Monday, September 21, 2009

This is my serious face.

The woosh was followed by a sloppy slap as the frog disappeared into the green cottage-cheese lumps. Lead wrap, 3-dollars-worth of deer hair with a side of rabbit: It was like throwing a wet shoe.

From “nine-o-clock” to “three-o-clock” across the top of the bubbly goo, unevenly-spaced trails converged and I was the center point. Bass are down there; I know they are down there. I have seen them eating, swimming around; a weed wiggling here and a splash there. Not nearly as active as last week, but this week I brought a bazooka to a knife fight, and I left the “messing around” at home.

I take up some slack and give a little tug. The wind apparently has something very important to show me on the other side of the lake, but I stick my fins deeper into the mud and tighten the chin strap on my hat.

There is a little disturbance out in front as the frog shows itself and crawls to the top of the muck. I give a second little tug and it hops back toward me. There is a little shiny puddle of open water showing and a little voice tells me that is where he wants to go. Tug, wait. Tug, wait. Tug, wait, as the frog drags another spoke of the wheel in which I am the hub.

Almost there, right on the edge and clean he sits ready to take a little dip. One more tug and he plops into the openness: Exposed and alone, his hind legs flair out as his little rubber front legs dangle limply, at the mercy of the wind under a painfully blue sky.

My eyes are stare daggers at the water as my fingers tense and settle around the rod waiting for the action. There is wind but I can’t feel it. I think there is something crawling on my face but I don’t care. Time slows and the frog sits and I wait for the explosion. I am sure it will come. It has to come because there must be a fish there; hungry and mad and stupid and powerful. I sit and wait.

But there is no fish. Not this time, and I “tug, wait” the frog back to my feet and repeat. This is the sine-wave-excitement of walking frogs across September weed beds.

-Alex who feels upon reflection that fishing and not catching fish is suspiciously similar to messing around, no matter how serious you act.


  1. Awesome. Tug, wait to my feet all day long.

  2. aside from not catching any bass on this trip there was a toxic green sludge floating on top of the weeds that sticks to your waders and tube and makes them smell like moldy cheese,I can still see the confused look on the drug sniffing dog's face at the border patrol checkpoint.


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