Thank to Bill Wooten we have this great picture of Bob Nolke with one gorgeous 12 lb rainbow trout caught on Lake Tanneycomo in Missouri recently. Fish was 29 1/2″ long and had an 18″ girth and was caught on a 4 wt. fly rod with a 6X tippet and grey scud. Well done, Bob!
Even at my advanced age I learned something about fishing last week that I want to share.
It’s been a cold, dreary winter here in Southern Indiana with way too much rain, ice, snow, sleet, and gray days. Not unexpected, but by March we’re tired of it. Ready for Spring and some time on the water. But as yet that’s not to be given the weather.
Some of us (that would be Dixie and me) finally say “enough is enough” and migrate to warmer climates for some relief. That’s exactly what we did last week. We had received a call from one of our very best friends asking us to join him and his wife on Longboat Key, Florida in a condo they were renting for a few weeks. No strings, no cost for that matter, just be sure to bring some fishing rods, reels, and gear for all of us. An offer that both Dixie and I found impossible to refuse.
It’s about 950 miles from our house to Longboat Key, so it’s a 2 day journey for senior citizens like Dixie and me. Since we had a wedding Friday night, Saturday morning was set as our departure time. We loaded up the station wagon (does anyone call them that anymore?) with fishing gear and our luggage, said goodbye to our golden retrievers, and headed for Florida and some saltwater fishing on the beach.
After a great stay in Tifton, Georgia Saturday night we arrived late Sunday afternoon and unloaded the car and all the gear, ready for some serious fishing Monday. I had fished with my buddy on several occasions and knew that Jim was not really what would be described as a “serious” fisherman. I suppose that was obvious since Jimmy didn’t really own any fishing gear. But he did know how to fish and in my mind that was all that was important.
You would think that Florida in March would be a sure bet as far as warm weather, sunny days, and tropical breezes are concerned. At least as far south as Sarasota. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case last week. When we arrived it was barely 50 degrees. But ever optimistic we just knew that Monday would be a better day.
Monday morning arrived with a sunny glow. The coffee and bagels were welcome as we got ready for a day of surf fishing. I rigged up a G. Loomis IMX surf rod (an awesome tool) with a Shimano spinning reel and some Power Pro braid. Jim chose a Shimano saltwater spinning rod, Shimano spinning reel, and Power Pro braid. We decided we would throw some artificials first and then if that didn’t produce we would switch to cut bait or live bait.
As soon as we headed down to the beach and began fishing I could sense Jimmy’s enthusiasm. What was so remarkable was the fact that here was a guy who really wasn’t a fisherman but still had the enthusiasm of one of my grandkids when it was time to start tossing the lines out. Jim’s smile and the twinkle in his eyes said so much that it would be hard to miss just how much he was enjoying our morning.
That enthusiasm, that excitement on Jim’s part started me thinking about just how special fishing really was. It’s not just about catching so we can have a fine meal, but rather how fishing gives us the opportunity to put our worries and the structure of our daily lives aside. Fishing has been called a diversion, but in my mind it’s a lot more than that. Fishing is really an escape. A way we can enjoy the outdoors, natural sounds, fresh air, the sun on our faces, and nature unabridged.
As we cast into the surf Jim’s concentration was obvious. As was his happiness. No cares, no worries. Nothing but the mechanics of throwing a lure as far as he could into the surf, hoping that he would feel a tug that would lead to instant excitement and (hopefully) dinner for four.
This freedom, this release from the everyday world, I had never really given much thought to in the past. But watching Jim, who really wasn’t a fisherman, relish the experience just struck me as one of the core reasons why anyone should go fishing. We are carried off to another dimension. One that is free of worry and tension. One that allows us to escape whatever concerns are parked in the back of our brain. And best of all, there’s no hangover, no side effects, no apologies.
Yea, I learned a lot that morning watching Jim. He’s one of my best friends and I suspect he hasn’t a clue just how much I enjoyed his company, or how much he taught me about fishing.
This issue we’re got a heck of a deal on selected 2012 Shimano Cumara rods at 40% off. These are great rods and worth a serious look. Be sure to take a look below as supplies are very, very limited.
We’ve extended our Higher Trade-In values Annual Trade-A-Thon by a week, so act as soon as you can to get higher values for your used rods and reels and upgrade to some great, state-of-the-art gear. Details are below.
The highly anticipated 2013 Shimano Stella Saltwater SW Spinning Reels are arriving and supplies are very limited. We have some of these In Stock. Details are below. Take a look!
We have some Sunline giveaways that we are sure you will want to know about. It’s Spring and time to re-line. Get something extra along with the world’s best line. See below.
Finally, remember that we now offer FREE SHIPPING on ALL USA orders and will ship free on any International Order over $500 USD. See our web site for complete details.
We again want to thank all of you for your friendship and patronage and patience while we work out the “kinks” in our new web site.