On my computer, at work, is a photo of me holding a very nice stringer of walleyes. In the photo I'm wearing sunglasses and a green earth tone raincoat on a walleye wind chopped lake. The scenery in the background is typical boreal forest with a rock atop rock accented shoreline.
The sun will set in this photo in about one hour so it gives a luminescent yellow tinge to any of the foreground. The walleyes are white bellied with golden sides and black backed. With the sunlight on the fish scales the fish actually shimmer, even in the photo.
The entire scene is back dropped with very large storm clouds scudding off into the distant eastern horizon, hence the rain coat and windy lake surface.
Now at the ripe old age of midlife, this photo answers it for me. I got a limit of walleye. They're fat, healthy fish. I kept nothing under fourteen and none over seventeen inches. The fish are uniformly perfect to my eyes.
The weather captured in the photo speaks volumes if you knew or know what to look for. We fished a front. As it passed through the walleye bite couldn’t have been more aggressive.
The photo also show’s things that are missing. No other boats, cabins or lodges. We had the lake entirely to ourselves and selfishly enough that was satisfying and tranquil.
If you look close enough you can catch the reflected image in my sunglasses of my fishing partner, taking my bragging rights image. While hard to see, he is there. Both of us oddly in the same photo and I can’t tell you how great that is. We fish a lot together and I have had some fantastic trips with him so you won’t be able to see or feel that but the photo recalls it quietly, for me.
I'm a small lakes kinda fisherman so my boat in all its fourteen foot glory makes the lake seem immense, the shoreline so distant and portrays me as a great North American walleye fisherman encapsulated in mysterious water. So if I never told anyone, it’s but a hundred acre lake tucked off a gravel graded road. But once again the photo is silent.
My beard stubble reminds me I was there over three glorious days. The red face is not sunburn, but wind burn. It was the Minnesota opener and we do not do much sunbathing in northern Minnesota on the opener. The photo has no small date on the printed image or time. Another well kept secret if I do not want to let that cat out of the bag.
So the picture reminds me not only of a stringer of fish you may happen by and see, it also shows the friendship, weather and water. Its really one of an insignificant number of the millions of photos developed, but its mine, about me.
So as I said earlier this photo answers it for me. For me life is not a question. Life is an answer, and you just need to be opened minded with the questions that come your way. The photo says all kinds of things to me and possibly nothing to you. But if you show up at my desk, sure as shooting I’m going to hold it up and see what it says to you. If it doesn’t answer I will just fill in some details for you if that’s all right.
The trout whisperer