Day off, I got some writing done, and then took our black Lab, Sadie, to the North Branch Raritan River at the exit from AT&T, sort of hoping to add some photos to my river collection, but mostly just following through on my commitment to get away from nonsense we call real life. I didn't stay more than an hour, quickly catching the little longear I photographed on the same Muddler Minnow I've been using it seems forever now.
When I first stepped in the river wearing the Simms wading boots I enjoy not for the name but the result of design and workmanship, it felt cool--like fall--and the weather's shifted to cooler temperatures, well into the 90's late last week...and I had hoped those 90's would remain indefinitely. (Not good for trout, but I love really hot weather.) But the river's really low, and what will happen when October 11th arrives we might all guess--a lot of trout that would have been stocked in rivers like this one, may get shipped to South Jersey ponds. I hope to fly cast at least once or twice for whatever trout remain when I get at them.
Some other longears took the Muddler, and then I saw a smallmouth bass that wouldn't, so I cut off the Muddler and tied on a beadhead earthworm. Nothing seemed to want to take it, until finally a largemouth of about eight inches in clear view whomped the fly. I set the hook, feeling just for a sliver of a second as if the hook might catch before the fish vanished.
I got some photos I'm not displaying that I like, only because they suggest future possibility. (I need to use my tripod well after sundown to get them sharp.) These photographs involved my interest just as I thought I was leaving, and more than anything else today, the effort went deep and sort of flushed out refuse that accumulates working a full time job at a specialty meat counter. It's not good form to complain about jobbing, when more than a few of us are out of work and need it badly, and it's not my intention to complain but to point out--as I try to do in this blog in so many different ways--that work and family and friends are just two of three basic necessities in life. The third is recreation. Whatever form re-creation of your human self takes. Tonight is another example of fishing and photography--dog walking too--merging seamlessly together.
Result? I enjoyed a long, deeply solemn--but solemn like drinking pure mountain spring water from between rocks--moment when hope just welled up from the river I stood in the middle of up to my thighs. Re-creation. Motive to move on. Had I not gone on this little venture, my batteries never would have recharged. Either you move towards some personal goal in life, or you go backward not to childhood, but to the inhuman animal.