It's Not You, Honey. It's Me.

This dalliance with the old girlfriend seemed cheap and tawdry
Finn's Bass
Photo: Mike Sepelak

"Meetup location sounds good. I'll give you a call when I leave Harry's with the boat. I plan to bring a spinning rod along with my fly rod. I've been catching some bass on swim baits on the pond here at Five Points. So feel free to bring a spinning rod if you want."

It took some digging, but I found it. Tucked into the backmost corner of the deepest reaches of the basement. Hidden behind a flaccid float tube and a roll of plastic deer fencing. Draped in cobwebs and dust. The forgotten stick. My old 5’9” Shimano BW-2593 Bull Whip Graphite Fightin’ Rod. Medium Bass/Walleye Special Action. Quantum Escalade loaded with Fire Line. Fat black jitterbug, still strung from some midnight foray to the pond down the hill, years past.

I was young and foolish then.

But we ended up using the darn things. A surprisingly stiff breeze chopped the lake. A blast from the north, forcing us to cast a blast from the past.

I remembered what it’s like to send a weighty lure sixty yards with a flick of the wrist. No false cast. No double haul. Never mind that a decent hookset from that distance is unlikely. It was startling just to watch it fly.

Jitterin' the bug. Walkin' the Zara pooch. Slingin' spinnerbaits. Deep-divin' big-lipped cranks. Bass moves I’d almost forgotten.

But after a few hours the wind dropped and the guilt moved in. This dalliance with the old girlfriend seemed cheap and tawdry. I’d taken easy comfort with another when the times got tough. I’d backslid.

I was ashamed.

So I put down the short whip and tenderly pulled from the gunnels my sweetness, my steadfast 6wt, strung and ready to go. Long elegance and light as an angel's kiss. I stripped a little line, gave it a quick roll, and sent the deer hair flying…

… twenty feet.

It felt like shit.