Spruce traps are young Spruce trees bunched together tighter than a full dance floor in a Miami night club on a Saturday night, growing in the shadows of old spruce trees and on top of the fallen and tangled generation before them. The old generations of tree trunks and fallen branches lay in piles and crossed like natures own booby traps, covered with moss and rotting, and are so hard to navigate that even the deer and bears avoid them. The chances of broken ankles and legs are probably greater in a spruce trap than they are in a game of Twister with an MMA fighter. When you can, you go around at all costs.
When you worked hard for a fish all day on the previous day and came up empty and then had reserved yourself to the idea that today would be more of the same, suddenly that fish, that moment, becomes the most genuine high five with a friend that’s ever happened.
I really do remember all the details to my fishing trips. I remember catching walleye on chunks of hot dogs on Fish Creek at my great aunt and uncle’s camp on family weekends. I remember drives to the Judge’s camp, a good friend of my Grandfather. Collecting worms by a stream that passed by a barn. Bull frogs in the weeds along the bank and a goat that couldn’t be trusted once you sat on the end of the dock.
Paul looked at me and said something about it seeming like it would be a shame not to give it a shot, and he was right. Too good to be true or not, I tied on the smallest streamer I had, crouched, and made a bow and arrow cast sending the streamer back in deep at the top of the ledge and let it drift through.