More to Fishing Than Just Fish

The fish are the obvious part, but it’s often the bits and pieces on the periphery that make the lasting memories. The otters on the ice at the beginning of a nearly fishless day, or the coyote pups resting on the mud flat while I stalked carp – these are the mental trophies that have stood the test of time. Fishing was just the vehicle that put me in position to see those things.

This is an encounter from last week that I will remember for a long time.

And a few more memorable moments:

Maybe bear tracks are not as exciting as seeing the whole bear, but still cool nonetheless.

Watching a gosling hatch overshaddowed the fishing on this day.
I fondly remember the pickerel frog that jumped into the boat at the ramp. Equally curious is how he stealthily disappeared after a couple hours onboard.
Many months after this trip, the brilliant red and orange sunrise is the memorable part of the day. The rest of the day was just fishing.
Watching an anole in the pine straw rivaled the reward of casting to spotted bass in the rip rap – for a little while anyway.
Sometimes you have your cake and eat it too. I’ve been summer smallmouth fishing with my longest tenured fishing partner for over 35 years. Those trips included mink, fossils, and accidental dunkings. We also caught a lot of fish along the way.