The Manly Act of Fishing

I decided to go fishing today. It seemed manly, peaceful and I could almost feel a third testicle growing between my loins.

It was all downhill from there.

I went to the grocery store and picked up a few things for the week and then I went to check out the rods, reels and bait. I stood around the aisles, aimlessly looking at things and realizing I had no idea how any of it worked. At one point, I saw a series of rods with a gizmo that twisted at the top of the handle. I thought this was the adjustable portion of the handle for two-handed reeling and pulling. Turns out, it was just how you fastened the reel to the rod. You can tell that I’m in over my head. But, I bought a rod, reel and a starter kit of bait complete with hooks and wormy things. I took my new possessions to the checkout and then to the car.

I came home and thought I’d make a little trip out of the ordeal by making some sandwiches to take along. So, I made my sandwiches, put them in my lunch box and filled up a water bottle with water. Meanwhile, I lined up the reel, assembled the rod and baited my hook. I printed off my fishing license and because no one knows Justin Harter better than Justin Harter, I knew I should get the $9 day pass rather than the $17 seasonal pass. Then, I grabbed all my stuff and a fold-out chair and headed to my fishin’ hole.

My fishin’ hole is a spot under a bridge over the White River near downtown. There’s concrete up to the bank and I enjoy that I can sit my chair on something not dirt. Because when I’m fishing, I’m not interested in getting dirty, wet or sweaty. Plus,  I went there once with an ex (yes, gays can fish, too) and I actually caught a fish, so I thought I’d stick with what worked.

I parked nearby, lugged my stuff down the hill and setup shop to enjoy my sandwiches and to do a little patient fishing. As I sat there, I got really cold. Turns out, it’s really windy under bridges. And, I soon realized that I couldn’t hold a rod and eat a sandwich at the same time. To make matters worse, the wind was blowing the river current right at me. Throwing my lure in the water was about as effective as throwing a raw egg into the face of a hurricane so it can blow back and smack you in the face.

I decided to eat my sandwiches and not fish for a moment. By the time I was done eating, I was really cold. Plus, the current wasn’t going to change anytime soon. So, I decided it would work better if I were on the other side of the river so the current could pull at my line and not push it towards me. Plus, the sun was shining on that side. I had a strategy — just like the pros!

I packed up, got back in the car, drove through four stop lights and parked again only to lug my crap down the other side of the hill only to realize there’s nothing but bushes and brush lining the bank. I could never sit there (or stand there) comfortably. So, I went walking like a hobo never to find a spot that suited my needs. By now, I was tired of carrying a rod with a fake worm dangling at the end, a chair, a lunch box and a water bottle. Plus, children were starting to look at me weird.

So, I decided to leave. My hook was wet for about 20 seconds. I’ll probably never go fishing again.