Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Lake MI day four

The undeniable fact of life is that you keep getting older. Time wears away at us slowly, but the effects of that wear jump out at you faster than expected. One day your back hurts when you get out of bed...all on it's own. One day you see the opening and go for the drive but can't get there and turn the ball over. One day you groan audibly when you bend over to unlace your wading boots...where did that come from? Looking back, while it seemed like the pace of life had suddenly caught up to us, we had slowed quite a bit over the years. Don't get me wrong...four days is the perfect amount for a fishing trip...three is too short and five makes us miss our families to the point of not enjoying the fishing, but the length of each individual day and the type of day has gradually gotten easier over the years. We still forget the simple things, like eating, or carrying water, but now we will actually stop to grab something when driving from spot to spot. And while we still basically fish all the available hours...we do it a lot slower and a lot more relaxed.

Are we older? Wiser? Or simply in worse shape.

Regardless, day four dawned on two old, wise, and out of shape fisherman. We were cruising through a small town, enjoying our coffee and thinking ahead to the flat we planned to fish when Wendy pointed out that we were literally driving by tailing carp. We pulled over as the harbor town awoke, geared up to some strange looks from the dog walkers and vacationers, walked into the bay (in plain and loving sight of some gear fisherman) and promptly caught some carp.

It was that simple. A nice family took some photos for us, you can see their shadows. We wandered around the flat, answering questions while peppering carp with casts and landing fish. It was all insanely relaxed...and simple. Carp fishing for the civilized.

We ended the day and the trip where we started...casting for smallies back at the day one spot. We didn't fish long, just one relatively quick and dirty walk through the area. We were nearly out of flies, down to some pretty hefty tippet and both of us were thinking of our kids and wives (wiser). The fish were there still, and we caught them. Pretty simple really.

It was quite a drive back to our families, but Wendy and I have known each other a long time and the hours tend to move quickly amongst friends. We had a lot to reminisce about, and recounted take after take and fish after fish, but mostly we spoke of families and life. Fishing trips are about so much more than fishing, a fact we are both acutely aware of but make no effort to acknowledge. Sometimes it is best to just be, and just do, and let things settle. Lake MI 2.0 was the perfect mix of this for us. We crested at an impossible high and slowly came down and unwound on day four...and speaking for myself I got what I needed from this trip, just don't ask me to define what that was.

Thanks again to Wendy for sticking with me all these years and making these crazy adventures so memorable. Couldn't ask for a better guy to fish with. Most of all though, thanks to our families...giving up so much time for something you don't fully understand is an amazing thing to do, and I can't thank you enough.

So how do we top this one Wendy?


christopher said...

John, Nice article in the most recent issue of CarpPro.
You'll be famous before you know it (move over Dave Whitlock): )


Bigerrfish said...

Great photos! great post... yu da carp mast'a...

Wendy Berrell said...

The morning in the harbor was highly memorable. Accidental perfection really. We walked in there an methodically caught every carp we cast to, until the figured out something was up and moved out to deeper water. It was kind of comical really, with the amphitheater setting, onlookers, etc. And calling the guarantees. Like that black fish in the pic: it was swimming alone from right to left in front of us and it was 100% caught before I even cast at it. A "modest" 15 lb fish, BTW.

These trips are important and they provide a solid fabric for this carping adventure. Without these chapters/campaigns we'd have just some scraps to piece together (speaking for myself anyway, positioned here in "MN carping mediocrity"). So thanks again and let's keep it up, even as our bodies wind down and our gear wears out.

John Montana said...

We have a good tradition going at this point man. Need to hang onto it and avoid any misses...one turns into two etc. Plus, it won't be long before our kids will be along for the ride.