A Stranger In The Night

Discussion in 'Outdoor Adventures' started by Whistler, Aug 31, 2005.

  1. Whistler

    Whistler Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,084
    State:
    TN
    Original post made by Linz Taylor(fshnutz) on April 22, 2005


    I have a little story Id'e like to share with you. My name is Lindsay Taylor. I am 23 years old and have been fishing most of my life. At a young age, I discovered that fishing is my escape. I have often heard golfers say that golfing is a lifestyle and that it teaches you humility and respect, amoung other things. I believe that fishing is the same way. I have always tried to find ways to express how fishing brings out the best in people and can bring perfect strangers together. Here is my story....
    I was 13 years old, and had just moved to California. My family had just moved into a house right next to the Sacramento River. I had never fished for catfish before, and had a wonderful time teaching myself. I pretty much taught myself the ropes of river fishing. I would often find old fisherman willing to give me tips, and learn averything I could from these knowledgeable oldtimers. It soon became my life. I did home schooling, and would finish a weeks worth of work just so I could spend the rest of the time fishing. I would scrounge the banks for lost fishing gear and unwanted bait scraps, and make the best of it. In the summer I would dive to the bottem and dredge up tons of snagged gear (much to the aggervation of the fisherman who lost it!) and I would be set for a while. Anyway, one night I was camping at the river bank, planning to fish all night. I had just baited my hook when a very dirty man approached me. I was on my gaurd, and had my bait knife ready. He asked me if I had some extra bait and gear. He said that he was a drifter, and that he was very hungry. I asked him to join me, and was happy to help him out. We started out with light conversation, but quickly began to enjoy eachothers company. I learned of all his travels, and found that he was quite an avid fisherman. He taught me more about fishing that night than I had learned in months of fishing. We caught lots of fish, and had a great time. Whether it be my young age, or my big heart, I began to feel very sad for the man. He must have sensed this, and quickly told me not to feel sorry for him. He explained to me how he had burned all of his bridges, and had pushed anyone that cared about him away. He said he used to steal from his own family, until they exiled him and told him to never show his face again. He said it had been years since he had seen any of his family. He went on to tell my how much he regreted what he had done, but most of all he regreted not being able to see his family.
    "what I wouldn't do to get a chance to take my nephews and neices fishing, even just once," he said sadly.
    Well, we fished late into the night, laughing and talking the whole time. I finally fell asleep some time around 4 am. When I woke up, my unfortunate friend was gone. I thought about the night before, and wondered where the man might be headed next. I remember wishing that I had asked his name. The man left an impression on me, and I couldn't help but feeling like I had lost something. I was in a wierd daze for the next couple of days, but eventually I got over it, and forgot all about the night.
    About one year later, my mother had driven me to the bait store. We had since moved, and lived several miles from the river. I got out of the car and went in to the bait store. I was handing the guy some money for my stinky bag of sardines, when I glanced out the window. What I saw completely shocked me. There was my mother, hugging the old man I had met over a year ago. I was very alarmed at first, so I walked out to see what was happening. My mother, seeing the look on my face, turned and said........
    "Lindsay, Id'e like you to meet your uncle Richard."
    He turned to face me, and when he recognized me, his eyes filled with tears. Without knowing it, his wish had come true. He had fished all night with his nephew. I had never told my mother of that strange night, and come to think of it I don't know if I ever did. Richard and I just stood there looking at eachother with a strange happiness in our eyes. He left shortly afterwards, and I have never seen or heard from him since. I know now that his past was probably too much for him to face. I still wonder sometimes what he is doing.
    Anyway, I just wanted to share that with you. I could have turned my own family away that night without even knowing it. Just remember the golden rule, and never underestimate the power of fishing. Tell your family you love them every chance you get. I know I will......
    Linz