November 22, 2011
One day in 2004, I was living in a house furnished by the following four items: a sofa, a TV, a bed and a kitchen table. Then my soon-to-be wife showed up with a 52 foot moving truck and half the Crate & Barrel catalog and life was never the same again. I mean, in all those years of living by myself I hadn’t actually purchased the pool table, but there was still room for it in the dining room…until she showed up.
Now, the house is a showcase, filled with all sorts of art, knick-knacks and other decorative items, except for one thing: we don’t have any fish mounts on the wall.
While I have the requisite “I love me” wall in the home office, I’ve never caught a fish that I wanted replicated. The framed picture had always been enough. Heading to Brazil, though, the redhead and I made a pact that if we caught a peacock of 14 pounds or more we’d get a replica made. Ideally we’d each get one to commemorate the trip. Peacocks, with their vibrant colors, were a natural choice to deflower our taxidermy virginity in a way that, for example, a trophy channel cat might not be.
At least that was the deal heading into our adventure.
When I finally caught the 14 pictured here on our fourth day of fishing, we both were pretty certain that we’d have to go back on that plan. It wasn’t just because the fish doesn’t have the distinct bars of many other trophies, although that may have played a role. Rather our decision was borne of the fact that if you decide that a 14 pounder is a trophy, it doesn’t give you much to shoot for going forward. You can’t get another replica every time you break the personal record and our intention is to keep going back as often as our rapidly deteriorating bank accounts will allow. So if we set the bar at 16 or 17 or 18 and then reach it, that provides a measure of closure that we don’t want to attain at this point in time.
Next time, I don’t think we’ll set a baseline for a replica mount. If the right fish comes along, and subsequently makes it into the boat, we’ll know it. Otherwise, the chase continues.