Wednesday, June 8, 2011

It's 80's Week!

I was contacted by a blogger that I really respect last week and he brought up the idea of having an outdoor blogger 80's week. Already , I've seen 80's mania over on his blog and also at Troutrageous! , so I guess I'm going to play along too.

The decade of weird music , weirder clothes and just bizarre stuff in general occurred during my formative years. I am a child of the 80's. I'll not say whether or not this has affected me in any way , but I will say that growing up in the eighties is something my generation can claim as our own. We witnessed the start of MTV , the beginnings of some amazing technology and perestroika , which was the beginning of the end for Soviet Russia. It was a crazy time (or a rad time , to use the terminology of the day)

Television was great. Everyone had an Atari. Some of us had giant satellite dishes in our back yards. Looking back now , I realize that it was the end of years of innocence. Urban legends were everywhere , but their demise was on the horizon with the advent of computer technology and a total saturation of our culture by news media. Blissful ignorance was doomed. In a way , I'd almost like to go back to the days when legends of Volkswagen sized catfish weren't so easily debunked.

Personally , I spent a lot of the 80's in the public school system. I learned how to program sprites on the Commodore 64 and how to program in Hi Res graphics on an Apple IIe. When I wasn't at school , I read a good deal , but I also spent a lot of time outside. We had plenty of snow every year and sleigh riding was a favorite pastime. We were also fortunate enough to live close to a lot of water , mainly the New River and it's tributaries and an abundance of farm ponds teeming with bass. This is how I got bitten by the fishing bug.
One of my first Largemouth Bass
I learned how to set trot lines for catfish in the river with dad and how to fish with a rod and reel for most other freshwater species. Looking back now through the golden hue of fond memories , it seems like we always caught fish. Maybe we did and maybe we didn't , but I'll always remember it as a time of plentiful fish and no holds barred fishing. A great deal of what I first learned is illegal now , since anglers have gotten wise to the results of over fishing.

I also remember my first few trips to the beach. At Virginia Beach , I was fortunate enough to be invited to reel in a kind angler's catch - my first double header of flounder. I was amazed that these guys were catching two flounder at a time and filling wash tubs and trash cans with their catch. Of course this probably contributed to our current strict flounder regulations , but at the time I was amazed. If I remember correctly , that was at Rudee Inlet on a boat ramp beside a restaurant? Or maybe my mind is playing tricks on me...

On another trip , we were at Myrtle Beach and ran into this guy :
Nice fish! I have the same outfit and I usually wear it when I go shopping with my wife.
I was impressed , to say the least , and while I didn't know what kind of fish it was , I knew I wanted to catch one. My life long addiction to all types of fishing had taken root.

As the 80's wound down and the 90's got started , I branched out and started chasing new fish (and girls). The world sped up and before long it was 1999 and we were on the eve of the new millenium , something that seemed so very far away during my childhood.

Have a great week!

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