Friday, 30 July 2010

Fishing - Jason Style

I waded out into the lake, determined to find the perfect spot to make the catch of a lifetime. My ageing rod was not the most hi-tech and flashy, but it was trustworthy and could take a battering. The cold winds were getting stronger, lashing at my face, as the rain began to pound against me like bullets against a brick wall. I persisted, my determination dragging me through the downpour as lightning pierced the sky and thunder proclaimed the fury of nature through the heavens. The black waters of the lake threatened to knock me down if I did not leave but I stood my ground, focussed on the movement beneath the surface. The dark shapes swam teasingly around the bait, nudging it tentatively as though they knew it was a trap, a sumptuous but deadly trap. My heart hammered the inside of my chest harder and faster than the rain as I watched a curious shape lunge at the bait. Instinct kicked in. I pulled back. The fish flew out of the water, struggling to get free. The ensuing wrestling match stretched into eternity before I got my prize catch safely back to shore and left the cacophonous storm. When I returned to the safety of having a roof over my head I was able to admire my catch and compare it to my previous trophies.

This is Diplomystus dentatus, an Eocene fish from the Green River formation in Wyoming, part of the Dean Lomax collection.

In this picture, where I look like a criminal having my prison photo taken, I am holding Lycoptera; Jurassic fish from the Liaoning Province in China, also from the Dean Lomax collection.

Finally, this is Thaumaturus intermedius, also Eocene, this time from the famous Messel Darmstadt, Germany and found in Dean's collection.

I'll never forget that day's fishing experience, it is the sort which can change one's life forever. Fishing is one of the oldest trades, allowing us to eat our distant cousins which stayed in the waters for thousands of years, thriving off of their flesh and eating it with chips. I wonder what these fish taste like.....

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