afterworkThe after work session, (more like obsession ) as it is referred to by my regular fishing partner and I makes up quite a chunk of the 120-150 days each year I spend on the water.  I’m lucky enough to live about 100 feet from the water and 1/3 of a mile from the public boat launch. Every morning when I come downstairs and look out the kitchen window at Lake Wassookeag I have to quash thoughts of taking the day off to fish by reminding myself how much stuff I have to do at the office. This works most of the time. “I can always go after I get out of work” I’ll tell myself...and most of the time that is just what I do.

Sure the leaves need raking- from last fall…seriously. I left them there because fall fishing is the absolute best. I rationalized by telling myself it is good for the soil to let those nutrients stay there. The lawn in late April doesn’t look like it appreciated the gesture. I started to rake them up last week and I’m about 90% done, but there are big piles of dead leaves all around… 

Yes, the great weather in the last week and a half has caused the grass to turn green and grow, but I can’t mow it until I pick up all of the branches that the Patriots Day Storm blew off the trees….and take care of the leaves…Besides, the lawnmower is still up in the shed. Yikes. There is trash to take to the dump. Not just trash but all of the recycling. Tin cans, jars, jugs, cardboard and even returnable bottles (When I was a kid, there would never be a bunch of bottles laying around, but 5 cents ain’t what it used to be I guess) all need to be placed into their respective barrels at the dump…but it is only open for another 15 minutes…plus the boat is hooked to the truck... 

There are a thousand things I could be doing. I see my neighbors doing them all of the time. “They don’t fish”. Sometimes I wonder what the hell they say about me when I pull my boat past their house as they stand there on a nice lawn with some gadget in their hand. “They don’t fish” I say to myself. I wonder if they get as excited by a new weed whacker as I do a new fishing pole…or even and old fishing pole. That reminds me. Have you seen those John Deere commercials? There is usually some guy riding around on his shiny green lawn mower as a neighbor looks over the fence in envy? He looks like he is thoroughly enjoying going in circles. That gives me a guilty feeling, and I’m not sure exactly why. What is it with people? All of my neighbors live just as close to the lake as I do, yet they drive little green tractors around their yard instead of driving big red bass boats around their lake. “They don’t fish”. 

I haven’t had a speeding ticket since September 20th, 1987. This fact really surprises me. I’ve had a few warnings in the interim, but I’ve escaped being awarded #2. On the days of a planned after work session (almost every day) I drive the 40+ miles back from work as fast as I dare. After a few years, one really gets an understanding of how the minds of those folks who would ticket us speeders really work. You know where you can and where you can’t speed. You know which days you see those shiny blue Chevy’s on what road and about when. I’d pay extra for gas for the right to hurry home as fast as I could just to get in three hours of fishing. Just three hours? I’d do it for one.Evening fishing is fine, ANY fishing is fine, I’d prefer dawn but I won’t complain. Like I said- Evening fishing is great! When I get home I’m into a pair of shorts, sneakers and a tee shirt…”wanna go fishing?” I say to the dog- who has been cooped up in the house all day…we bolt out the door and jump into the truck. Now we’re driving down the road past the folks on their little green tractors. I wonder to myself what they are thinking…It takes 2 minutes to get to the launch. There is usually someone LEAVING the lake. They’ve probably been there all day, but LEAVE? After launching the boat, I throw a stick or bottle out as far as I can and watch as the dog dives off the dock and swims for it…then we are off chasing bass again.