Fishing Like a Country Song


“Dada, um when we get home… I’m gonna tell Mama that um… I’m gonna tell her we didn’t catch ANY fish,” said the voice in my head. Or near my head anyway. With the squirt slung over my shoulder it can be hard to tell the difference.

Regardless of its origin, I wasn’t sure how to interpret his mention of the evening’s stats. Was it just another charming example of youthful indiscretion? Or was this an early onset symptom of his hereditary tendency to stir the turd? Whichever, the fact that he chose to bring it up while I was carrying him over a snot-slick riffle didn’t speak well of his judgment. I suppose he comes by that honestly enough too.

“That’s if you make it home,” I bluffed.

“Yeah right Dada,” he answered, accompanied by the distinct sound of a four year old’s eye roll.

If he was trying to poke at a wound, he’d hit the mark. The fish and I haven’t exactly been on the same page of late, and it’s really starting to rattle me. In golf they call it the yips. Batters go through slumps. Poker players suffer spells of cold cards. I don’t care what the fishing equivalent is called. All I know is that it feels like my best friend has suddenly stopped taking my calls, and it needs to stop.

“You’re right bud. We should stay and keep fishing,” I said.

“Noooo, Dada I’m cold. And it’s boring with no fish.”

I can see where he’s coming from. The fly shop is teeming with reports of banner days and most of my buddies claim to be killing it. I’m done with the place until this is behind me

Much has been written about the importance of grit and working through setbacks. Near term failure, the theory goes, is a necessary ingredient of greater success down the road. If that’s the case, I should be a world-class trout whisperer any day now. I have my doubts though, and they’re starting to breed.

Do I have bad ju-ju in my pockets? Maybe I’m holding my mouth all wrong. I find myself at a loss and grasping at straws. At this point the kiddo’s opinion feels just about as useful as anything I’ve got on offer.

“Head home you think?” I asked.

“Yeah… We’ll catch ‘em next time Dada.”


“For sure.”

Well, at least one of us has his head on straight.

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