So as I said, I went fishing last night at a friend's very nice farm pond. I caught one bass, hooked and lost another just as I was landing him, and had numerous other bites. I ended up getting all my strikes on a slab sided hard plastic medium depth wobbler with rattles inside, using an ancient but in excellent condition Garcia Mitchell 300 and Lew's Speed Stick rod, both from the 70's.
Originally purchased at Gibson's Discount Center in Tyler, Texas by me for the then-whopping sum of $50 total. I've done alot of fishing, fresh and salt water, with this rig, and it's held up great. The old Garcia reels were made in Sweden and are built apparently better than a Mercedes, as it is nearing it's fifth decade of semi-regular usage and is in tip top shape.
Last night was just a great evening. The almost full moon was bright and although we didn't do any more fishing after sundown, we easily could've seen to fish (and seen snakes, if any were about) by the abundant bright light. It was amazing. We turned out all the lights and blew out every torch and candle save for the citronella bug candles and it was quite bright. Bright enough to cast a strong dark shadow on the ground.
It's been a long time since I've been semi-out in the country late at night, with the moon on high, and it was great. It got very cool (and especially for a June evening) around 10 O'Clock, with a light breeze, just enough that I almost needed a jacket to be comfortable.
Our weather is helter skelter. I can recall late nights in June on rare occasion that were this cool (but only a few and it was years ago), but with as messed up as the weather is these days, it just seems as strange as everything else weather wise in the world.
So as I've said, I do really like fishing in farm ponds and creeks/rivers, but again tomorrow I'll be fishing in another friend's farm ponds at their place with Fishing Musician Jr. He'll likely outfish me, and I'll be glad we're lakeside enjoying the day. Late afternoon fishing on a great day is one of those experiences I remember so well from my youth.
My father had no shortage of friends and clients that had fishing ponds on their farms and ranches near and far from Houston, and some of my fondest memories are an evening of fishing at these lakes. Our luck varied, but the great times did not, and I got a chance to be exposed to all kinds of wildlife on these frequent outings.
Growing up, we had a couple of 40 acre places that were once far from town but are now really suburbs and adjacent towns in the urban sprawl that is Harris County. One heading up into east Texas had a huge clear creek and one out west in Cypress had a big lake we were allowed to fish on right next to our land. Lakes Conroe and Houston were equal distances away and it wasn't near the ordeal and hassle to head out north on I-45, US 290 or I-59 as it is now in the late afternoon.
And it wasn't like I ever stopped doing this and I am being nostalgic now that I have kids. No, I've been full on fishing since I was 8 or 9 years old. I started fishing before school and it's just been a part of every phase and aspect of my life. As Cowboy says, I'd fish in a sink of water if it had six inches in it and I thought there might be a fish possibly in there.
I've fished in lots of places and what I have found is that the act of fishing depends not so much on success (although I do enjoy that and it is exiting for me) but on who I'm with. Port Aransas or Galveston, Boliver or South Padre, Lake Fork or the Llano River. I could go on and on. It is not how many fish we caught that I remember about these fishing trips, but the *mis*adventures and hilarity that surrounded it.
Stuck deep deep deep in the sand (I learned sometimes all that having a Ford super powerful 4x4 means is that you can get MORE STUCK in a MORE REMOTE locale than with a regular truck) in the Padre Island National Seashore and hiking out 20 miles starting at midnight.
Out on the jetties at innumerable coastal locations with my law school friend Bobby C. in the afternoons we didn't have class.
Going to this HUGE chain of FIVE COUNT EM FIVE highly differently constructed lakes, all chocked full of bass and none of which had been really much fished in for the past 20 years. It was within hearing distance of the Beltway 8 on the south side of town, maybe about a mile off of the Beltway.
So fishing opportunities abounded for me growing up and even until this current day, and I'm trying to do the same for my kids.
So with a nod of the head to Robert Pirsig, that's the Zen of fishing for me, and I hope Jr. too. It's not the catching of fish, it's the journey. The time spent together.