My husband emailed me just after noon, and said he could wrap up his work day around 3:30 and we could meet at the pond where we caught a good number of trout last year. The pond is stocked with hatchery trout by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and had just been stocked for the season.
It occurred to me that “playing hooky” might have been derived from hook, as in fish hook, as in skipping school or other obligation, to go fishing. However, etymologists believe “hooky” is derived from Dutch and refers to stealing. I refuse to believe them. I was excited my husband had an hour before his day’s usual end to go fishing.
We saw a few fish circles in the water, and my husband saw a wake of a fish swimming just below the pond’s surface. Other than that, the trout adroitly eluded us. Completely. Not a nibble. Two of my lures and one of my husband’s bolted for some inconveniently tall, shaggy blackberry bushes.
I surmise that the fish were still fat and happy from being fed at the hatchery, and that they were also cold. I know we were. I know my hands were frozen in my thermal-lined leather gloves.
But we were there, at the pond, fishing, on a Wednesday late afternoon. As Robert Frost concludes in “The Road Not Taken,”
“And that has made all the difference.”
My first cast of the season in our favorite trout pond