Real-life fishing is piscatorial purgatory

Real-life fishing is piscatorial purgatory By Bob Karolevitz I dream about fishing � but everything always goes wrong!

In my nightmares I get to the stream, but I don't have any bait. Other times my reel is broken or part of my rod is missing. The game warden shows up, and I can't find my fishing license.

In my dreams I suffer backlashes and tangled lines while fish leap merrily in front of me. My tackle box gets spilled in the high grass, and when I finally catch something, it's either a needlenose gar or a worthless sucker.

Unfortunately, it's a recurring dream. Never do I catch the big keeper, nor do I fish in great comfort. It's a terrible frustration, enough to make me quit eating pizza or other dream causing foodstuffs for supper.

But as bad as those bedtime catastrophes are, they don't compare at all to the real thing. Reliving those dreams in actuality is nothing but piscatorial purgatory.

In case you wanted to know, I just got back from the Black Hills from what was supposed to be a pleasant pursuit of the wily trout. I had envisioned a creelful of speckled beauties; I was to be Izaak Walton's "compleat angler."

It didn't work out that way!

All my damnable dreams became stark reality. Not only did Sylvan, Mitchell and Deerfield Lakes fail to produce a single nibble, all my equipment disasters were enough to make a grown man cry.

First, the bail on one of my spinning reels suddenly broke off. It was my favorite for casting flies and spinners out into the deep water where I knew the fish would be.

That was not a total tragedy, though, because I had a second one ready for instant use. All it did, however, was to produce the worst mess of monofilament ever to befall an otherwise happy fisherman.

Normally, I'm a rather patient fellow. I accepted the challenge of untangling the gnarled line, knowing I would soon have my hook back in the water where the hungry rainbows awaited me, I thought.

Sad to say, the situation got worse instead of better. More line unraveled from the reel spool to complicate what I assumed would be a simple chore. Loose line got caught in the weeds along the lake shore. A knot developed when I pulled a wrong loop.

Little by little my calmness dissipated. Sweat erupted on my brow and dribbled down on my trifocals � through which I was already having trouble seeing the thin, translucent line.

The harder I tried, the worse it got. I don't say bad words, but I thought them. What was even more galling, I couldn't blame any of my misfortunes on Phyllis.

It was my hateful dream playing itself out. Patience turned to seething anger, but before I threw rod and reel into the lake, I got ahold of myself and reluctantly accepted my fate.

Muttering to myself, I cut the line, closed up my tackle box and climbed up the bank to the car. I should have known it would end that way because I was forewarned on my pillow.

Fishing is supposed to be a relaxing pastime. It's intended to soothe the savage beast, not to create one. Oh, I might try it again some time � after I get new reels � but not if those hellish nightmares persist.

To finish up our mini-vacation, Phyllis, grandson Sam, son-in-law Pat, daughter Jan and I played a round of golf. For me, that almost turned out as bad as the fishing episode.

Now I'll probably dream about that, too!

&#1691999 Robert F. Karolevitz

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