Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cursed Casts; or, Old Wives and Their Tales.

Through the pine thatch, I can see blue -- like the sky through a straw hat. I step off the trail, and drop down to the lake. Heading for blue. Because these high lakes, they do something to me. Something for me. Something good. Hours on a dirt trail encroached by trees who watch with the eyes of locals; mine, look down. Trying to evade judgment....trying to keep on trail. And when it finally breaks, I'm free -- uncovered -- and I feel like I'm flying. Soaring. High.

Morning rises boil over the surface, like a tea kettle -- a very welcoming thing when "rolling" as my grandmother would say. It begs come in and stay awhile, and I want to do just that...very much. It's a beautiful thing that whatever is happening in life, of two things you can be certain: tea can be made, and trout will still rise. And those, are comforting.

I head for the inlet, put my backpack down, and promptly spook some fish. Damn. Rigging, I feel the nervous tension of not having a rod strung when trout are rising and feel guilty of breaking some sort of fisherman's code of which I remain unaware --> Thou shalt not be in the company of rising trouts without a strung rod. Or some such thing. And anyhow, what if they stop?

But they don't.

I cast, and within seconds a brookie has devoured my dry fly. This has never happened to me before, and I'm ecstatic. Smiling, I look back to find Banjo -- to find someone to share this with -- but he is already at my feet, congratulating. And then I remember the curse.....

I've heard about it before -- hookup on the first cast, then you're fishless the rest of the day. You're jinxed. Old wives, or old fishermen in this case, have their tales and superstitions. Oftentimes for good reason. Go outside with wet hair, you'll catch a cold; cross your eyes, they'll get stuck that way. Cats strangle babies, and boys have cooties. But icicles form in your hair and all is well. After childhood crossing of eyes, you may now wear glasses but can still see straight. Infancy was survived, even with a house cat. And after a first kiss, you decide that boys might not have cooties after all.

So maybe, just maybe, this first-cast superstition is also just that -- superstition.  Yet still, I try to mentally prepare for the hours of fruitless casting which might very well lay before me. Holding my breath, I cast again.....and as soon as my fly hits the water, it's gone. Really?! Really....today is going to be this good?

Banjo looked surprised too...

39 comments:

  1. Well, I really enjoyed that. I knew a girl once that had perfectly beautiful straight looking eyes...until she took her glasses off! I thought for sure she was haunted. Many boys and a few men have cooties, but I don't think you know any of them. Anyway, superstitions are fun to talk about and as usual you did it really well.

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  2. Always, always approach water with a strung rod. In my case, a dangling lure of some kind. First cast before feet even get wet.

    A first cast fish is just that. There's always more.

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  3. Cofisher - Eye straightening glasses, eh? Sounds suspicious. ;) I'm glad you enjoyed it, Howard...and no, none of the men I know have cooties!

    Casey - Thanks so much!

    Ken G. - Ah see! I knew I was missing the code....but it's hard to hike over 4 miles up mountain trails with a strung rod (i.e. I'm clumsy and often trip). Glad you don't buy the superstition either...

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  4. Perhaps your planets will stay in alignment for a while...knock on wood.

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  5. John - Now I'm doomed for sure...

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  6. Not having fishing as one of my talents I can say of two things..."tea can be made" and I will rise come morn... :-)

    Happy trails and bountiful fish be yours!

    Mama

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  7. sgb - ah very good! And you are a "natural beauty"... just like the trout. We will have a cup of tea together soon...very soon.

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  8. Beautiful story and beautiful brookies, Erin. I believe we make our own luck, both good and bad -- keep thinking positive thoughts and create your good luck.

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  9. Erin ~ "It's a beautiful thing that whatever is happening in life, of two things you can be certain: tea can be made, and trout will still rise. And those, are comforting".

    Words that should be printed inside everyones fly box! Thanks for always fly fishing with your heart, the peace it brings you is infectious!

    Jim ... Two Guys ~ Wet Waders & Flies

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  10. Nice Brookie in the pic. Glad the superstition didn't darken your day.

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  11. deanwo - Thank you! And I'll keep thinking positively....or trying to! ;)

    Jim - Many thanks for your kind words and constant encouragement.

    Jay - Thanks! And it was...they were all pretty chunky in that lake....three inlets...well fed!

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  12. Superstition or folklore, they all have a basis of truth. But we sometimes beat them and those days are all the more memorable for it.

    Another great tale Erin.

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  13. Some of the old wives tales may have some truths, but that brookie is all about truth.... beautiful.

    Nice to have someone share in your good fortune

    Thanks Banjo

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  14. Erin ~ I like the tales and tails, that's a nice brookie right there!

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  15. In the end it's all up to the fish, and you a little. Fish don't care about superstition, only those flies landing on the water. I've had lots of one fish on the first cast, or a fish on the first toss of a new fly, only to catch none thereafter. I've also had days like yours.

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  16. Jim - Thank you...

    Dave - "Superstition or folklore, they all have a basis of truth." Indeed they do, and it is always interesting to me to think about what and why...it also sometimes drives me crazy. ;) Thanks a bunch!

    Brk Trt - Truth really is simple in the end, isn't it? Banjo is the best of someones...I thank him a lot too...

    Doug - Thanks! And yes it was...the lake was full of them!

    FR - "In the end it's all up to the fish, and you a little." Puts us in our place, as nature always does...

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  17. Excellent post, when talking about the superstitions I believe a lot of them. If you don't bring a net you'll probably catch a huge fish and wish you had it. If your rod is unstrung you will most likely see a huge fish that is in casting distance.

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  18. Kev - Thanks! And sometimes the ironies of life are just too much!

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  19. Mr. P. - Many thanks...and now for some strange reason I feel like waltzing...

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  20. Got goose bumps reading this one,Erin.And I loved sgb's comment. I think I will hang her saying on my wall.

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  21. Like any good superstition, the fun is in trying to prove it wrong, and it sounds like you did just that.

    besides, with Banjo at your side...what could be better :-)

    beautifully written as always. Cheers!

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  22. Hart, you and sgb would get along smashingly. You are two of the finest women I know. Someday, you'll see. :) In the meantime, I think I'll hang her saying on my wall too.

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  23. Sanders - It is fun, and Banjos make everything better. ;) A coffeed cheers to you!

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  24. Another treasure, Erin. I'm always happy to see a new post. And I never worry about a first cast fish - not that it happens to me often. It just relieves the skunk tension that much quicker. Besides, most days, one is enough anyway.

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  25. Mike - You are absolutely right...that one was more than enough. Thanks for popping in...your words are always a pleasure!

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  26. Good day! Brookie Largus.

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  27. What a short and sweet description to the beginning of a new fishing day. Great read. It contrasts to my experience this weekend with the last cast.

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  28. DarrellKuni - Indeed it was!

    Justin - Thanks for the comment.....and that 'last cast' is always a hard one to make...glad yours was a good one!

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  29. Hi e,
    I've read it a few times. I like it.I have always admired natural ability and a good attitude.

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  30. Hey, H-bone...happy to hear you like it...even the 2nd go round! Thanks!

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  31. Ha! Been there. Had my mojo zapped by the first cast curse a few times. Glad it didn't work out that way for you this time. Beauty of a brookie, btw.

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  32. When you are out there doing it and enjoying it there is no room for superstition, that should only be blamed on a dry net day LOLOL :):):)

    Lovely as ever Erin

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  33. Happy days! That Brook Trout looks marvellous and to a nice dry fly too...
    ;)
    Regular Rod

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  34. Ty - Oh, I'm sure it'll get me one of these days. ;) The brookies at this lakes are all just gorgeous...for sure!

    Tom - Many thanks...and good idea for blame on a dry net day!

    Regular Rod - Indeed! They're here again. ;) It was a delightful....dries the whole day long.

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  35. FisherGirl - Thank you so much! And I've popped over to your blog just now too...great stuff you have going on. Winter is the perfect time for such creative endeavors. Thanks for reading and I hope you continue to enjoy it!

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