The light of dawn is just making itself known. The sun has not yet poked over the mountain. A bag containing morning snacks, a thermos of coffee, and a bottle of schnapps is hoisted over my shoulder and we head for the dock. The ice has been gone from the lake for over a week now but our breath still can be seen in the air, it is cold. Start the bilge pump, check the fuel, fire up the engine, cast lines away and we are headed away from the land we just slept on. Heading out to open water, out to where we hope to harvest our supper. The water, without a breath of wind, is like a mirror.

The trip to the ledges is short thanks goodness. I couldn't sit there shivering much longer. I need to get moving. Lines, tied the day before with much discretion and care, go out. And now we sit back down to watch the rhythmic thumping of the rods and give that hot coffee a shot of what's good for you on a cold morning. The cup warms the hands and it's contents the belly.

As we pass over a hump, the electronics buzz with the activity it is detecting below us. The anticipation builds as we can only hope the choices we have made for the enticements on the end of our lines will bring the scaly prey to the hook. All eyes scan the water and all we see is the slight wake our boat is leaving and each line is signified by a little dimple as it enters the water.

My line twitches, rings emulate from it's entry, and again. Suddenly, with the alarm of a gun shot, the reel spools and the rod jerks and an anxious, nervous “fish on” is shouted. I pick up the rod to feel the weight of the fish and it is heavy. It turns away from the pressure I put on it and the reel sings as the line is stripped from the spool again. The fight is exhilarating, the blood is pumping and I know I am smiling from ear to ear as I fight the fish closer to the boat. I am proud that the offering I have chosen was appropriate, that the prey was attracted to my presentation. And now all that is needed is to be firm, yet forgiving, solid yet flexible. And soon he is there next to the boat. The net is ready in capable hands and I lead the fish to his ultimate fate and he is boated.

He is big and beautiful, shimmering in the sun as it now has climbed into view above. And his colors are vibrant and crisp. It would be shameful to turn the bones of this fish into garbage just to reap the meat that surrounds them. This is truly a trophy worthy of a mount that would remind me of this adventure he has provided me. After some photos, my senses have calmed and my mind is clear. He still shakes in defiance and I realize that the only way to show the respect this magnificent animal deserves is to release him back to whence he came and hope he will reproduce. I slip him back in the water and hold his tail until he has had a few breaths and scoots from my grip.

I have primped and outfitted my offering. Placed it in the waters and danced it before the potential catches. A trophy would be nice. But I believe I will love and respect it with an open hand so it can swim free at any time.
Very lovely, hope to see more of your poems on forum.
very nice :D