Fish Optional

     Somewhere around number nine thousand six hundred thirty-seven on my list of things to worry about when I go to bed at night is the thought that a distant civilization of which we know nothing will one day come to Earth and, finding the inhabitants all dead from eating too much tapioca meat loaf, will have to judge us by our postcards.  They will find that dogs were primarily occupied in soaking trees, husbands were uniformly unfaithful, wives were good shots with rolling pins, children stole jam, and everyone who could steal time for it went fishing.

     I simply assume that every hotel or motel or general store within twenty miles of a pond or river stocked fishing postcards.  Maybe every cartoonist, deep inside, would rather be sitting on a dock or a riverbank, watching for a bounce on the line.  But the sheer number and variety of postcards would lead an alien observer, devoid of other information, to conclude that humanity became extinct because it was more interesting in catching the elusive trout than it was in…but we’ll get to that.

     We have already discussed catching The Big One.  For every soul who goes fishing, this is a great dream, but most would settle simply for catching a whole lot of fish.  And if everybody in the party catches their limit, as hinted above, it has been a successful trip.  Consider the plight this chap finds himself in: sometimes you just can’t fish fast enough.

     You simply have to be prepared for some of the worst dangers of fishing, like that slow ride home when your car is simply weighed down by the size of your catch.

     Or the dangers of your friends not believing the trouble you had on your last trip.

     Sometimes, though, in spite of everything,  fisherman will find himself coming home with a refreshingly light load (and a nasty grudge.)

     Of course, it’s not just the fish which can be terrifyingly amazing on such days.  (Look at that worm, for example.)

     Some fishermen, in fact, find the whole business of catching all those fish so exhausting that they decide THEIR fishing trip will not risk any such thing.

     Others, through careful planning, manage to have a nice time on the boat.  Just calculate which supplies to take with you, and you will not find yourself running into the difficulties suffered by other fishermen on this page.

     Thus you can simply relax while on your vacation.

     Other men take a more assertive approach.  The catching of fish can still be completely inessential to a successful fishing trip.  (Though one must be just as prepared for missing out on your quarry.)

     By the way, as mentioned in our previous visit, women fish, too.

     In fact, most postcards will agree that it’s a sport which everyone can enjoy.

     Coming Soon: Summing Up Fishing Postcards (for now)

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