A Polish immigrant to US who loves to fish in his old age and is a victim of prostate cancer experiences life.
Prone to chilly rain or snow storms throughout the springtime, in mid-May, at the northern tip of Maine, pesky black flies have yet to hatch and the volumes of tourists have yet to flood its lakes and ponds. Only the hell bent fisher people prod the waters.
Accustomed to casting only lures or dunking worms in Montana waters, I had much to learn about skillfully flicking a light line from which a tiny bug dangled. “Like dis.” Eddy swung the long pole behind his right shoulder with his right arm and counted out loud, “one two three,” while flinging the line straight up and forward, landing the flying bug perfectly on top of the calm water. As he observed the floating motion of the bug, Eddy patiently described the proper action of the wrist as well as the natural reaction of the fish. Right then my stubborn streak disengaged.
Later, as we three sat on the recently polished stoop, I became mesmerized by his vocal cadence as he endeared himself to me with his obvious love of fly fishing. The old Polish gentleman had me swooning; something precious pecked at the lumber casing of my heart.
In light of my former apathy towards the actual hooking of fish, my surge of interest surprised me. Overly enthusiastic fishermen usually rubbed me the wrong way. “I just like being out here,” I said to Eddy as he placed the long pole into the palm of my right hand gently curling my fingers around the handle then patting them. “Ah. Girl,” Eddy replied, lifting from his tackle box a dead bug that looked alive. “Iz a sport. Fun. Ketchem. No use not too. Dis here pond. Stocked. No trouble.”
Fondling the handle of the rod, I was quickly shamed. “Just squeeze it Girl,” Eddy barked kindly. “Get a feeling. Like a baby.” My fingers went still, obedient to the lilt of Eddy’s voice. Pausing instruction, Eddy peered at my face lifting his upper eyelids to half open, then grinning halfway as though young and smitten. My face flushed. My friend Becca giggled as she laid down her pole and scooted next to me.
There the three of us sat on the stoop of a well maintained log cabin fit for fisher people who have enough extra money to recreate in style but enjoy the wilderness flavor poured into the price. The most marvelous of amenities was three large home cooked meals a day prepared by the camp owners and served up family style in the main kitchen cabin where during and between bites everyone talked bugs and catch size.
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