The last few days I have been driving to the river to drink coffee. Yes, I am sure it seems strange to most fisherman; driving to a river and not fishing. But you see, I live close by. I have the luxury of visiting a river to drink coffee.
Just like other fisherman, I find drinking coffee in the parking lot with no intention of stringing your rod up, a bit odd. But one glance down at the thermometer, reminds me why I sip java and listen to the monotone drone of NPR while staring at the snowy river. Though there is no closed trout season here, there seems to be some, unwritten, unspoken “end” of the season; for once the cold air of December locks into valley, fisherman become scarce. If I should happen to run into an angler, chances are that I know them.
As far the technical definition of “going fishing”, I feel that my morning coffee drinking expeditions, at the very least, constitute “going fishing”, which I find solace in. My belief is based on a line from a John Gierach story, which I would like to quote, but do not feel like finding the exact line, so here is essentially what he says: as long as you have a fly rod with you, you have “gone-fishing”, whether you put a fly on the water or not. If you gear up and walk down to the river bank, even better; but you still have not put a fly on the water, so technically, you have not gotten any farther than you would have by just sitting in the car listening to the news.
The sun rises and I slowly run out of coffee, my ears are filled with reports of political executions in North Korea and how all of our credit card numbers have been stolen at Target; and I think to myself, I may need to actually fish. Enough with this “going fishing” business.