If anyone hasn’t noticed, it’s winter out there even though the calendar says it isn’t. It’s December 14th and my truck thermometer said 4 degrees this morning. Sitting in my warm office with the wind howling outside I admire how my incredible body has adjusted to this abominable weather. It is superior breeding, a natural toughness; an outstanding physical attribute setting me apart from mere mortals.
Naturally, these delusions last only so long. Within maybe 5 seconds of leaving the office I curse myself for not living in Florida. No, even further south! “Even Central America isn’t far enough, you idiot!”, I think to myself. The thought of swaying palm trees almost makes me cry.
My absolute, favorite TV commercial only plays around the Holidays. It’s a picture of a thatched hut nestled on a sand beach surrounded by palm trees. A familiar holiday tune kicks in when suddenly Christmas lights illuminate the darkness. I can almost feel the warm, humid air caress my face. This happens to be a beer commercial, by the way. I remind myself how good it would taste on that beach. And don’t I wish I had a cold one right now? I seem to recall it’s a Budweiser spot. I give them kudos for taking me to a faraway place. But, frankly, their beer is pretty foul. Still, you never know. Someday, if I find myself on that secluded, tropical beach, maybe I’ll have a Bud. This requires I have the forethought to bring one along (which is highly unlikely).
Anyway, I’m trying to keep reality from setting in. It’s still a week before winter officially starts. Another ten days or so after that and the tax season begins. For practical purposes, all I see ahead of me is work, darkness and cold interspersed with red wine and therapeutic quantities of Jack Daniels. Who signed me up for this?
Actually, quite by accident I found a book even better than the Bud commercial. It’s about fishing. Anyone surprised?
The author, Tim Holschlag, is certainly the finest smallmouth bass fisherman in America (maybe the world?). I’m particularly interested in his description of fish behavior. Some guys think about money. I think about fish. From Tim’s detailed descriptions, sounds like fish take up much of his waking hours too. He describes how bass react to various conditions and stimulus. Heat, light, water flow, fishing pressure, you name it, he’s thought about it. In this book he talks about river fishing. Well, I’ll be darned! That’s what I do too!
Anyway, each of his lessons transport me to a time I experienced the very same. In my mind I remember thinking, “Where the heck are those fish!”. Then, as if on cue, the words in Tim’s book proceed to tell me where, in fact, they are. “Well…” I think to myself, sniveling, “that’s kind of what I figured too.” Yeah, sure Steve.
Between Tim and those he’s guided I’ll bet he’s laid hands on thousands of smallmouth. Me, probably a few hundred, which I suppose is a lot, but not in comparison.
Once I accept my shorter stature (Tim, by the way, is far north of 6 feet tall) I get down to figuring how I’m going to change my ways. The great thing about this book is it’s given me lots of ideas how to approach the river next spring. As importantly, it’s an open doorway to a fantasy world I slip into like a warm bath. Every day is 80 degrees and partly sunny. The fish are willing and my technique is flawless.
Gee! This is way better than reality.
Kindly, don’t bother me for awhile.