Argo Pond Ruminations 1999
Most people probably don’t think of their lives as part of some sort of story. I think that the reason is that most people don’t feel that extraordinary things happen around them or that notable things happen to them. This is sad, since everything around us is really quite extraordinary. Some of this lack of wonder probably results from the attempts of science to explain everything. To many people, knowing that the rain and the rising sun are natural phenomenon that can be explained has taken all of the mystery and magic out of these everyday occurrences. It may sound a bit self-centered, but to me my life is an amazing story, full of wonderful things and marvelous mysteries. None of this is dulled by my knowing the science behind these things or by the fact that this is the same world that everyone lives in. I just feel that no one will ever live as I have lived or really know what I know or ever experience what I have experienced. So, I try to tell everyone about what I see and feel and to encourage everyone to look around them and watch what happens. I think it is this evangelical nature of mine that makes me want to write stories.
The magic and mystery of my life became clear just last night while I was fishing. I fish a lot and the places I fish are not that special. But last night everything seemed special. I had skipped dinner to spend some time fishing at Argo Pond on the Huron River. There were a few other canoes from the city livery and a inflatable boat, but it was quiet and uncrowded. The colors were just beginning to change on the trees and the colors seemed especially bold in the light of the setting sun. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the sunlight gradually was changing orange as the sun sank lower and lower. The glare on the water was blinding, even with sunglasses.
I was fishing my way upstream from the boat launch in my little canoe, rotating from my fly rod, a light-weight spinning rod with a Meps spinner and another casting rod rigged with a small Rapala minnow lure. It was a little too windy for the fly rod, but I really wanted to try the wooly bug fly that I had. It should be able to attract bass. I certainly was catching fish, but they were all very small. This did not trouble me, since it was a beautiful night to be on the water. My canoe slid through the water so smooth and I could dip my paddle carefully as not to make a splash. I worked my way very slowly along the large weed beds on the shallower West side of the river, where the sun was shaded by the trees. I was taking my time, and it took a couple of hours. I even caught a smallmouth bass with my fly rod. This is always a special treat to get a lively fish, even a small one like this, on a light-weight setup like my fly rod.
But, as I often do when I’m quietly by myself for hours, like when I’m fishing, I got to reflecting on the summer. I was mesmerized by the fall colors and the setting sun playing on the sky. I knew it was time to paddle back to the boat launch, but I was lingering on the water, looking for a sign that it was over for the night.
The sign came rather abruptly and definitively. A large pike cruised out of the weeds, snapped at my lure, and with a clean, effortless twist of his head, snipped off my 8 pound line and drifted back into the weeds.
I was in shock for a few seconds. Those lures were expensive, and now it was gone. The sun was setting. It was time to go in. Which I did.