© 2011 Aaron Atkinson

Prelude to a Fish

I zipped down the tent flap and breathed my last whiff of dirty socks and stale air for the day. The musk of smoldering wood mixed with the crisp, fresh bite of the morning air greeted me. Fallen pine needles perfumed my path and sparked a distant memory of Christmas. The sun brightly shone through the higher foliage, causing beams to blind me as I moved beneath the trees.

We packed up our angling gear and descended the grassy slope towards the water. I turned around and caught a last glimpse of the campground.  he winded burgundy tent, the flaky dead ash of last night’s campfire.

At first view, the flashing lake evoked a blurry squint. I smiled, anticipating what that water held in store.

A moment later, I left the security of the firm ground. As my foot fell on the floating wooden dock it undulated slightly, responding to my weight. The tied aluminum boat nudged gently against the wood, the rhythmic clanging welcomed me with a metallic greeting. We eased into our rocking vessel. I sat in the front, my hands tightly clasped onto the outer rim of the boat. My knuckles whitened as my father started the old rust and white colored motor. It chugged and groaned; spewing exhaust, I smelled the vaporous gasoline and motor oil. We roared across the lake, the boat tapping over the ripples on the water.

The roar of the engine scattered small flock nearby gulls, sending them into a curse-filled flight. Slowing down, we made our way into a protected cove.  The nearby island cast a shadow over the water, and held onto the last of the morning mist. I peeked my head over the side of the boat, and stared straight down into the clear water. I saw the bottom. The rocks were brownish green, freckled with algae. As we idly drifted, the rocks melted into weeds. The dense, undulating jungle of vegetation mesmerized.

I opened my tackle box and met an uncountable number of lures. I chose one, and took great care in avoiding the hooks as I tied it onto my line. Suspended in the air, the treble hooks jangled off the hard plastic body of the lure. My hands trembled with anticipation, and breaths came in short misty gasps. I catapulted the lure across the liquid jungle. It seemed to float in mid-air, then it hit the water’s surface with a subtle splash that bore an army of marching baby ripples.

With a slight anticipatory shiver and grin, I thought to myself, “this is going to be a very good day.”


  1. Posted April 19, 2011 at 10:56 am | #

    Lovely images.

  2. Aaron Atkinson
    Posted April 20, 2011 at 2:02 am | #

    Thanks Dave. And thanks for the excellent PM’d advice. You’re my imagery guru. Stay tuned for an onslaught of verbology.

  3. eddie
    Posted April 28, 2011 at 10:59 pm | #

    Great stuff

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