Late in the morning, Karen and I went out to a western NJ river so I could fish, and she could sit in the sun and study for her mid-term this week on neurology and pain management. After sitting next to the river and eating some lunch together, I rigged up and waded out into the clear, cool flow hoping to catch a few trout.
I fished for about two hours and unlike last weekend, this week I couldn't bring a fish to the top with dry flies so I had to go down for them. And in contrast to last week, I didn't catch a single wild trout. I caught a bunch of stocked brook trout - big honkers, too. All them on a size #18, black, beadhead micro-midge nymph.
Here's one of those big, ugly fish........this one was about 3 lbs! They fought well, and were fun to catch, but they just don't have the beauty and aura of a wild fish. Not that it wasn't fun and a great day to be out on the river. One the highlights was watching a good-size kingfisher work the edges of the water and after many missed attempts, it took nice 3-4 inch long chub from a side eddy.
Although it was fun to be out fishing, and the fishing was good, all in all I would much rather catch the smaller wild fish, or stocked fish that have been in the river and that have naturalized somewhat to their environment. That said, it was a joy as usual to be alive and on/in the water on such a beautiful day.
About mid-afternoon, I headed back to the car and while taking off my waders and putting my gear away, I got to listen to Karen boil down two hours worth of cramming medical terminology into her head. She quizzed me to recall it and burn the info into her head she does it all the time, and its pretty interesting stuff................usually. Sometimes its just plain funny the way she gets going and goes off on a tangent that's like a foreign language in many ways.
Then after getting home and changing, we headed into the city to see a concert at Radio City Music Hall - Ray LaMontagne.
The concert was great. And the city, in stark contrast to where we had been earlier in the day, was packed with people and humming with manmade energy. As with the countryside, the city has so many qualities that make you feel alive. If I had to choose though, I'd certainly take the country as it suits me for the long-term, but I do love spending time in the concrete jungle. Thank goodness I don't have to choose.
Life is good. So is a day of contrasts.