A marriage on the wall, not the rocks

I married into this whole hunting-fishing-outdoors thing.

And I wouldn’t change it for the world. It’s been a great ride
with all the adventure and fun and simple sense of wonder at the
world God created for us.

I also married into Steve’s first deer, an old 8-point mount that
has followed us from house to house to house to house to house.
Steve’s not been taxidermy happy (until this year, when the
first-ever antelope and whitetail to beat the old 8-point came up).
Through the years, I’ve only held true to one rule – no fish and no
full-body turkey mounts. Face it, turkeys are just plain ugly.
Fish? Well, after years fishing for Susquehanna salmon (carp to
those elsewhere) I wasn’t looking to hang one on the wall anytime
soon.

So it’s with a touch of irony that my own rule has been broken with
my own fish.

And it’s kind of cool.

Before I let the 20-inch smallmouth go back into Lake Champlain,
Steve took a picture (yup, that’s the one at the beginning of this
blog). Off he (the fish) swam to be caught another day – just,
hopefully not by Steve, because I had him by three-quarters of an
inch for our personal best smallie.

I still look back on the day fondly through the photos; remembering
the warm sun, the zip of the line as my reel sang and even the
white-knuckle boat ride to get to our favorite spot.

When I saw the box under the tree, I thought it was that pair of
trout stream waders I’d been eyeing. Deciding we’re not boat
people, we’ve put the Bass Tracker up for sale and have decided to
focus on trout. Before I opened the box, I was already wading the
small pocketwater of the North Branch of the Saranac River, running
a Zug Bug close to the undercuts. The cool mountain breeze… the
low tree canopy grabbing the occasional errant cast… the smell of
lacquer and the shiny bronze back…..

Uh?

The fish surprised me the second time even more than it did the
first.

So now we’ll find a spot for the smallmouth, not necessarily close
to the antelope or Mr. Big Beams, but we can make room.

For now, I’m sticking to the turkey prohibition.

Unless, of course, the bird that finishes my Grand Slam is an
impressive subject.

 

Categories: New York – Paula Piatt

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