Monday, June 1, 2009

Why "The Anglers Mark" ?

The name came from nothing spectacular, but people ask. A number of years ago I took two employees fishing with me. The "senior" employee, Dylan, had fished with me a number of times. He was quite competitive, a pretty good angler, and caught fish on occasion, just like the rest of us. The new guy, David, came from southern California -a different culture- and was new to north Florida salt water fishing. The two worked together during the week and bantered back and forth constantly during their work day, trying to one-up each other on every task or subject. We had just launched at the Bait House on Eagans Creek and were trolling towards the river, tossing live shrimp under a float up into the grass when the new guy, David, hooked up with a trout. I was happy to see him catch a fish and was amused when the bantering between the two began. David boated another trout and then another and then another while Dylan watched almost helplessly. The dagger was finally driven home when David proclaimed to Dylan, "I've got the Mark of an Angler...and you don't!" I thought it was funny at the time to see the more experienced angler humbled somewhat, but upon reflection, it was just what I was looking for. To some, the fishing experience is not just about catching fish, but getting out on the water, seeing a manatee's snout blow out of the water, kicking back on your leather chair with an adult beverage while you rig up the rods for the following day, making your sandwiches the night before, tossing a good tight loop on the flyrod, catching a fish on a fly you tied, teaching a young one how to cast, even feeling the crispness of your fishing shirt as you put it on in the morning, leaving early to have bacon, eggs and grits at the Huddle House, having a fish fry with your friends, cutting across the water as the sun rises and last but not least, feeling the heavy tug on your line as a Redfish chomps down on your bait. To me, fishing is more than catching fish. I don't think I was born with the "Mark" but I've sure grown into it!

No comments: