Editor’s Log: Please Be Wind… - The Fisherman

Editor’s Log: Please Be Wind…

After putting the finishing touches on our May edition and working many evenings and all day Saturday on my garage renovation, all I wanted to do was fish. With striped bass filtering in quickly, it was a hard decision between fresh and salt; but in keeping with my springtime mantra, I decided to leave the schoolies alone until their bigger sisters arrived and ruled in favor of largemouth bass.

After dialing a few friends I came to the quick realization that most civilized people have things to do on a Saturday night, so I went solo. I knew there was a powerful front coming and I checked the weather to determine if I should be prepared for rain, the forecast said rain after 1 a.m. so I felt like I was safe with a hoodie and waders.

I’m no stranger to fishing alone, I actually very much enjoy it. I find it to be an immersive experience; it’s amazing how your hearing becomes almost like radar. As I trudged through the field leading to the water, I flushed two deer. I know there were two, even though I couldn’t see them because I heard each one land, distinctly, as they bounded over the stone wall at the edge of the woods. As I stepped into the water, my ears began ‘looking backwards,’ it’s amazing how we can compartmentalize our hearing. Even the tiniest of sounds are detected in the silence of night and my brain quickly sets to figuring them out, small birds sleeping in the reeds waking up as I approached, three raccoons busily chatting over a trash can with a loose lid, a car speeding on the road, a disembodied human laugh echoing down from a nearby house, they all find their way into my head—and I probably wouldn’t hear any of them if I was not alone or fishing in daylight.

My eyes darted west to the cloudy, light-polluted horizon, after I thought I saw a flash. My ears shifting their focus forward, there was no rumbling response to the call of the lightning so I dismissed it. Then I saw another longer, flickering flash but no rumble followed. I took out my phone and checked the radar, the nearest storms were south of Block Island, some 50 miles away. I kept fishing.

After landing a couple of 2-pound largemouth and two beast crappies—all on a 7-inch swimbait—the sky opened up without warning. It was reminiscent of a tropical rain, some little popup thing that would be over in two minutes, and it was. The phone came back out and there was evidence of several popup disturbances to my south, they all looked pretty benign—but I knew there was a risk of one gaining steam.

A good hit jolted me out of my thoughts about the weather and I was tight to a powerful fish, ripping drag, and not giving in at all. The fish ended up being a (rare for this pond) smallmouth bass that probably taped out at 20 inches and I’d guess weighed around 4 pounds. Now I was invested.

I was getting into the best 200 yards of shoreline now and my focus was heightened. As my ears continued to scan the landscape, they picked up a new sound. A rushing sound the swelled with each millisecond. As the volume continued to increase, I felt dread wash over me, I knew it was heavy rain, but I said out loud, “Please let this be wind!”

In seconds I was enveloped in the source of the sound, sheets of soaking rain that sent me scurrying for the nearest break in the trees. This was the kind of rain that would send Jim Cantore under cover. I tried several trees, but, with no vegetation on them yet, they only made the drops bigger, landing on me like grape-sized water balloons. Then the lightning and thunder came in without warning and with no space between flash and boom. The storm was right on top of me and angry! I dashed through the woods and up to the road, a look at the radar revealed that my fears had been realized; a streamer of heavy rain, originating way out in the ocean had taken direct aim on my location and it wasn’t going to end any time soon. My sweatshirt felt like that lead apron from the dentist as I hoofed the half-mile back to my truck.

Soaked and satisfied, I drove home laughing at myself, more relaxed than I’d been in a week and slept soundly. I know fishing isn’t for everyone, but it always seems to be exactly what I need.

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