Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Nothing Lost

Sometimes I just say, "It's enough," and hope that later on there's time for some more. My son, Matt, is back from Boston University, and I had planned on us getting in on the striper fishing "busting wide open," as The Fisherman puts it. I had planned and prepared for us getting a shot at it this morning at Long Branch. I've felt many times that I've done plenty, but as we had turned around and drove CR 514 into Highland Park, I couldn't remember ever having chickened out. Stunts plenty, but abandonments? I still can't remember a single cop-out, but by turning back, I knew my personal commitment to my job is more important than risking it.

I meant to leave promptly at 7 a.m. We left at 8:00, and I knew about rush hour traffic on I-287, but I hadn't remembered how bad it typically is. We got through the two slow stretches; it was the very slow traffic headed back towards Bedminster that gave me the heebie jeebies. Matt found a calculation on this mobile device that indicated return time should be normal, but I just couldn't shake anxiety. What if, despite likelihood, we couldn't get home on time for me to get to work? And fish with that uncertainty on my mind?

We turned around at Raritan Center. I have to be at work by 3:00. This is no casual job I have, which would allow me to just call out. Not without repercussions I do not want to bear.

Point Mountain Trout Conservation Area will work on Saturday. Doesn't depend on a clearly undependable superhighway. As far as stripers go, spending a couple of hours preparing tackle last night refreshed my relationship to these fish. I definitely want to try again sometime, though I really have no idea when this might be. Could be a decade from now, before I catch another. I don't have many decades left to fish, so mostly, I feel the fishing we've done is satisfactory, but if you know me, you understand an obsessive mind may not actually be crazy, but it sure drives a body, as Tom Sawyer would say, towards stunts outdoors, for which maybe most people spend entire lifetimes without ever catching a glimpse of appreciation for what the value means.

Nothing lost this morning.

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