Wednesday, September 12, 2012
You Can't Catch What You Can't See
Chris: Sheepshead. Three of them. Eleven-o’clock. Seventy feet out.
Me: Huh? Where?
Chris: Coming your way. Sixty feet. Fifty.
Me: I can’t pick them up!
Chris: Wait. They’re turning. They're gone.
Len: He took it! Hit him! Uh, too late.
Me: Really? I didn’t feel the take.
Len: Didn’t you see that indicator move sideways?
Me: No, I lost it in the wash.
Len: Too bad. Looked like a nice brown.
Me: @#$% *^%
Bill: Listen to them carp slurp. Oh. There he is. A bruiser. By that rhodo snag.
Me: What snag?
Me: @#$% *^% @#%$^)(*@!!!
It had been a few years since I’d had my eyes checked. My ophthalmologist of nearly thirty years passed in 2008 and I had not brought myself to find a new one. He was a good friend and I didn’t mind the annual long haul to Raleigh to avail myself of his professional skills and his good nature, but the trip was not so inviting once he was gone. So I let it slide. For years.
But in the past six months exchanges like the ones above have become annoyingly commonplace. Now, I love my non-prescription Maui Jim’s – they’re fine polarizers - but I was obviously missing details and missing fish as a result. Something had to give.
So I bit the bullet. A new eye doctor, a new prescription, and the birthday splurge of a pair of Costa Del Mar Joses with Rx 580P ambers. Take that, old eyes.
The first day on the stream was mind-blowing. I saw everything! I saw texture. I saw detail. I saw nuance. I saw every leaf, every rock, every ripple. I saw more than my poor brain could deal with. I saw too much. I was driven to near catatonia by information overload - by extreme visual stimulation - by clarity.
A glance over my shoulder to check clearance picked up things that, previously, my mind would have discarded as inconsequential (which, of course, they were) but, having snagged my attention on the distant perfect detail, I held the backcast and had to reset my spatial bearings.
It was disorienting. It was unsettling. It was overwhelming.
It was fabulous.
A couple more trips under my belt have calmed my consciousness and I’ve settled in on having more to assess. Extreme detail is now mentally filtered and the incredible clarity of my field of vision has become a delight rather than a distraction. I’m gonna love these things.
After all, you can’t catch what you can’t see.