I have at least a handful of different blog posts I want to write. I keep meaning to describe the luscious blackberries ripening in our garden, or the lazy Sunday picnic we enjoyed yesterday by the river, or a few more funny anecdotes about the Irish… maybe even give you a quick lesson in talking like an Irish person, hee hee…
But it may surprise you to find out all I’ve got on my brain lately is fishing.
I overheard some men the other day discussing fishing off the docks at Clogherhead and taking boats out into the Irish Sea. They amazed each other with stories of whales, seals and dolphins and chuckled over the state of the other fishermen they’d meet on the shores. As they shared 20 years worth of fish tales, I found myself sidling up to listen, and wishing (to my astonishment) that I could chime in on the conversation.
It was then I realized how much I miss fishing.
As a good Montana girl, of course I learned how to fish at a young age, catching little sunfish off the dock at Holland Lake and rainbow trout in the Gallatin River. My dad loved taking us out to fish, teaching us about what lures worked best and how to cast our lines into the deep, dark pools by the rocks where “the big ones” liked to hang out.
When I moved to Indiana, I rediscovered the pasttime for myself. My dad once again stepped in to help me pick out everything I’d need for fish-catching glory and before long, I was spending evenings and weekends after work searching out the best spots around Indianapolis.
I could tell you stories of my adventures – my predicaments – when I got stuck in mud to my waist, when I vainly tried to save lures stuck under rocks, when I caught fiesty catfish and bass and bluegill… but funnily enough, it’s not the exciting bits I miss the most.
I’ve never been a great fisherman and I don’t even like to kill or eat what I catch (call me squeamish! it has nothing to do with liking or disliking fish!). But I have always enjoyed the zen-like quality of casting, hearing the whiiiizzzzz of the line and the quiet plop! of the lure hitting the water, followed by the slow, metallic winding as I reel the line in. I don’t even mind if I spend an entire evening with these calming noises and no sign of a hungry fish. It’s the solitary peace I miss, a peace I haven’t felt the likes of in what seems like 100 years.
So what’s stopping me? I live on an island, for the love of God!
I guess I’ve just been busy. And in figuring out how to do everything else in this foreign place, the very idea of figuring out where to fish, how to get a license, where to buy supplies, etc., the whole thing just went out of my head. So I’ve never been. I’ve never even been out to sea! Come to think of it, I haven’t even been on a beach in over a year – and we live very close, maybe 6 miles away, but sadly too far to walk with a buggy!
Perhaps this is a sign that I’m long overdue in reviving this much-enjoyed hobby. I’m not sure how or when, but I think I will do it. I feel a sudden thirst to throw a line out on the water and wait for a tug. And while I love lakes and rivers, the mere dream of the sea excites me, sending little tingles up the back of my neck, and I know I would LOVE to go out on a boat and try deep sea fishing. I have no idea what I’d do if I caught one of THOSE fish, but my heart is beating just a little faster thinking about it.
Am I a little crazy? Probably. From a practical standpoint, I know absolutely nothing about fishing in Ireland. So, if you’re in the know, why don’t you help me out and give us a few pointers, from one angler to another. Please?