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Fighting fortitude of fish

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POSTED January 13, 2010 2:53 a.m.
Most resolutions are stupid, especially ones that fish make about not biting the Montana Special.

I’m not overly worried, because it was only the ninth day of the year when I put my new fishing license to use. By the way, I understand the reason we don’t need Delta Bay stamps is because there was a problem with how the money was, or was not, used, so, I should expect my refund check when?

Back to fishing.

My alarm was set for my usual-week wake-up at 5:58, but I was up before that brewing coffee for the trip. Not that teaching isn’t cool, but my internal fishing alarm makes sleeping in almost impossible.

And I had normal dreams too. Well, relatively normal for me.
I was back home fishing with my brother, only we were catching bass rather than salmon. Close enough.

It was damp and chilly when I arrived at the river, and nothing stirred aside from the creatures in their morning rush to have fun before humans ruined everything.

I rigged up, then waded to the rocky bar that rose from the middle of the river to sit and wait for Nate to arrive. I thought and sipped coffee from my thermos that’s been battered by rocks lining rivers in three states and two countries.

To my left was the spine of a salmon, possibly the one Nate and I saw a few months earlier, but probably not. Its jaw was a good 15 feet away on my right. It’s not really sad; what better way to spend eternity than on a river?

Of course, this led to metaphysical and spiritual questions regarding space and nature, God’s dominion over nature and space, and what happens after spawning season.
 
Do all fish go to heaven? If so, do I get to catch them?

About that time I heard the unmistakable noise of a 6-foot-6 dude in waders plowing downstream.

“Our old buddy is over there.”
He looked around, and, seeing nothing but rocks, trees and a river, possibly wondered if I had hit my head.

Another problem with early morning contemplation, aside from the lack of answers, is that if someone shows up late and you don’t catch them up, it can be confusing.

“Over there, the salmon, our buddy. What’s left?”

“I should bring it home and make Brad cook it.”

I laughed.

We left the bar and ambled parallel to the river until we reached the last spot we fished before the river closed. I was sure I’d have a fish in minutes. I started a little up the bank from the hot spot to test some of the faster water. It was far too low, so I started down to the rock that shelters tired water from the current and simultaneously provides trout with a great spot to bite things that look like food.

Before I could get to my perch, however, my waders lost their grip on the slick submerged rocks and gravity took over. I crumbled knees first until my shin stopped my downward motion, bruising a rock, and leaving me laughing to cope with the pain.

I was owed fish now after enduring a blow to my tibia that made my marrow ache, but no, nothing was there. Or there were trout there, but had promised to eat better.  

Fortunately most resolutions fail, I’m sure the same goes for fish and I will be back this weekend.

To contact Jeff Lund, e-mail aklund21@gmail.com.

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