I’ve fished four days so far this year. At this time last year I had been out three times that. It’s not an issue, just an observation. Well, I should be a little more honest than that. After all, fishermen get the reputation of being liars because we don’t exactly feel completely compelled to stay within the truth. To a degree, fact changing comes with being an angler. Most times it is unintentional. You actually believe that you caught that solid 16-inch rainbow on a black birds nest first until you realize after you have told the story, that the first fish was actually that little shaker on a No. 18 red copper john. If you go back and change the story, people will wonder why you told them the first story to begin with.
The more remarkable fish etches itself better in memory so naturally it’s the first thing that swims into your brain and out of your mouth when giving an account. Coincidentally it makes the story better. You showed up, wasted no time, and brought a great fish to hand. The truth is it was 42 degrees (not 36) it took you 54 minutes (not 15), and there was that little minnow of an appetizer before the good-story fish.
But facts and statements are for lawyers. Speaking of, I wonder what it would be like to fish with one. Their careers are based on the recalling, manipulating and dispensing of truth and facts convenient to a desired verdict. This in no way qualifies them as reputable. They might even make the best and most convincing fishermen now that I think about it, though the most frequent word to modify a fisherman is “bum” as opposed to some of the more colorful lawyer descriptors.
Because I don’t do post-fishing trip depositions, I am left to non-legal lines about days I fished and what I caught which can hinder future planning. While preparing for a trip to the Upper Sacramento river with Kurt, we tried to recall last springs assault, but couldn’t differentiate one trip from another. The truth had become obstructed with a whole set of new facts that came in the retellings as more time was separated from the actual trips. Chaos.
When talking with colleagues about our Alaska adventures, they remember things way different (wrong). It can even take a few minutes of wading through memories to separate which year it was that the event in question happened.
That’s why it’s nice to keep a fishing log. You might not be able to read the coded information, or recall the feeling of holding that 18-inch torpedo of slime, but you know, for certain, that on that particular day, you fished. After all, that is the real point, right? You turned off the TV, left the recliner, packed the gear and went to the woods to live deliberately.
From there, feel free to let your mind wonder about just how much everything else has changed since you wrote it down.
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