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A man in his early 20s sat slouched on his bicycle and watched me as I re-rigged a rod that had gotten snagged up on a log. His lips quivered as a he sat there, it’s something that happens to someone when they are on any number of drugs. Though he initially he made me uncomfortable, his kind face and general downtrodden demeanor quickly lowered my guard. Our addictions had brought us to the same place at dawn, two junkies starring at the sky’s reflection in the water.

I dunno know what he thought of me or how the drugs he was on shaped his perception of what I was doing. Most of the time people think I’m homeless. I don’t blame them, I mean I certainly have enough fishing ‘luggage’ to fill a small campsite. It is the nature of carp fishing - multiple rods, a large net, banksticks, sometimes a large umbrella, they all have to be transported. I think it’s safe to describe it as abnormal. Now imagine you are stoned out of your mind and you come across a squatty man using a giant spoon to launch maize into the water. That’s the real mind melter. Suddenly, an alarm goes off. The strange man jumps off his bucket and picks up the longest fishing rod you have ever seen. Whatever is on the end of that line is fighting hard. After a few minutes of listening to the fishing reel’s drag melt, the guy puts a net under what looks like a giant goldfish. He lays it on a mat then peels back the net to reveal the fish. “It’s only a little one.”

The young man eventually left, we didn’t say much to each other. It was a good morning’s fishing and I’d like to think that what he observed convinced him to quit drugs and take up fishing. I mean, if you had that much time and money to waste, how could you not fish? Amirite?

Happy Fall.