Thursday, September 13, 2012

Anticipation Fulfilled

For what can seem like eternity, excitement builds when the leaves change color and begin to fall. The summer dry will soon be moved out by cold air and wet weather. It is the adult angler version of what I felt like during those days that led up to Christmas morning. I would check the tree every day before going to school. No presents. I would come home and run through the front door. No presents. School would be done for the year and that was the signal that the big day was near. Decorations around the house and prepping for the big feast meant the smell of baked goods would fill every room.

It’s the fourth quarter and we are up by 10. They have the ball on their 20. Several plays later the 2 min warning reveals a possible win is about to result. The coaches make changes and delay the play as much as they can, trying to slow the momentum down. A slippery bootleg and we find ourselves faced with an onside kick leading by only 3 with plenty of time to be humbled. I sat the bench for kick off. Fine with me. Less pressure to mess things up but at the same time, it was my graduating year. There would be no more post-secondary football. Still I sat with intensity waiting for the final whistle.

For myself and Brad, the anticipation was finally over. At the last moment, I booked the day off and dusted off the gear. Everything was pretty much how I left it this past spring. There is something to be said about being already rigged up that makes things so much easier. Chasing salmon as they enter the tributaries is not the most regal experience of the great outdoors one will have. With what is left these days, getting to the “wilderness” meant testing your patience as you fight through traffic and automotive gridlocks. Similarities the salmon face. Ironic somewhat.  Arriving to the river, we surveyed the best route and place to make the first drift. It took a bit of adjusting as I eventually hooked  up with an angry king. It had already crushed my present and was now determined to rip my hands and fingers apart burning up and down the pool. Every so often it would come out and flip me the fin. I would have respectfully exchanged greetings and released him had it not been for an oblivious bloke that drew his float and hook over mine and ripped my line so hard that my gear came back to my feet in a blink. Urban fishing 101.

The day was filled with joy and laughter. Exchanges of words, hooks, floats kept things from going stale. It was a circus of events. Guys coming and going. Towards the end, we had played till our hearts were content. Exhausted by the day and the lead up the night before, we dragged our soreness up the path. The excitement still lingered as we shared the day on the ride home. It’s the beginning. The beginning of what is hopefully, another stellar year chasing migratories.