We’ve been throwing lines into the Annisquam River to fish. From the beach or the 12x15 dock, there is a lot of ducking, casting, and reeling. Plus mid-air swinging of lead hooks. And plunked down rods when “I’ve-got-to-jump-in-now!” hits. Leaving baited hooks and bare feet and a griping mother on the dock. And giggles and swimmers in the water. For the perfectionists in our house, fishing is a test of patience. Like golf, it’s not a matter of simply swinging a club or casting a line and getting the ball in the hole or a fish on the hook. Both are games of variables. Of problem-solving. Of remaining calm when the perfect cast doesn’t land 10 yards in front of you in the middle of the river channel, but 20 yards to the right of you. Over three people and a walkway to the dock next to you. And anchors on the seaweed-covered lines holding that dock in place. The look of horror brought to the face of a perfectionist in this event… predictable.
Then the diagnosis of the problem. First, good job not hooking any of the three people. Now, gently reel in the line following it as you go. Yank, yank, yank at the scene of the stuck bobber, weight, and hook. And… we yanked in the direction that pulled that tooth even deeper into the line. Looks like we need to cut the fishing line. But it’s the hand-chosen neon yellow bobber!
What next? I could jump in and get it. But I don’t have trunks and the water is pretty cold. Hey, I could cut the line and wait for the tide to go out… then get my bobber! Yes! And, in the meantime you get to learn how to string your own fishing line.
And we haven’t even gotten to bait type or to depth of bait in the water, never mind the true want of catching a fish. Every seasoned fisherman and woman creates one solely designed path for a particular spot or fish species. The trick is weaving the path through trial and err, not as the crow flies. Not as the perfectionists will it.