It is the time of year when the Salmon rivers in Ireland and Scotland begin opening for the season. Scotland in particular makes a big splash of the opening of the rivers. Whiskey is poured as a libation before the first flies of the season are cast.
Then it is all about the records. First fish of the season, largest salmon of the day/ week/ month/ river/ region. There are never larger fish caught than the ones that got away. The life of a fisherman is a life of imagination, what might be and what might have been. The fish you actually caught are almost a throwaway to fortune, because they only represent the thin edge of what might one day be.
I recall standing in front of a large board of lures like the one above in a fishing shop in Dublin. I asked the shopkeeper which lures were the best for catching trout. He replied that he didn’t know about catching trout, but he could tell me which were the best lures for catching anglers.
THE SONG OF WANDERING AENGUS: by W.B. Yeats
I WENT out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.
When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.
Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.