Sometimes while fishing in the wilds you get to experience things that no one else will ever experience.
I've had a lot of thing happen to me and seen some beautiful things I think about when all is quiet.
I was surf fishing for steelhead on the Lake Huron beach at a place called the singing bridge.
Used to spend a lot of time there. The old men would set out their poles and sit on the beach
and tell lies waiting for the fish to bite. Never knew what you hooked on to until you landed it----if you landed it.
I set the hook on a lot of fish and they just took off for Canada and broke my line and kept going.
Everyone would set out their poles----usually 2----before daylight. Dozens of men ---
and some women strung out for a half a mile or so. We'd sit on the beach in bunches and
watch some of the most beautiful sun rises you ever looked at. But, by 10 am the fish would
almost stop biting and about everyone would go home----except those of us who drove 3 hours to get there.
Sometimes I'd just hang around until the evening fishing---sometimes I'd go on to Oscoda to fish the river for the week-end.
This morning it was windy. Not many men showed up. Waves were about 2 feet high. Wind coming
right out of the east and a little cool, but the sun was bright and warm. About 8:00 am
I found myself alone sitting in my lawn chair watching and listening to the waves roll in.
Hadn't had a bite. Both lines in the water. I was about to doze off when I seen something
in the water about 30 feet out----on top of a wave. It was kicking and splashing. I stood and
started into the water and there he was-----a sparrow. Wings spread wide apart and flat on his
belly on top of a wave. I walked out to where he was and he was trying his best to fly but
couldn't lift off. Poor little fella was drowning. I had on brown jersey gloves and I just
slipped my hand under him and he floated into the palm of my hand. I lifted him out of the water
and to my surprise he made no attempt to fly. Just laid in my hand-----spread eagle and eyes closed.
I thought----oh well, poor little guys heart finally gave out. I took him back and sat down in my
chair and cupped him in my hand and went back to fishing----or better yet watching my fishing poles.
After quite a while I felt a movement and looked under my glove. He had finally tucked his wings back
where they belong. However he was not moving and his eyes were still closed.
Right next to my chair was a big piece of drift wood I was using as an arm rest. There was a big knothole
right by my hand so I gently laid him into it----almost like a little nest----
and wrapped my hand around it to protect him from the wind. Went back to watching my poles.
I started talking to him by then. But he kept his eyes closed and didn't move----or answer.
Asked him how he got in that predicament----told him I'd have to walk all the way to the van to get
him some food if he was hungry. Asked him if he liked ham sandwiches------my favorite.
Still he never opened his eyes. After about 20 minutes of one way conversation I noticed his
eyes were open and he was shivering a little. I kept talking to him and I moved my hand a little closer to stop as much wind as possible.
At this point I started telling him how much his little missus would miss him if he didn't
get better and the chicks----oh my ---how the chicks would be so sad if "daddy" didn't make it back home today.
They'd be raised without a daddy to show them-----whatever bird daddies show their chicks.
I think I was getting through to him to fight----because he blinked at me a few times.
I told him they needed him to guide the way south-----it was fall you know and they'd get lost for sure.
I kept talking to him and watching my poles for quite some time and pretty soon he got up and started to
move around in his little knot hole nest. I moved my hand back out of his way so he'd know he was free to get up.
After about 10 minutes he climbed out of his knot hole and sat on the branch just looking at me.
I complained a little about fishing all morning and not getting a bite----how bad fishing is with
an east wind and I should go on to the river this afternoon. He just blinked.
He finally started walking up and down the branch-----flapped his wings a couple times and looking at me.
The wind made my poles look like I was getting a bite once in a while and I'd stare at them ready to
dash out and grab them and that's what happened-----when I finally looked back at him he was gone.
I stood up and looked around at the trees for quite a while but there was no sign of him anywhere.
So I gathered up my gear and went to the van-----took one last look around for him and went on to the
river to finish out my week-end of fishing. I thought about the story he had to tell around the dinner
table eating bugs with his family that evening-----about the fisherman that wouldn't shut up.
Sometimes fishing isn't all fishing.
© April 28, 2013
Used With Permission
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