Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Luck of the...Minnesotan?

      The six hour difference between Ireland and Minnesota made for a fantastic amount of jet lag last week.  Four in the morning every morning for seven days, I was wide awake in Northern Minnesota.  By seven in the evening I routinely passed out, no matter what I was doing (playing cards, watching a movie, having a conversation…) or where I was (at the table, in a chair, standing on the porch…) or how much coffee I forced into my system (caffeine has finally failed me).  Actually, there was only one good thing about that detestable situation.  I was bright eyed and bushy tailed for every sunrise—the perfect time to sniff out some good fishing.
      Of all the things that I missed about Minnesota, fishing had to be one of the biggest.  The cool air of an early dawn, the placid shoreline shrouded by pockets of mist, the crisp smell of a frigid lake…there is a spectacular tranquility to rhythmically casting your line out and waiting for that small tug.  Just being on the water with some good friends and a quiet morning is more than enough to make me happy.  As the saying goes, “Fishing was good.  Catching was bad.”

      That said, it’s always a bonus to catch a fish (and slightly less humiliating).  Sometimes we save them for a fresh supper, but the majority get to go free (after taking pictures, of course…because the fishing stories tend to be heard with a skeptical ear). It’s especially important to let the big ones go this time of the year, because the bass are full of new little fish.  I’d rather skip the fresh supper than have no luck fishing next year. 

      With fishing opener just passing and the beauty of Minnesota in full bloom (before the hordes of mosquitoes come looking for a snack), the best places were crowded with hopeful fishermen.  It felt good to be back on the water and asking fellow Minnesotans what’s biting.  Even if inquiries to what people are fishing with have vague answers, it always feels good to boast a nice catch.  That morning we caught walleye and small mouth bass (and I snagged a Northern Pike, whose teeth will give any potential swimmer a worried pause) and everything seemed right in the world.  There are many places of beauty in the world, but I can’t but agree that “there’s no place like home.”


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