I’ve always hated fishing. My father took me when I was a teen, and the horror that
followed ensured I’d never do it again. My husband loves fishing, and when he first asked me
why I don’t I told him the story of The Catch. Embarrassing though it was, if I was to tell anyone,
it’d be him. So, I sat him down, and told him thus:
“When I was fourteen, my parents took me fishing. Mom wasn’t a fisher, so she and my
aunt stayed in the camp with the younger kids. I wish I’d stayed too.” I started in a grim voice.
“You act like it’s a murder story!” my husband laughed as he sat down. “Surely it can’t
be that bad?”
“Let me tell the story, and you’ll know.” I said impishly, flicking his chin with a fingertip.
“As you wish babe, just get on with it.”
I looked my husband over, sitting there in his fishing gear, pole at his side, waiting
eagerly to hear why his wife doesn’t want to go with him. I started again, this time trying hard
not to make myself sound so depressive, though the story does warrant it.
“So, I go down to the lake with my father, my uncle, and a friend of my uncle, ironically
“Why is that so Ironic? What do hands have to do with a fishing murder story?” he
quipped at me jokingly.
“Well, I’m getting to that. So, I had never been fishing of course, and my dad had to
show me how to hook and bait the line, and how to cast.”
“And that’s what killed a man?”
“If you don’t stop interrupting, you’ll never know!” I said in a sing-song voice, with a grin
only the devil could match. “Now, sit quietly and let me explain.”
“You’re taking forever!” my husband groaned, eager to be out on his own fishing boat.
“Pipe down and listen. So, I was learning to cast the line. No interrupting! I know what
you’ll say, its easy, a flick back, a flick forward. My father said the same. But this is where it gets
messy. He never told me to look behind me, where my uncle and Hans were lining their poles,
and drinking quite heavy.”
“Oh no, you got a catch you didn’t want!” my husband said, starting to laugh with gusto.
I looked at him cackling, the fishing bobbers on his hat jiggling around like they were laughing
“That I did, my love. See, Hans liked to drink and talk, and when he talks, he likes to
gesture with his hands, waving them around. When I cast back, I hooked him right in the
webbing between his thumb and his pointer finger. My uncle said he let out a little cry and
looked at his hand at though a snake bit him, but only for a moment. You see, I hadn’t notice I’d
already hooked something, and I overestimated my little flick forward.”
“How bad was it?”
“I yanked him forward over two feet! Dragging him by his hooked hand, Hans hand was
never the same after that. Permanent nerve damage.”
“So that’s why you won’t join me fishing? Because you’re afraid of doing it again?” my
husband asked, smirking at me.
“That’s exactly why. If you’d like I’ll come sit by the water with a book, far away from
any hooks. It’s my only offer of joining.”
“My sweetheart, you could never dissuade me from your company, even throughout
the worst of dangers!” my husband exclaimed, brandishing his un-hooked pole like a sword.
“How sweet you are. You don’t believe me, do you?”
My husband started chuckling, looking like a madman, rolling about with laughter. I was
getting angry, how could he not believe me when it’s a true story?
“I’m sorry,” he said, “It’s highly believable, knowing my wife for who she is. That will be
the one time I’m glad you didn’t catch me instead. Stay home love, I fight enough with the fish
to be looking for stray hooks behind me!” he chortled.
I watched my husband grab his gear, adjust his hat, and go out to the car. Watching him
drive away, all I could think of was how lucky I was to have him as my final Catch, forever.
Kristen Langlois is a mother, student, and aspiring writer. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children. She enjoys collecting seashells and books, and spending time with her loved ones.