I “landed” in Pennsylvania about a month and a half ago, and its been constant snow and winter until about a week or so ago. And with the weather starting to warm up a few things started to happen: I wore my sandals for the first time since leaving Texas, the ground is getting muddy from all the feet of snowmelt, and I got my first fishing lesson last week.
Now I’ve never been fishing a day in my life, but after being hooked (no pun intended) on the show River Monsters I’ve wanted to. How fun would it be to catch a fish even half or a third the size of those caught by Jeremy Wade as he’s gone around the world with us watching from our couches?
My boyfriend is an avid fisherman and so when I expressed interest in going with him to fish, he was all for it. But we can’t start off just going out and tossing a line in the water, or there might be hooks and bait going where they don’t belong. A casting lesson was in order. Out behind the house into the field we went, with a retired fishing rod spooled with cheap line, a small weight tied to the end.
He showed me how it worked, and I gave it a few throws of my own, some better than others, but I had fun and asked if we could go fishing. He agreed and we returned to Gander Mountain for the second time that day to get me a fishing pole all my own.
I doubt it’s a feminine thing to giggle about, getting a shiny new rod and reel, but I did. As the week went by I was looking forward to our trip and I was actually easily awoken the morning of, even though we were leaving at 5am. It was supposed to be a “mild 55° day” but the winds were harsh and sustained, giving us an edge of cold that found its way into layers of clothing and left us with windburn by the end of the day. It also kept the water cold so none of the fish came out.
Because of that disappointment, my boyfriend found out what local lakes were open for fishing, and we ended up going out to Laurel Lake. It was cold but not windy, and though the panfish we’d hoped for didn’t come out, I did catch my first fish. A little brook trout, slimy lil bugger, but I was so excited by my very first catch.
He was quickly (after a few photos) returned to the safety of his ice water home, and I caught 4 more after him. My boyfriend caught several as well, and he grinned and put up with my constant “I caught a fishy!!!!” which I still find myself giggling over a couple days later.
It appears I have got a new vice, an addiction that got me from the first, and one that my boyfriend will happily indulge with me in. Our next trip is this week, and I now find myself longing for warm weather, not just for my toes to thaw out but for the catfish to come out of hiding, so I can bring one home in the cooler for the next day’s dinner.