Well, Mother Nature certainly has been bouncing through a few schizoid moods lately.
One week she came in styling, all gussied up in a fleecy-clouds frock sequined with sunshine crystals and shooed away the dawdling fog banks loitering in our somnolent bay. Her gentle ministrations gifted us with pellucid vistas and placid seas making us wish that she would drop by sporting the same temperament more often. Why? Because things can get downright hairy when she’s in a wicked snit.
Case in point. After the week of bright rays and a significant upsurge in sunblock sales, the skies darkened with a burdensome mantle of clouds laden with a dogged typhoon’s remnant rains that dumped a major load of primo wet agitated by gnarly winds.
To make things worse, because of a weak run of kings early in June, the angling doors slammed shut on the Anchor, Deep and Ninilchik streams tighter than a nudist’s keister glissading down a snow chute. Suddenly, shore fishing turned into an activity featuring meandering around in search of alternative sites to practice despondency casting or take a significant nap,
Then a promising spot of news popped up. The action at the Homer Spit’s infamous fishing hole had started a slow roll with a fair number of blackmouths sliding into the lagoon on the rising tides. That was a dramatic change from the earlier days where things had been so slow that one could have done better fishing in a warm vat of flat beer.
Unfortunately, after the initial excitement, the lagoon’s run began to sputter with less pulses of fin-bearing hope skulking into the pond resulting in sporadic action at best.
The feeble return has been a profound blow to those of us who enjoy serious jawing time at the water’s edge while soaking a bait. It’s just downright righteous to occasionally chill onshore and nail a king or two while trading piscatorian lies and criticizing each other’s angling techniques.
Bobber purists, such as ourselves, abhor the thought of traumatizing our karma by making any physical movements such as repeatedly casting lures into the water that may minutely ripple the serenity of the pond and resemble anything close to work.
Besides, when your options are limited, Huckleberry Finn style fishing is the only thing that comes close to complete relaxation without being pronounced dead.
Don’t get me wrong, bobber dudes can get animated when the need arises. If a fish hits, we hit back. That’s if, of course, someone notices that our float has gone under and bellows that we might want to pick up our pole.
We have one particular buddy who insists that the salmon partially digests the bait before he considers it a valid strike. Only then, will he actually stand up to see if, hopefully, it was someone else’s bobber that just shot out of sight like it was snagged on the tail of a demented seal.
He knows that things dramatically amp up when one of us solidly hooks into a wannabee spawner because it had better end up in the cooler.
Ancient lepers received a higher level of regard than the-guy-who-loses-one, in our group. Your closest buds will not only harass you the rest of the day, but for weeks. Come to think of it, I still have some regulars commenting on my ineptness from the ‘95’ and ‘96’ seasons.
Let’s not forget basic etiquette. One must never continue to take up space on the water’s surface if the person adjacent to you is fighting a fish bigger than his lure. I inadvertently made that fatal error when Willie hooked up with a semi-respectable king last week. At first, the beast remained close to shore and W self-assuredly announced that he would land it quickly. I just stood there in shock, because I hadn’t seen the man tie into anything but a highly incensed Irish Lord for days.
Suddenly, his action came roaring into my set up that, in turn, went streaking across the lagoon entangled with W’s first big fish of the season. His line snapped, mine held on for a moment, and then the fish was on its own. I figured it would have weighed in at around12 pounds. W, of course, figured it was well over 25.
My ex brother-in-law, who lives in Washington and half the lower Kenai knew about my transgression before I walked through our cabin’s door. I’d probably be a star on YouTube’s Hall of Shame if Willie knew how to operate his cell phone.
Hopefully, returning silvers will cause some fireworks on the Fourth of July and I’ll have a shot at getting some of my shore cred back. If not, I may actually take a crack at despondency casting into a warm vat of flat beer.
Nick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org if Willie doesn’t have him cornered somewhere.