them and fish alone which is what I really want to do but realize they are correct in their assumption that this is the place where the first convenient-to-cast-to Connecticut striped bass will show up. And, eventually they do. All is right with the world and I think I actually kinda like the Striper Brothers.
So, by now, I’ve melted into the darkness of my fishing life which is a nocturnal existence severed from that other life in which lives my family, non-fishing fiends, spin fishing friends, work, blogging, and readers of blogs. The gentlemanly pursuits of trout and bass do present themselves and when possible I slip away to enjoy a day of flailing about with my trouty, bassy, carpy, or pike-y brothers, but the striped bass still swims in the back of my mind and I wonder if my day-time on the water stalking trout or other lower fish forms is stripping away what goodwill remains in my wife’s heart. In other words, when she observes me — after I’ve cooked dinner and made a few feeble goodwill gestures like vacuuming, folding laundry or weeding — strapping my canoe to the car, I wonder not if I will get any later (it is a foregone conclusion that I will not, in fact) but will she speak to me for the next week. And while I do love the transformative company of stream-born Latin monoglots who look down upon or even reproachfully “correct” me for my use of the improper noun blue winged olive, I wonder if it is worth it to neglect my commitment to the venerable striped bass. I think it is, because any fishing adventure has its inherent opportunities for learning but, I am not positive.
Fishing and the problems it causes in the other compartments in my life, I like to fool myself, is – character building. I’m not the most organized person but I strive to be. But I like the free form style of living that only a few people have achieved so I instinctively recoil from plans, which is not good if you fish and have human relationships with other humans who may… depend on you. Clearly I need to work on compartmentalizing because my compartments, I think it’s clear, are poorly constructed: they leak, and have cracks and are of generally faulty design. So That is what I’ve been doing: giving everything its appropriate compartment and unfortunately this blog got more of a shoebox than an actual compartment. Like while I’ve been writing what you’re reading I’ve been smiling over the screen at my wife who thinks I’m catching up on work, making paper hats for my four year old and her stuffed animals, and thinking about moon and tide and if stripers are eating somewhere, and when the first hard tails will show up within casting distance of shore. I think it shows.
So tonight, as I drive through the coastal neighborhoods of southern Connecticut, I’ll leave behind the adenoidal drone of frosted air conditioning units, DVRs dvr-ing, gadgets, bluetooths and streaming video and into quiet waters, you’ll be reading this nifty self-conscious post which I will have tucked away into its little box with the knowledge that it is completely disjointed, theme-less and, in some ways, masturbatory.
Oh! Here’s a picture. I didn’t take it and that’s not me with the fish, but I know both the photographer and the angler and these are my waters.