I love fish. I love to watch fish. I love to fish for fish .. and catching fish is a lot of fun, too. But I can garner all the satisfaction necessary by just watching fish. I can barely walk past a mud puddle without checking it for fish. I am mesmerized by the fish tanks at Wal-Mart.
So, every chance I get to walk by a stream, near a lake or pond bank, along a beach … I am looking. Looking intently, for fish. For me – ‘fishing’ is more fun that the actual ‘catching’. In the same way, looking is high up there in the fun-ranks, as well.
But there is a lot more to ‘looking at fish’ than just enjoying them. The more you look at them, you end up observing them. This observation leads to a better understanding of fish movement and behavior. The better you understand fish… well that information comes in ‘reel’ handy when you’re lookin’ to ‘hook-up’ with one. Reeeeel, handy!!
An off-shoot of this habit of watching-fish has become the, measuring of the fish I observe. Now, being at random distances: from bank-to-water; depth-of-water; clarity-of-water; etc. There is simply no precise way to actually take a measurement with all of the interfering variables. So I devised one. I call it CALIPER. Which stands for the ‘Casual Angler’s Let’s Imagine Proportion-by-Experince Ruler’. And the process of CALIPER, I call, ‘caliperizing. Yes, my new word for the day is caliperizing.
The ‘Casual Angler’ caliperizes fish by
- spotting the fish — of course;
- fully extending whichever arm you wish, in front of you, with thumb and index finger in a ‘near-pinch’ position (together but not touching);
- sighting the fish ‘through the opening”; opening and closing the thumb and forefinger to allow the fish to ‘swim through visually';
- taking a measure of the ‘gap’ with a ruler and recording it;
Combining the caliperizing process, with records of catching a few of those whom I ‘caliperized’, I have been able to formulate a rough, but fun-to-acquire set of data on sizing the fish. Seriously, all math used here is as simple as it gets. It has to accommodate me!
Interestingly enough, I got lucky. Measuring’ the size and weight of a fish with this caliperizing method, seems to work! So, watching fish has now become sort of like ‘best ball’ in golf. I walk over by some water – spot fish – observe for a while – caliperize a few – record the number of my would-be-C&R-fish, rank by size, and jot them down, compare to historical data and…. Voila! Fish fun without anyone -fish or fisherman- being overly excited or stressed in – or because of – the event.
Truly a non-invasive form of outdoor activity, involving fish and tabulating trophy and size. When executed in a phenological format, an interesting graph of a stream, river, lake, etc. can/could be derived. Such activity may seem intuitive. But, that is rarely the case. By-and-large, this kind of information just does not exist. Maybe a fad-wave is begun .. eh?
I’m not saying this is a replacement for actually casting a fly; floating it out over a calm pool, to drop undetected at the entry to the feeding lane of a lunker brown trout; mending line, keeping distance, ready to set – connection! – hook-up – battle – meet ‘n greet – photo memory – adieu! – and onward.
NOT at all!
But, is sure beats setting on a couch and watching people shout, act stupid, break jaws, and dispense human germs to the piscatorial community.
BY A LONG SHOT!
Did I mention.. I like fish?
I am haunted by waters … and all the stuff found there. Yes I am this is true. And, it fits me just fine.
The latest image to grasp my imagination is the one on this page, entitled, Almost in Grasp. This is a 20″ x 14.5″ eLITHOGRAPH impressionist piece, created in serigraphic (silk/screened image), 5-color, posterization format.
The image du inspiration, came to me by way of my Facebook Friend, Bill Elliott, of Statesville, North Carolina. The original image can be seen in Bill’s Gallery/Albums/Cover images.
Bill, is, himself a magnificent outdoor activity artist; with many years of successful art and illustration work behind him – and we certainly hope many more in front. Bill’s preference in outdoor art shows up in his love of fish and fishing. Moments after Bill had posted the original photo I came across it and could not resist asking for permission to interpret. Bill was his usual self, and was most gracious in his reply, saying, “Go right ahead.” So, I did. Thank you Bill. I do believe it was a very good outcome.
I should also admit that the ‘style’ I ended up using is one with no small matter of influence, by two other Facebook artist friends; and no slight amount of nudging by the works or a couple more. I will only embarrass two of them with this post.. but not to worry, the rest of you are fair game, too! The eLITHOGRAPH, Almost in Grasp style owes a good deal of design-genetic influenced by the works of Josh DeSmit, (Josh DeSmit Art) of New Hope, Minnesota and Ryan Sharpe (DeadWeightFly) of Greensboro, North Carolina.
Thanks guys . It is all your fault. Well, that and all that fish watching.