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.
Me: @#$%

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?
Bill: Seriously?
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.

21 comments:

e.m.b. said...

You're looking pretty groovy!
And you remind me...I need to get my eyes checked again soon, too. Although, there's no hope of me looking that cool... ;)

Fontinalis Rising said...

You make a strong argument my friend. Until now I've been a "cheap sunglasses" person as I seem to go through at least four pair a year. Hmmmm....

upacreek333 said...

Damn... That explains the sheepshead... Next time, you get the first cast!

Mike Sepelak said...

I figured librarians had standing six-month appointments already set with their eye docs, Erin. As for cool, I'm still picturing your The Quick and the Dead look. That's cool.

Jason, if you go through four of these a year, you'll be freakin' broke.

No Chris, it only partially explains it. The other factor was your mad fish eye.

MacLoosh said...

Your eyesight may have needed correction, but your *vision* has always seemed awfully clear to your readers.

As for me...might be time to get my eyes checked too. Nearly missed a sharp curve in the road while driving to a fishing hole recently. :)

Mike Sepelak said...

HA! That Nitro held pretty well, Mac. Andretti could have done no better. And such things do happen when your in a hurry to get on the water.

Howard Levett said...

Okay you talked me into that long overdue eye exam and the inevitable cost of new glasses.

Blake said...

It should be a great 2013 here, looking forward to it!

Mike Sepelak said...

My job here is done, Howard.

And Blake, in the immortal words of Ahhnold, I'll be baack."

Sanders said...

You do realize that you just blew the only good excuse you had left...I hope the trade off is worth it :-)


they are good looking glasses though

Mike Sepelak said...

Not quite, Sean. I got one more excuse. I'm bloody old. Might be hard to fix that.

Alex said...

Seeing fish is an amazing advantage while on the water. But if I had a dollar for every fish I've hooked by just using the force...I'd have a few grand. Glad to see you found a nice pair!

Mike Sepelak said...

Strong am I with the Force, but not that strong.

Joel DeJong said...

Nice! Don't leave home without them! also get those lanyards for them. I cant tell you how many glasses have ended up sunk at the bottom of some river or smashed under my butt as I slide into the jeep at the end of a long day.

Mike Sepelak said...

Absolutely, Joel. If you look real close you'll see the thin black c-line lanyard on my new specs. Not sure, yet, if I like it better than the croakie type. If certainly doesn't get tangled up in the other crap I put around my neck, but it does stick out a tad. We'll see.

Rhythm Rider said...

You look like a rock star. As for the old excuse, maybe you can find that pool from "Cocoon" to swim in and restore your cat like reflexes.

Mike Sepelak said...

Rock Star. HA! Knowing me, I'd find that pool and, rather than swim in it, try to decide whether it needed a floating or an intermediate sink line.

Tom Chandler said...

Hey, Eyeagra.

Mike Sepelak said...

Ask your doctor if you're healthy enough for fly fishing. Thanks for the laugh, Tom.

upacreek333 said...

And did I mention that I actually CAUGHT one of those fish you couldn't see? Just sayin'...

Mike Sepelak said...

To this very day, I'm amazed. ;-)