Keeping from going stir-crazy… Fishing a way to get out of the house while practicing social distancing

Published 12:36 am Monday, March 30, 2020

The rod tip starts to shake as a fish, most likely a trout starts nibbling at either a juicy nightcrawler or perhaps some corn or salmon eggs.
A fisherman has been sitting quietly during the morning waiting for the opportunity to set the hook into what could turn into a tasty supper entree after cooking the fish until the meat literally falls off the bone.
Suddenly, the rod tip bends heavily toward the water and the angler’s anticipation is finally over as with the setting of the hook, the fish is reeled into the bank, removed from the hook and dropped into a bucket or attached to a stringer and the fish is placed back into the water to stay fresh.
Many people are starting to find their way to area river banks and lakes as a way of getting out of the house while keeping their distance from other anglers who have gotten the same idea.
On Friday morning, anglers were found sitting on the riverbank or at the top of a bridge that crosses the river, floating in one of the many guided tours that area businesses offer or perhaps floating in a one-man paddle fishing boat.
In all honesty, these guys were hoping to land a fish to share a fish tale with their buddies but in the very end, it wasn’t about the number of fish taken.
It was about being out on an early-spring day, away from the house, and letting one’s mind take in the beauty of nature and a breath of fresh air.
Carter County resident Ralph Hall was one of those anglers.
“I have been here since about 9 am this morning fishing,” Hall said. “I have caught one. They just ain’t biting for some reason. I have seen several jump but they just ain’t biting.”
Hall was leaning on a big nightcrawler on the end of his line to draw the attention of a potential passing customer swimming past.
Just a few yards up the river, a boat of three anglers were sitting out about mid-way in the river as the occupants were taking turns snapping their fly rods sending a fly at the end of their fishing line toward a perspective fish on the take.
Again, not many fish were being taken but it was the experience these gentlemen has secured when they first called on the guide that was putting them in position to make a lasting memory by hooking a big brown or rainbow trout.
In the distance, a man in a single boat was likewise making cast using a fly rod.
When approached a conversation broke out. David Griffin had made his way from his home in Waxhaw, NC, a suburb of Charlotte, NC, to enjoy a day on the river.
“I have a little cabin up in Pineola, NC that I stay in when I want to come fish,” said Griffin. “This area is really blessed with this fishing resource you guys have here.
“I think you jinxed me because I haven’t caught a fish since we have been talking,” Griffin said with a chuckle.
If one might be thinking about hitting the river to either escape by themselves or with family, they might want to do so pretty soon with the uncertainty of the possibility that folks may be told to shelter in place.
It’s not hard to keep one’s distance and some good old vitamin C from the sun couldn’t hurt anyone. Grab a lawn chair, pack some crackers and a soda pop, and let your mind go as the river lazily passes by and the next fish could be just a tug away.

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