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52 Godly Men : Men of Today Teaching the Men of Tomorrow » My Journey » Week 29: Fish and Tips

Week 29: Fish and Tips

Most of you who read this know that one friend in particular. He’s the guy that, given merely a worm, a hook, and a stick, can set the world record for the biggest bass ever caught (or so it seems). He’s the guy that, when you’re bragging about “the one that got away”, steps in and mentions that he has that fish mounted in his living room. He’s the kind that catches anything, anywhere, anytime, with any lure. Let me give you a hint–I am not that friend. Never have been, never will be. I could be in the Tennessee Aquarium fishing in the piranha tank with a dead animal on my hook, and I wouldn’t get a single bite. (Okay, I might get a little bite, but I’m just saying…) However, this small fact did not dampen my spirits when I learned that I would be traversing on a fishing trip with my uncle, Cyril Thompson: one of the more avid sportsmen in the world, and a guy that actually catches fish with regularity.

A Beautiful PlaceI met with my uncle sometime around four thirty, and we set off to the lake. It’s an absolutely beautiful place, with great scenery and lovely calm water. And hardly any fish. But that didn’t really matter at the time. We slid the canoe into the water, packed in all of the gear (and in my case, all of the food) and paddled off. We fished in the shallows most of the time, using light lures that would float on top. Uncle Cyril said that it would work, because “he could smell the fish in the water”. Apparently my sinuses were a bit blocked up, because I never got so much as a bite. However, between the monotony, he and I talked. Somewhere along the way, he asked me something to the extent of, “So, have you realized that you’ll never be able to fit in yet?” He’s a lefty, just like me, and he understands how it feels to not fit in. When I replied that I had, he said that the main thing was that “after realizing that you’ll never fit in, it’s useful to learn how to blend in”. I know that sounds a bit redundant, but it actually makes a lot of sense. You see, most people have something that keeps them from “fitting in” with everyone else. Maybe it’s their background, or their style of clothing, or their way of talking, etc., etc. They may try to walk the walk and talk the talk, so to speak, but they just aren’t “normal”. But once a person realizes that, it’s important to embrace that fact and say to themselves, “You know, I don’t really want to be like them after all”. However, just because you don’t fit in doesn’t mean that you have to stick out like a sore thumb. For instance, Uncle Cyril said that you could put him in the middle of a group of professors and he would blend in. Same with a passel of college kids. It’s kind of like what Paul the Apostle said to the Corinthians: “I have become all things to all men that I may save some”. So blending in isn’t necessarily conforming; it’s just keeping from being gauche and awkward.

Uncle Cyril Fly FishingWhen our deep and profound discussion was completed, we returned to our fishing. I tried a different lure, one for deep water. Nothing worked. It was hysterical and incredibly sad at the same time, my incapability. But there was a bright spot–around this time, Uncle Cyril caught a half-a-pound bass. It was too small to keep, but it was a fish just the same. It was still a gorgeous day, and there wasn’t the cold breeze that one would expect on a lake. Except for the fact that I still couldn’t catch a fish, it was turning out to be an altogether perfect day. Since the fish weren’t biting, I decided to do some biting of my own and ate my supper. Uncle Cyril wasn’t getting anything either, so he switched to fly fishing. I had never seen anyone fly fish before, The perch, such as it isso Uncle Cyril explained things as he went. There are some major differences between a fly fishing rod and a regular rod, and he tried to point them out to me. Number one, a fly reel pulls itself back in, so you don’t have to worry about manually reeling in the line. Another big difference is the line itself. It’s very light line for about four feet at the end, but everything else is heavy, multipound line. The reason for that is because you are using such a light lure, you need a heavy line to be ale to cast properly. He was getting a lot of nibbles, but no solid bites until about ten minutes later, when he caught a good-sized perch.

It was growing late, and we decided to call it quits. We paddled back to the SUV and loaded up all of our gear. On the way back, I got the chance to ask Uncle Cyril a few questions. My first was what some of his most insightful choices over the course of his life have been. His answer was simple: accepting Jesus as his Lord, marrying his second wife (he was divorced about six years ago), and buying the property that his house is on (it’s safe, has well water, and is right out there with nature). When I asked what his worst decisions have been, he said that probably marrying the first time was a bad choice, and not going into medicine as a profession was a bad choice. When I asked why he’d like to be in medicine, he said that he would most likely be a millionaire right now. My last question was how did he get to where he is right now? (he has a huge house, a good job, and tons of kids) He replied that there were two things that put him here: becoming a Christian early, and for the most part making sensible choices.

Cyril at NightAll too soon, we arrived at the spot where dad was supposed to pick me up, because I was having a blast spending time with Uncle Cyril. The fishing trip wasn’t exactly a smashing success, but our hangout went incredibly well. Also, we had some really great discussions, and even though I didn’t catch any fish today, I caught a bucketful of good advice from Uncle Cyril that’ll do me a world of good in the future. It’s just too bad that none of them were on how to hook a fish.

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One Response to "Week 29: Fish and Tips"

  1. Cyril says:

    Nice article, David. I’m glad you enjoyed the day.

    Uncle Cyril

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