Paul was ambitious fishermen as a child. Always looking for the next opportunity to drop a line in the water. After two years of living in Greenwich, CT, Paul’s passion for fishing took over his summer mornings and nights. They resided in a rental cottage on a large estate that provided easy access for any resident or tourist wanting to fish the lakes or streams. The winter of 1978 seemed to have a significant impact on the water. Constant sub-zero temperatures and heavy snowfall. During this time, I believe Paul would have stated that the fisheries becoming extinct and by the end of the book, he may become more optimistic as he matures.
I grew up in a small town and spent countless weekends at my grandpa’s cottage fishing the Mississippi for bluegill and crappie. His cottage was tucked just off the river along with hundreds of other dwellings. My family also enjoyed going to northern Wisconsin to a very touristy attractive town of Hayward and fish walleye and musky. Regardless of the lake or river fished, we almost never came home empty handed. This part of my life was sort of similar to Paul’s early years fishing off large real estate areas that had easy public access.
Another part of my life I was in the state of Washington. I lived there for nine years and was grateful to have such vast fishing opportunity within reasonable travel time. There were several rivers that I loved to fish. The Columbia, Nisqually, Cowlitz, Carbon, and the Skokomish rivers. I would travel to each of them at different times of the year. The production I would get out of each is what made me return to the same spot every year. This is where I learned what “combat fishing” was all about.
Around fall of 2007 and into 2008, I started to get skunked more and more. Parking areas and river bank crowds became scarce. I never really looked up the fishing reports as the fishing was always great. I started to dig in and found similarities in many of the rivers. The fish count seemed to be declining. Fishing reports no longer got me excited. Regulations seemed to constantly change throughout the season. Rivers tend to have higher water than the previous year and washouts would create new shorelines. By the time I really started paying attention, the Army told me I had to move. It’s funny how ten years later, I am finding myself more curious learn about what may have disrupted the patterns of these fish.