The picture above is one I snapped last week while on a fishing\camping adventure with my husband. We were both trying to catch catfish, which is easily one of my favorites. This tasty fish can be fixed in a variety of ways, making it an extremely versatile main course.
We had been informed that the catfish were biting at Alexander Reservoir, or should I say, what is left of Alexander Reservoir, near Soda Springs, Idaho. This usually large body of water has been drained for dam repair work. (No pun intended.) The only water left in the vicinity is the river that flows into this reservoir.
So we set up camp near the river, and began trying to catch the elusive catfish. We caught more than our share of small yellow perch, and Kennon caught a large freshwater sucker. Then it happened, I caught my first catfish. It put up a heck of a fight, but when I finally reeled it in, it was quite small, all things considered. It was only about 8-9 inches long, so we set it free, after I made Kennon take my picture with it to prove to our offspring that their mother had indeed caught the fish of choice.
I caught two more just like it. (And no, it wasn't the same fish. I suspected it was, but Kennon pointed out the second one was larger, and the 3rd one was smaller.) Sensing I was destined to catch one we could keep, I walked down the bank and cast out where I believed I would catch a big catfish. I had just settled down beside my pole, when it nearly flew into the river. I had to pounce on it to keep it from disappearing. As it was, I lost my bobber.
Kennon saw that I had a fight on my hands, and he hurried down to help. He offered all sorts of advice while my pole nearly bent in two. Now wouldn't you assume if someone was dressed like this, they would know what they were talking about?
Au contraire. I heeded every bit of advice, closing my eyes at one point during this adventure, certain my "antique" pole was doomed. (Important note: I've had this fishing pole since I was about 10 years old. It's my lucky pole, the one I used when my father and maternal grandfather taught me how to fish years ago. Never mind the fact that a few years ago we spotted one just like it in an antique store for $30.00. My siblings and children still make fun of me as a result, but I like my fishing pole. It possesses great sentimental value.)
I obediently kept the line taunt. Kennon adjusted the drag. (I have no idea what this means, but evidently it's important.) Still my pole continued to bend in half. Fearing for its life, I was about ready to cut my losses to save it when things went very still. The bad news was, the line was stuck. Kennon figured it was one of two things:
1) The silly catfish decided to sit on the bottom of the river to outwait me. 2) The silly catfish ran under the lava rocks that lined the river bank and I now had a nasty snag.
It turned out to be door number 2. Long story short, I lost my tackle, but saved my pole. (stupid catfish!) As I sat sulking, I saw that the sunset was beautiful. So I pulled my trusty camera out of its case and began snapping pictures. As I did so, an interesting pelican landed in the river nearby and swam quite close. I was able to get the picture you see above as a result. It's possibly one of the prettiest pictures I've taken all summer, and a shot I would've missed had I been busy catching catfish. ;)
Moral of the story: life very rarely turns out the way we envision. Sometimes the best laid plans go up in smoke, or in this case, under lava rock. Instead of pouting, it behooves us to look around and see what other opportunities lie in our midst. The beauty of what we may see will surprise us, filling us with hope, giving us a reason to smile.
Welcome to Crane-ium: thoughts, poetry, lyrics & photography of Cheri J. Crane
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