Diary of a Retiree Robert A. Lytle: Fourth of July

Diary of a Retiree Robert A. Lytle

July 4, 2020 – Lake Orion, Michigan – Sunny, again, and in the 90s

Bob sits in a chair with bookselves behind him

Bob Lytle in his home library

In the lake most of the day—cleaning boats and raking muck from the shore—too  hot to do anything else.

While scrubbing the boat pontoons I looked out toward the island and saw a herd of geese, 9 actually, swimming with purpose toward the point. I was sure they were about to land and further despoil the area. They have totally fouled the entire shore to the point that a parent would never allow any young-uns to approach let alone walk. Birds in general and especially these are of the mind that it is their God-given right to use my shore for their latrine. Watching this pack cruising as they were to their favorite dumping ground, I recognized my need to send them off to some other place to complete their intended function. I knew that I couldn’t get there soon enough to scare them off before making landfall, and once they had landed, I may not complete my mission before they had completed theirs. In addition, when they saw me making my approach, their visit would be brief.

Since I am long past having the kind of arm that could pick off an over-eager runner leading off from first base, I grabbed, instead of a rock, one of my already locked and loaded fishing poles. My intention was to walk the geese off the property and into the lake, far from their usual area.

I found the rod and reel where I keep it against a nearby birch tree. There it serves simply as a prop—a thing like a hammock, an object placed with the unlikely chance it would ever be used for its intended use. As I advanced toward the geese, I watched as they followed their leader away from my shore toward the lake’s center.

When I reached the shore, I knew I was about as close as I was going to get to the last of the retreating birds. I reached back and lobbed my weighted rubber worm as far as I thought it might go, hoping it would land at least close enough to make a lasting impression. It arched beautifully landing about 60 feet from where I stood and only about 3 feet from the last bird.

Sure enough, they were nearly out of range when my salvo struck the water. The birds all fluttered their little tails as if to say, “Is that all you got?”

I made one crank to return my missile when I realized I was mired in a major patch of weeds. I tugged to free it, and remembered that I had equipped my line with a weedless lure. Weedless was evidently an overstatement, as that element had obviously failed. At the risk of breaking the line, I tugged again.

What followed was totally unexpected. Not more that 3 feet from the trailing goose, an enormous bass flew out of the water. I was still so sure I had snagged a weed that it took me a moment before I realized that I had, for the first time in my life, hooked a fish I had no intention of catching.

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  1. Kathie Rogers says

    Love it!

  2. Michelle Carpenter says

    Thanks for a bit of humor during these dreary pandemic days. I hope to read more of your musings. Glad you’re enjoying your retirement.

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