It’s a perfect day for fishing. The kids are back in school, and there will likely be only a few people at Fish Pond/Windsor Lake–retirees like me, or one or two who work the night shift. The garden yielded some sacrificial worms last evening for the one pole. The other is rigged with Rainbow PowerBait, that sticky dough trout love, at least the trout at Fish Pond.
I resisted for nearly a year, threading worms and other wriggly things onto No. 12 hooks and occasionally catching a blue gill or a pumpkin seed. The Power Bait crowd, on the other hand, cast their lines, rigged so that the buoyant blob floated 18 or 20 inches above the bottom, and waited for dinner. Since the limit on trout is three, a fisherman would sometimes take pity on me and give me his third. It was a gesture of generosity, but it also meant that he could continue fishing for another.
I finally asked the advice of one of the men I had seen successfully work with PowerBait, and he explained the “Carolina Rig” to me, which I further explored online. I made the trip to WalMart and purchased PowerBait and a few other odds and ends and ordered a second pole and two pole holders from Amazon, since this new way of fishing would allow me to sit and read or snooze. Nothing to do but wait.
The day I first used the Carolina Rig, I caught the limit. Three nice trout ranging from 14 to 17 inches. No one was there to witness it. I haven’t done it since.
One day last spring, a young man came up to me and asked me about fishing at this spot. He was part of a crew for a performance at MASS MoCA and had traveled here with the troupe from South Africa. I told him what I could (I’m no expert) and showed him the PowerBait. He was amazed by the psychedelic colors and soft texture. He declined my offer of a bit, saying he’d stick with the lures he had brought.
And so today I went to Fish Pond in the new car I bought to replace my old one, the one that smelled faintly of outdoor places and things. I am almost embarrassed by its newness. No matter that it is likely the last car I will ever buy, it’s too new and has too much technology. It has fewer than 50 miles on it.
The dappled sunlight shifted with the breeze, and the leaves showed the promise of autumn. A perfect day. I carried my things to a table close to the water, put my poles in their holders and pushed the holders into the ground. No one else was there except for one woman sitting alone at a table uphill. On a walk back to the car for my lunch, we struck up a long conversation that ended with us becoming acquaintances, maybe even friends down the road. I eventually returned to my own table, and my book, and patiently waited. Nothing. Wrong time of day maybe. Perhaps the pond is fished out. Could be why no one else was there. Some would call the two hours I spent there a waste of time. I never would.
Sheila Velazquez is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in more than 100 print newspapers and magazines, including Grit, New Woman, the Hartford Courant, the New Haven Register, the San Antonio Express-News and Bay Area Parent. Her awards include two from the Society of Professional Journalists for a syndicated column. Sheila has contributed to online websites, including commondreams.org and dissidentvoice.org. She served as contributing editor of Organic Producer magazine and wrote biographical material for reference collections that include “Contemporary Authors,” the “Encyclopedia of International Biography” and “Notable Sports Figures.” Feel free to send her an e-mail.