If you want to catch a lot of fish, you have to do a lot of fishing. Just like anything in life, right? To be good, you have to work at it.
If I had to survive on my fishing skills, I’d be a vegetarian. If I wanted a slice of protein, I’d get in line behind the buzzards.
I’m that good…
But I love fishing days. Not sure I love the getting up at 4:00 AM part. But once I’ve been placated by a White Chocolate Mocha at the local drive-in kiosk, I’m good to go.
It was early when we arrived at Lake Rapjohn. It’s a small lake not too far from us (16 minutes and one coffee kiosk away, to be exact.) No motor boats allowed, so it’s nice and quiet there. We took our canoe.
At different times of day, different things happen. The swallows were very active at dawn, dive-bombing insects. Hundreds of them, russet bellies flashing in the light as they swirled and spun their feeding ballet across the sky.
The fish were active.
And then they weren’t .
And what we thought were fish rising to the surface were actually red bellied salamandars, or newts, or if you’ve a scientific bent—they’re called Taricha. And they’re toxic. Don’t eat them. You could die. Wash your hands after you handle them. Don’t handle them if you have a cut. These are facts I did not know. You can read all about them on Wikipedia. Here’s the link. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taricha Good news! They’re less toxic in Canada.
The lake was low. It’s been so frickin’ hot here, little Rapjohn is being sucked into the atmosphere to be dumped someplace else. The lily pads were curled and they crunched like fall leaves when our canoe went over them.
The lake water was warm, positively balmy. But teaming with life in it’s primordial ooziness.
I saw a walking stick bug. I thought it was one, but it could have been another insect in one of its larvae stages or whatever. This particular “whatever it was” was swimming in the water. I fished it out with my fishing rod to take a closer look at it. Usually bugs fished out of a lake are grateful, cling to whatever you used to perform said rescue, dry out and fly away. This guy either lived in water or was determined to end its life by drowning. It dove back into the water. I kid you not. I would have given it an 8.5. for form and grace.
The shallow part of the lake was the kiddy pool for the small fry. Lots and lots of baby fish of different sizes, who schooled together to look like bigger fish. And cute little frogs.
A bald eagle kept us company. A very vocal fellow. I couldn’t get a clear picture of him. (I had my iPhone in a baggie for protection. Nice soft focus. Should have taken some selfies.) An osprey was also fishing. No picture. Too high up for little baggie-encased phone.
I didn’t get a picture of the otter, either. We surprised each other. He was swimming around, fishing no doubt, among the crispy lily pads and popped up about four feet from our canoe. If I hadn’t have gasped, he would have stayed around longer. As it was, he dove again. Popped up some fifteen feet away trying to catch our scent. Reminded me of a startled horse. Only it was an otter in water. So it really doesn’t look like a horse at all. It was the way it behaved, all nostrils flaring and snorting.
So there you have it. Our day on the lake.
I thought it was perfect.
We don’t talk about the ones that got away.
I leave you with a photo of our new fishing friends.
These two old gentlemen were lots of fun to talk with and then watch load up in their little eight foot boat-lette. How do I know it was eight feet? One of the men measured it. They had their hearts set on catching a catfish for dinner.
We’ll never know if they achieved their goal.
I’m leaving Tuesday for NYC and the Romance Writers of America conference. My first Nationals (as they say in the biz.) It will be interesting to be in a convention center chockfull of romantical-type women. If I have time, I’ll send some blogs, fill you in on what it’s like.
Have a great week, peeps!