Fishing (trouting) season opens in Newfoundland on May 15th. One person who'll be wetting a line this weekend is my sister-in-law.
You can hear the flick of the pole and the release of the line as her arm bends back and then throws forward, holding the pole, allowing the line to play out of the reel. She adjusts the position of the plug bobber in the water by reeling the line back until she positions the bait in that perfect spot; the spot where some unsuspecting trout decides to nibble on the flies dangling on the line. She can stand like this for hours, throughout the trouting season, any hour of the day. This woman is my sister-in-law, Michele Taylor Pretty.
Michele came by this love of fishing honestly enough. She is a daughter of Mary and Jack Taylor, both ardent anglers. For six months every year, they spent most of their time at their cabin at Placentia Junction, Newfoundland. There they eagerly awaited the time when, in season, the first flicks of the pole would usher in another long awaited trouting adventure.
What is it about trouting that makes it so enchanting to some? Of the seven children in her family, Michele is the most afflicted with the lure of the line in the water, though her brother Damien is a close second. Is it the solitude of the setting by the side of a pond? Is it the chance of landing that big one that doesn't get away this time or the story of one that does? Is it the challenge of finding the spot where the trout are gathered on a particular day or knowing what bait to use? Surely it isn't the mosquitos and flies that inevitably appear or the myriad of weather conditions, from snowy cold to blistering heat across the season, that keep the afflicted coming back.
Whatever it is, only those who can answer the question really appreciate those moments when time appears to stand still and the workday melee is replaced by the hum of the earth.