Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Tomorrow we're taking two of the boys to 4-H camp at a place called Roaring River State Park. Since we're going to be there anyway, we're going to throw our own camping gear in and take a night for ourselves. Roaring River is locally famous for its trout fishing so we're apparently going to fish for trout while we're there. Fishing isn't really my thing, but I can bait a hook and feed the fish.

Several years ago, I asked Gary to take me fishing on my birthday as I hadn't been since I was a kid and it was a novel way to spend the day (Man-oh-Man am I a cheap date or what?). A friend loaned us a couple of poles and recommended a prime fishing spot. We bought some night crawlers, some sandwiches and some soda and set out to catch some perch, crappie, or bass. Something with scales, anyway.

The first lesson of the day? How to impale worms. I felt genuinely bad about it, so bad that I just couldn't make myself do it more than twice. After the first two casts, I lost both worms, but I didn't say anything. Gary was down the bank from me happily watching his line and I didn't want to interfere with his fun. So I settled down and watched a crane picking through the shallows across from me looking for his own fish and as a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher skimmed the surface of the water snatching up some small bug. I had the excuse I needed to just stand still.

I was caught up watching the water ripple under the small breeze and only half noticed when Gary reeled in his line and I didn't think about his sigh.

But I did hear him mutter, "I'm sorry."

I looked over curiously, because, as far I knew, he hadn't done anything to me that he needed to apologize for.

He had laid his pole down and his hook was in his hands. As he put the worm on he muttered something else apologetic and I realized he wasn't talking to me.

He was talking to the worm.

Raising his head from what he was doing, he saw me staring and knew he'd been heard.
Sheepishly, he shrugged.

"It's okay. Me too," I said.

We both braved baiting our hooks one more time and in the same casts we caught two small perch. Frankly, they looked stunted. So we dubbed them, "Darryl" and "My other Brother Darryl" (Heretofore known as D&D) from the Bob Newhart show and threw them back. We also stopped and let our worms go.

A few months later, we went fishing again--this time with power bait--no more live bait for us. We were out there for a couple of hours before we caught two perch who looked mysteriously like D&D. We chuckled and threw them back and caught nothing else for the rest of the day.

Gary took the boys fishing sometime after that, and--you got it--D&D surfaced again.

So fishing at Roaring River, a stream stocked with trout, is an experiment in fate. If D&D appear this time we'll know something greater is afoot and that perhaps we should just stick to feeding the fish as opposed to trying to catch them.

Meanwhile all I want to do, really, is a little light hiking, drink coffee brewed over a campfire, and sleep in a tent snuggled up with my husband. For me this is a great twenty-four hour date.

1 comment:

Dennis Bryant said...

D & D are in luck. The natural food of trout at Roaring River is the Purina trout chow pellet. Whole kernel corn on a tiny little hook works as well as anything I've tried. Roaring River is also the most scenic of the Missouri trout parks in my opinion. You are really going to enjoy it. :-)