A Monster Fishing Trip
He picked a great time of year to fish—a warm day in late fall. But could he tackle the real catch of the day?
“OK, we’re done here. Thank you, all. ”
As soon as the vice president left the room, the others followed like ducklings. Tom turned to Rob and said, “Thanks for doing the heavy lifting. I thought we’d get another two months of overtime.”
Smiling, with his head down, Rob gathered his papers from the mahogany table and said, “I know, had me worried. But now I’m off for the rest of the week.”
“What are you going to do with all of your time off?”
“Tomorrow I’m fishing Jack’s Fork, maybe work my way up to Alley Springs.”
“Oh yeah, as planned. My wife is busy with something or other, she said, but I can’t remember, and my son is in school.”
“Not taking Tim?”
“No, I don’t want to fix his line all day. It’s just me against the fish.”
“Good for you, ” Tom slapped him on the back, “you deserve a break.”
“Thanks, I’m looking forward to it.”
“Hi, honey, how’d the presentation go?” Jamey, Rob’s wife asked as she checked on a meat loaf in the oven.
“Amazing.“ Rob dropped his briefcase next to a kitchen chair, loosened his tie, and sat. “First time I’ve seen Davis break a smile.” He draped an arm over the back of another chair. “Can’t wait for tomorrow.”
“Must be nice,” she said. “Dinner will be ready in about twenty minutes, OK?”
“Sure. Where’s Timmy?”
“Oh, next door, playing some video game. I’ll call him home in a minute,” she said, pinching her face and then rubbing her hand across her stomach.
Are you OK?”
“Yeah, it’s nothing.” She pulled the plates down from the cabinet. “Besides, I’ve got the doctor appointment tomorrow.”
“You’re not working?”
Oh great, a doctor appointment, that’s what she’s doing. Rob thought through his options. If he went to the doctor with her, there was no way he could get out on the river. But maybe she really was sick. Then again, maybe not, and he’d miss his only chance. “Maybe I…Well, should I go with you?”
“Do you want to?”
“Well, I would….”
“But you have the trip tomorrow. I’ll be fine.” She added the utensils and carried them off. “Go wash up, I’ll call Timmy. He’ll be glad to see you.”
Rob returned to the dining room.
“Hey, what’s up?” Rob tousled Tim’s hair. “Kill all the bad guys?”
His son smiled. “No, we just played Mario Kart.”
Jamey set a pitcher of water on the table, sat, and folded her hands. “Ready?”
Rob reached for a roll.
“I was just kidding.”
She gave a little shake of her head. “Go on.”
He started the grace. “In the name of the Father,”
and they all joined in.
Satisfied, Jamey passed the serving bowls and dishes. “What time are you leaving tomorrow?”
“Four-thirty. I want to be out in the water by six.”
“Where you going, Dad?”
Rob gulped. He considered a lie but told the truth. “Down to Jack’s Fork, you know that river we pass when we go to Grandma Wilson’s?”
“Yeah? The one you said we’d fish one day.”
Rob sighed, “That’s it, I’m just going to check it out, you know, before you and I go.”
Jamey mercifully interrupted. “Rob, your dad called while you were in the bathroom. Said he needs help tomorrow with a few things.”
“You told him…”
“Yes, of course. I told him you were busy tomorrow, but he sounded disappointed.”
“I’ll make it up to him on Friday.” He passed the gravy to Timmy.
“I thought Friday you were going to help my brother with his third-quarter taxes.”
“Maybe I still can.”
“I think it’s more than taxes, but he won’t tell me. Guy talk, I guess.”
Probably wife talk, Rob thought, as he tasted the meat loaf. They were having trouble and Rob didn’t want to get involved. He had his own things to do.
Like checking his tackle once again and making sure he packed three good rods. He’d load the car that night with his fishing gear and then pack the perishables in the morning.
“Did you hear me, Rob?”
“What’s that?” He looked up from his plate.
“I think we should clean the spare bedroom this weekend.”
“Are we expecting someone?”
“We’ve talked about this,” she reminded him.
“Yeah, you’re right,” he grunted and shrugged his shoulders. He turned to his son. “Homework tonight?”
“Well, make sure you get it done. I’ve got to run some errands and then get ready for tomorrow.”
“I will, before bed.” He pushed the spinach with his fork. “Say. What kinds of fish are at Jack’s Fork?”
Rob smiled. “Bass almost as big as your skateboard. And, of course, goggle-eye.”
“You mean Google? Why do they call them that?”
“No, I really mean goggle-eye. And I guess because they look like this,” Rob crossed his eyes.
Tim snickered and then said, “Wish I was going.”
“Me, too, Tiger. But I’ll leave some fish for us—for when we go.”
Rob felt pretty good about the way he handled Tim as they moved on to other subjects and finished their dinner.