The Armchair Outfitter

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The Chicken and the Egg

May 16th, 2011 · 9 Comments

I am struggling with an issue, and I have exhausted my own personal wisdom in attempting to resolve it.  It took me about fifteen minutes.  And so, gentle readers, I appeal to you for a solution.  I am trying to plan some fishing trips with the Sporting Wife for the summer, and I keep running into the same problem.  When I am at a ten on a ten-scale dreaming of a fishing vacation, I always hear the same refrain from my partner,”I never catch anything.”

This is patently untrue, as she has caught fish on most of the trips we have taken when she has actually deigned to fish.  She is correct only in that when she comes with me as a spectator, does not buy a license, and does not hold a rod for the entire trip, she does not catch any fish.  I love fishing as much as anyone, but I imagine if I were forced to watch someone else catch fish while I remained idle, it would be about as much fun for me as a root canal.

Her usual tactic to avoid fishing is to impose a series of contradictory conditions during the planning phase:

“I don’t want to get up too early; I can’t stay out all night.”

“I can’t stay out in the heat all day; I don’t want to get out in bad weather.”

“It’s not worth dragging all that stuff out for a few hours; I don’t want to board the dog and cat.”

You get the idea.  The only day for fishing, apparently, is one between 70 and 74 degrees, with low to moderate humidity, and with willing fish biting during the late morning to early afternoon hours.  How many such days have you ever had on the water?  Yeah, me neither.  We went out in the midday heat to catch the one good redfish pictured in the last article just before dark, and it was pretty chilly by then.  Supper that night after filleting and a shower was at about 22:00. (10:00 P.M. for you twelve-hour types.)

What am I to do?  I’m already to the point that I dread asking her to go.  I know if the trip does not come off perfectly, it will be an “I told you so” moment, but if I never take her with me, her pronouncement about not catching anything is a self-fulfilling prophecy.  She won’t fish because she never catches anything, and she never catches anything because she won’t fish.  The chicken and the egg.

Tags: The Sporting Wife

9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Theresa // May 16, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    I understand every single thing she is saying – totally. Maybe you should just accept her stance as a fact of life and move on. Why not blow off the challenge of getting her to love fishing as much as you do and just take her to a spa? She’d love it!

  • 2 armchairoutfitter // May 16, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    If you give something an honest try, and you still don’t like it, that’s fine. What I won’t tolerate is excuses. Whether it’s fishing or handwriting, don’t say you can’t do it until you’ve put forth some effort. The spa sounds great. Nothing better than a massage after a day of surfcasting.

  • 3 ellenbr // May 16, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Ah, tough call and similar to over-stimulating young sportsmen who haven’t acquired the full blown passion/obsession or craze for the outdoors. It is very difficult to create the optimum environment for and if one could, then they would be the guides’ guide. I could sympathize with her if she had endured a similar fishing expedition to the one you persuaded me to take. But the banner at the top really brings back memories and I for one hope to see a future article along with ice-breaking/duck hunting 2010-2011????

    Kind Regards,


  • 4 Theresa // May 17, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Whose opinion is it that she hasn’t given fishing an honest try??? Perhaps, in her world, she gave it her best shot – just as someone we both know and love who was once involved in handwriting lessons felt when they believed they were giving it their best shot. Perception is in the eye of the individual. Don’t you agree?

  • 5 armchairoutfitter // May 18, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    To stick with the analogy, you have to hold the pencil. Or the rod, as the case may be. If she took as many fishing lessons as I did handwriting lessons, that would satisfy me.

  • 6 Theresa // May 18, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Ok, I give up. You’re just as stubborn about this as you were about handwriting. Must have some Italian blood in ya!

  • 7 armchairoutfitter // May 18, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    My handwriting is good enough to endorse a check, and that’s all that matters.

  • 8 Seth // Jun 4, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    Rent a houseboat, fish in the morning before she gets up, go to shore when the fish aren’t biting, do whatever she wants to do, go back to the houseboat and fish before you go to bed. And she can fish some too if she wants. Or maybe do some sort of float from point A to point B trip that involves camping overnight, if she doesn’t mind camping. Fish while the scenery drifts by. Or maybe you could go on a cruise that lets you fish?

    If none of those sound good, my first thought was to give her dynamite. Does she like to shoot? Maybe Tannerite exploding shooting targets instead. I mean, sure, that’s almost certainly illegal, but I hear people say marriage isn’t always easy.

    Just stopping by to say hi and see what you were up to!

  • 9 armchairoutfitter // Jun 15, 2011 at 5:41 am

    Well, howdy stranger! I’m trying to do a better job of keeping up with folks now, although I haven’t been able to write as much as I would like. Are you on “the Facebook?” Sadly, that’s as close as I get most days to interacting with real people.

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