Feeling my age

I am really feeling my age right now. Bonefishing may be more challenging than trout fishing, but it is not more demanding. Today was demanding, physically, and right now I’m more than a tad sore. We’ll see how tomorrow goes.

A lot of time on the tracks today, walking

I fished for something like 9 hours today. This was in a tight river canyon, walking the tracks, wading, climbing up banks, down embankments… physical stuff. Hard stuff.

I wobbled a few times, skating off rocks only to catch myself just at the last second, except for once, when I didn’t and got a nice refreshing October bath in the river, water down the waders all the way to my feet, which got to stay wet for the next 4 hours.

I caught fish… a lot of fish really. I caught more than most people ever catch here, but then most people don’t fish it right, don’t cover enough water, don’t push as hard as they need to. I had 22 fish in the net or to hand. For me it was a decent day, but it could have been better. There were stretches without fish and there were probably 15 or more fish that didn’t stay hooked. This river and I go way back, it produces for me.

One of many.

Right now, now I feel my age. I feel the strain in my shoulder from high sticking and the dull throb in my knees from climbing and hiking and falling. My whole back is sore and I am exhausted. There was a time I wouldn’t have felt too bad after a day getting after it like this, but those days were years ago. Now, now I am in some pain, although blunted by the three beers with dinner at the Dunsmuir Brewery Works.

It is harder to catch a bonefish than a trout, but I’m going to say it is harder, physically, to catch 20 trout than to catch 20 bonefish. To catch 20 bonefish you have to find happy fish and a lot of them, which sometimes happens. To catch 20 trout you have to climb and wade and walk and keep casting, casting, casting. You have to be relentless in your pursuit of the fish.

Good for about 5 fish. This riffle is one of my favorite places, anywhere.

I’m glad I was out there and I hope I have many, many more days like this in my future. Out there, all by myself, just the river, the fish and me, it is strangely peaceful. The aches, though, I could do without the aches.

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  1. Try wading several miles, be it in marl, the slimy and slippery algae or the mushy soft bottom.

  2. As you get older you can learn to pace yourself! I’m 51, in fair shape and love to rock hop a little. Enjoy Bonefishing and trout fishing for the long haul. You won’t do anyone any favors by wrenching a knee or ankle, or taking a swim. Give up counting fish. It’s good for the soul. I haven’t done it yet but I’m trying! Nice story and nice photos. I’m with Lawrence: gotta pace yourself in the suck!

  3. Oh, I doubt I’ll ever give up counting. It is genetic. My dad had a notebook with him while he fishes and he marks down every fish lost and landed. He’s been doing that for about 60 years. It is really interesting to go back and see what the fishing was like at different times. You can even chart the decline of West Coast Steelhead in those notebooks. I count, but I don’t write that down anywhere but here. It is a yardstick, a way of seeing how good the fishing was or wasn’t from a catching perspective.

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