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When I Grow Old and Wear the Bottom of My Trousers Rolled – Hungry Perch

September 15th, 2018 by Michael Dyet


I grow old.. I grow old…

I shall wear the bottom of my trousers rolled

T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Hmmm, when I grow old and wear the bottom of my trousers rolled, will I look back on anything with more nostalgia than fishing at the creek mouth for hungry Perch?

In a week that marked another anniversary of 9-11 and saw dubious history made when Ontario Premier Doug Ford invoked the Charter of Rights “notwithstanding” clause to impose his will, I cannot help but be wistful for the good old days.

In the good old days, a late spring weekend meant heading to the mouth of the creek at Selkirk to fish for hungry Perch. It was such a simple and pristine pleasure. The worst that could happen was that the fish were not biting. Even then, a few hours relaxing by the water with not a care in the world were paradise. Each step of the experience had its own unique charm.

Stopping at the farmhouse on the way to buy dew worms in a Styrofoam cup for bait.

Making the first cast. Watching the line arc over the water and land with a satisfying splash.

Settling in to wait. Content to laze on the rock shoreline, bathe in the warmth of the sun and feel the caress of the breeze off the water.

Feeling a nibble. Tentative at first, toying with my patience, and then more convincing as the anticipation of the strike builds.

The emphatic jerk on the line – Perch always strike hard – and setting the hook.

Guessing at how big it might be by the strength of the fight. Could it be a jumbo? So hard to tell with these feisty little guys.

The thrill of hoisting the catch from the water and getting your hands on the prize.

A moment to admire the handsome, green-striped little wonder before putting it on the stringer to triumphantly take home.

And starting the sequence again. Making the cast, watching the line arc over the water and land with a satisfying splash. A cycle I could repeat for hours and hours with no diminishing returns.

Fishing is a perfect metaphor for life in so many ways – getting there is half the fun, patience is its own reward, sometimes the big one gets away and the simplest joys are the sweetest ones. When I grow old and wear my trousers rolled, fishing for hungry Perch at the creek mouth will be among my most cherished memories.

~ Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at or the novel online companion at

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