To Catch A Fish

To Catch A Fish

A Story by busterlee

A day too cold for fishing.


To Catch A Fish

I think my hands are cold.  They were a while back. I shiver at times.  The tops of my thighs are cold. That worries me.  I think I need to call it a day. It’s the dang wind.  I should have bought that one hundred mile per hour suit, you know the Gortex thing.  I’m the only one on the lake. I can feel the cold in my chest when I breathe. I could feel my nose and cheeks a few hours ago.  My breath fogs and is swept away by January wind.

Just a few more casts.  I haven’t had a bite all day.  I need to catch something. I don’t mind not catching fish.  I just can’t stand saying, “No, I didn’t catch anything.”. Then I feel like I have to explain why I went fishing in the first place.  “None of your dang business.” I cough into my blue hand. “Crap, I really should go.” Not yet, just a few more casts, three more. There’s a big one out there, down deep.  I bet he’s cold. He moves slow and floats. Does he know he’s cold?

My eyes hurt.  I flex my hands and my legs.  They say that helps but I doubt it.  I’ve never been able to exercise myself warm and believe me I’ve tried.  I can’t imagine freezing to death but if I fell in the lake right now I might not need imagination.  I don’t know if I could pull myself back into the boat. Why do I do this? I could be in the truck with hot air blowing on my feet.  I remember the way the heat makes my hands hurt and itch, my face burn. It would stop the shivers though.

I won’t catch anything today.  I should go right now, after this next cast.  I can barely feel the reel in my hand. The wind is dying.  It’s strange when the sun fades behind the trees, how the wind dies and the temperature falls.  It feels like a heatwave to a freezing fisherman. I know it’s getting colder but the stillness is hypnotic.  I feel warmer but I know I’m not. I’m too far gone to warm up out here. It’s strange. I’m worried a little.  Just a few more casts. I need to catch something. I could just go home and say I did. I’ve never done that before.  No, I’ll never do that. I’d rather freeze to death. How would it be?

My fingers feel huge like Ball Park Franks.  I’m hungry. I can smell coffee. I would give a hundred dollars for a hot cup full.  I swear, I can smell it right now. I scan the shoreline looking for some parka covered oaf with a mug in his hands.  It’s just imagination. I should go home now and watch a Celtics game and drink hot coffee and eat Ball Park Franks but I don’t want to, not yet.  I haven’t caught that frozen bass yet. He wouldn’t even fight. He would just float up and surrender his pale white body to me, his mouth gaping open in disbelief, “A fisherman, in this weather?”, he would say if he could.  I swear it feels warmer out here now. It’s not.

I’m tired, so tired.  If I could just sleep for a few minutes I’d feel so much better.  The bottom of the boat, I could curl up there and wrap my arms around my legs, pull them up to my chest, just for a few minutes.  It would feel so good to just drift away. Just for a few minutes. It might warm me up, maybe, maybe I’d drift away and not wake up ever again.  Just for a few minutes, no more. My hips are cold now, my shoulders. My legs buckle and jerk, pushing straight again. Just for a few minutes, ten minutes.

It’s warmer down there in the floor.  My eyelids are so heavy. It’s warmer when I close them.  I can feel heat radiating upward onto my legs. It’s warmer there.  Just a few minutes. I sit down on the front deck and place my rod on the green carpet.  My feet are in the bottom of the boat, warmer. I kneel down, just a few minutes, that’s all.  I lay down and press my back against the rod locker, my head on my arm. I close my eyes, so warm.  I’m so tired. The boat rocks. My heart thumps. It feels so good here. Just a few minutes. Oh God, this is wonderful.  

© 2018 busterlee

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Added on August 21, 2018
Last Updated on August 21, 2018
Tags: cold, fishing




I like to write. I don't know if my writing is worth reading but that doesn't seem to matter much. I think that I need to write and I know that I enjoy it. I believe that 90 percent of what we do i.. more..