Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Great Day for Us...

...a bad day for fish.

But I digress. Let's talk philosophy. I have been trying to focus on the positive, because I believe that what you put your energy into is what you attract to yourself. This past week has been miserable for me, as I was forced to give up my entire weekend to work from 6:00 in the morning until 9:00 at night.

To top it all off, relatives were in town visiting us and I couldn't even go out to dinner with them, because I had to work through dinner. When they came in the door, I'd have to shush them up and close my office door because I was always in a phone conference. I hated being rude to them, but I had to get a lot of work done in a short period of time, and it was hard with these people who were on vacation hanging out in our house and socializing loudly where I was trying to work. After all the work I did, there were still some unexpected failures with the project, so we are still in emergency mode. Needless to say, my stress level has been worse than ever. I was beginning to think that unless I flat out quit my job, I was never going to get a day off ever again.

I had written a post about it, but decided not to publish it, because I didn't want to dwell on my frustration over rarely getting time off to relax. Plus blogging about it wouldn't serve any purpose beyond letting me get it off my chest. I felt depressed, because my daughter will be leaving for her new job at college in a couple of weeks, and I haven't spent any time with her outside of work. I had also promised to take my son fishing before the river got too low, and the river is already too low in spots.

I'm supposed to be getting every Thursday off from work, but my boss keeps scheduling meetings and deadlines for me that make it impossible for me to take Thursdays off. He scheduled yet another meeting for me on Thursday, but didn't explicitly say I could not take the day off, so come Wednesday night, my son and I raced out to the market to buy fish bait, hooks, sinkers, and fishing licenses for Thursday. Normally, I have my equitation lessons on Thursdays, but I felt it was more important to take my son fishing ASAP and not wait until the weekend when all the tourists would be out.

My decision turned out to be perfect. While I was packing lunches and drinks, I asked my son to feed the horses. He walked outside and found this beautiful rainbow above our house. These are some pictures he took with my camera...

Then, as if to make a perfect beginning to the day even better, one of my favorite little buddies appeared to say hello...

My son just turned 16 and is trying to put in all of his required hours of driving with his driver's permit, so that he can get his license. I let him drive us into the mountains for our fishing expedition on the Walker River. I was nervous, but he did a great job at the helm. A bunny ran in front of us and he was able to make a split-second decision to prevent both the bunny from getting squashed and to prevent us from getting into a head-on collision.

We went to a bridge where we always see a lot of fishermen. I suspected that the Dept. of Fish and Game probably stocks the river there. We could see fish swimming around from the top of the bridge, and I caught two fish right away, but they were too small to keep, so my son released them back into the river once I removed the hook. We drove to another bridge further up the highway, but didn't get any bites. The entire underside of the bridge was covered with swallows and their nests. I wanted to get a picture of it, but left my camera in the car. The swallows were swooping down on insects that were dancing on the water, so I thought that where there are insects there will be fish, but I was wrong.

I really wanted my son to catch some fish, because in years past I've caught fish, but he hasn't, so he ended up not having a very good time. We were about to pack up and go somewhere else when I noticed a shady spot underneath a cliff. I thought perhaps the fish would be hanging out in the shade, and headed down there only to find a really nice pool where the river wasn't running fast.

I threw my line in and instantly hooked a fish, then another, then another. These fish were much bigger than the babies I had to throw back, and I love to eat fish but can't afford most of the fish sold in the supermarket, so I kept these for dinner. My son joined me at the same pool and he too started reeling in the fish. We thought we had caught around 8 between us, but were surprised to find 13 Rainbow Trout in our creel. We decided we were being gluttonous at that point, so we told a nice couple about our lucky hole and hit the highway to search for an outhouse. Fortunately, there were several campgrounds along the way.

We wanted to stop to fish just a little longer, more for the enjoyment of the outing than to catch anything. I doubted our freezer would hold much more fish. We were looking for a shady place to pull over to eat our lunch and fish. When we found one, we were almost on top of it. I said to my son, "Pull over here."

He pulled off the road and braked so hard that the cooler in the trunk tipped over and slid forward into the backseat, where we had folded down the seat to make room for the fishing poles, throwing fish and ice cubes everywhere all over the back compartment of the car. We were laughing so hard. It wasn't easy picking up all those slimy fish and cold ice cubes with our hands to pack them back into the cooler. We had to make sure we didn't miss any fish, because it's really hard to get the smell of dead fish out of a vehicle.

I don't remember fish as being so slimy, but neither of us could hold onto a fish with our hands. We had to grab the line, then clamp the fish between our thighs while we removed the hook. There were a couple that got away after being brought to shore, because we couldn't get them into our laps fast enough. I'm glad we wore jeans and not shorts.

After a while it started raining and the fish started biting again. My son caught the last and biggest fish of the day, a 12-incher, bringing our count up to 14 fish between the two of us. We'll be eating well for a few weeks.

Irony of all ironies, right when we got into the left-hand turn lane to drive the final mile toward home, a Tribal Police Officer came up from behind us with his lights and siren on. My son had to pull off to the right to let him through, which forced us to go in the opposite direction from home. My son said we could drive out to the Fairgrounds since we were derailed in that direction anyway. I wanted to see if there was a horse show. No horse show, but a lot of thunderclouds. It had been pouring chubby rain by the time we left the river. It was then that I realized I made the right choice to go fishing instead of taking another riding lesson. Fish bite well in the rain. Horses and leather saddles don't fair so well.


Kate said...

What a marvelous expedition! It sounds like you and your son had a great day - yummy fish too - nice that you finally got a moment to breathe.

Katharine Swan said...

NM, I'm glad you had such a good day off! Heaven knows, you needed it!

Breathe said...

There has got to be another job out there. Just like another fish on the line. Glad you grabbed the day!

I love fish. Can't wait to hear how you prep them. I get all my fish in fillet form. :)

Paint Girl said...

I am so glad you got to get out and spend the day fishing with your son! Sounds like you had a great time and ended up with a freezer full of fish!
Where you go fishing is absolutely beautiful! Gorgeous scenery!!

HorseOfCourse said...

What a great day! I am so happy for you, NuzzMuzz.
And thanks for the photos, beautiful scenery!

I also love fish, and nothing beats the fresh ones you've caught yourself. Here fish is easy to come by with Norway's long coastline incl. many fish farms, so we buy ours in the shop mostly. But you miss out the thrill that way!

Leah Fry said...

I so need to come and visit you. I love the Reno-Tahoe area, and your photos remind me of why.

And what a great day fishing! Good for you for taking off!

Cheryl Ann said...

I'm glad you got a day off and had a wonderful time with your son. They grow up so quickly!

Fantastyk Voyager said...

What an excellent day! Those are the days I cherish best, time with my children in the beautiful mountains.

Kristen said...

those are some great pictures! I'm sure your son appreciated you skipping the riding lesson to hang with him!

Molly said...

Wonderful. I bet your boss survived the day without you. And your son will always remember the fishing day and the "fish spill" in the car.

I have a friend in Reno who telecommutes and is also on the phone for hours, even when company is in the home. Something always comes up to panic over. I just keep telling her how lucky she is to have a job in these tough times. I wish there was a better balance for you hard working people who don't get to go home and leave the job.

manker said...

yay for mental health day.. good for you. looks lots like where we rode yesterday!

stand your ground!!!

jen098 said...

Great for you, taking time to live your life! I love my job, but hate where I work. Because I work in education, people think that is all my life should be about, but I have a lot of interests. In fact, if you try to put yourself first, a person would hear, "We have to put the children first..." But what employers fail to realize, is a happy, well rounded employee is a more productive one, one who will stay around, take less sick days etc. Too bad for this downturn in the economy because I fear employers will get worse, not better!

baystatebrumby said...

Don't you hate having to work for a living? I sure do.
I love your landscape--it looks really spectacular.
I also like the rabbit.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

What gorgeous places yo have to go fishing and exploring! How close are they from your house?

Your photos are all beautiful, especially the rainbows. Wow!

Nice to see recent pics of your handsome son, too. Good job on both of you for your successful fishing.

And, you said, "We had to make sure we didn't miss any fish, because it's really hard to get the smell of dead fish out of a vehicle."

Sounds like you have first hand experience with that. Wanna share? lol!