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The Day the Fishing Gods Turned Against Me

October 14, 2019

It was a clear windy day at Lake Dunstan, New Zealand. I really wanted to catch and cook a fish. I got my fillet knife and my cooler. I was ready! I went to the water and began casting. I was there for an hour and I got no bites. My parents came outside, and we talked, but still no BITES! About four hours through with, (you guessed it) NO BITES! It was a little frustrating, but also kind of funny.

After four hours we met a lady. My dad started playing with the dog. It was kind of an awkward situation because the lady didn’t want the dog messing with us. The dog wanted to play so he started barking at my dad. My dad finally picked up the stick and threw it. The whole time I was watching the situation I was laughing SO LOUD! The lady told us about a fishing spot she has seen other people fishing at.

We went there, and I had a little hope. An hour later I walked away with, yet again, NO BITES! I was very persistent though and it was a little funny that my luck today was so horrible. We went back to the campervan and I went fishing off a boat dock there. There was a man fishing on the other boat dock with a fly-fishing rod and reel. My mom came with me because she REALLY wanted me to catch a fish. My dad came a little later to watch. I started to think that there were no fish in the lake because the fly fisherman also hadn’t got any bites. My mom and the fisherman’s wife got in a really good conversation. I was kind of mindlessly casting and just making jokes. Then suddenly I GOT A BITE.

I yanked up and sure enough I had a fish. I yelled, “Fish on!” My mom came running down to the boat dock. After a short fight I got the fish in. I have never been so EXCITED to catch a fish that only weighed 1 pound! It did take me 7 hours so it’s a little understandable. My mom had the cooler ready, but we made a mistake. The cooler was placed right in front of the water. We learned afterwards that you are supposed to kill the fish immediately even before you un-hook him. We learned that the hard way, because after I un-hooked him, I started walking to the cooler. Then suddenly right when the fish saw the water, he squirmed out of my hands and flopped back in the lake! My mom swore the fish had a plan. We started calling the fish Gerald because we believed he deserved a name.The fish was so calm, then suddenly it slipped and went flying into the lake. I was DEVASTATED!

Even though it still counts as catching a fish, I really wanted to cook it. I also had never had trout before, and I wanted to try my first trout for dinner. Though I probably should have quit and taken this sign from the universe, I didn’t. I started casting again and about 45 minutes later I got another bite! It was a big bite and I was a little nervous. I yanked back once, and I was confident I had the fish. I yanked back again, then suddenly he came off and I went flying backwards INTO THE LAKE! Mind you, it was COLD out and the lake was NOT refreshing. It all happened in slow motion. I was falling for what felt like a minute. I was more worried about my rod and reel than myself. That prompted me to get out quickly.

I learned that day that sometimes too much perseverance becomes stubbornness. That day luckily ended on a high note. I had a cold but nice dinner, and my dad and I played with ducks. Overall it was disappointing, but I learned a lot from Gerald the fish that got away.

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