Our third day in Costa Rica had us up early and driving to meet Captain Ron for fishing on Lake Arenal. I spoke with Ron several times prior to our visit, and he was ready to teach our family a few things about fishing. Even our omniscient son. (He is 13 and knows everything!)
Ron said it would be easier if we found this little path on our side of the lake and he would pick us up on the shore. Since we found a cow path of a driveway in the dark, I figured a path to the shore would be easier. Plus, we would be able to see Captain Ron and his boat from the road. I was almost completely incorrect. (Luckily, I have been married for 18 years and am use to being wrong.)
Due to the whole area being a rainforest, we only occasionally saw the boat from the road, which was about ½ kilometer above the shoreline. However, finding the path in daylight was easy. It was as wide as the car, but I am pretty sure our four-wheel drive SUV could not make it up the muddy slope. We decided to hiked to the boat.
Captain Ron welcomed us, made us wash the mud off our shoes and feet, gave us some safety tips, and got us started right away. He was gregarious and taught us about the culture and area. While he regaled us with stories about fishing, the volcano, and his moving to Costa Rica, I couldn’t help but notice that I had seen and heard him before. It was an eerie feeling. Finally, it occurred to me. He was Bruce Campbell, the actor who plays Sam Axe on Burn Notice. When I told my 13 year-old, the biggest Burn Notice fan on the planet, he agreed. We mentioned it to Captain Ron, and he laughed, saying he had only seen the show once.
He kept to his cover story that he moved from San Diego and has been fishing Lake Arenal for over 9 years. However, Andy and I still think we may have been helping him scout a location for a future episode or even being secretly filmed as extras during one of the peaceful scenes, which accounts for about thirty seconds of the show.
Nevertheless, Captain Ron fed us the best banana bread our family has ever tasted, sandwiches even my finicky daughter loved, fresh pineapple, and plenty of sodas, juice, and water. He did offer to bring beer, but I thought it was too early for the kids to be drinking.
Ron was true to his word. He taught us how to troll, which was extremely easy and effective that morning. And, he taught us how to cast properly, but the fish did not bite. Thus, we did more trolling, which allowed us to admire the volcano, the mountains, and the rainforest.
I guess it is like reading a novel. Sometimes freshmen get focused on the ending: how many fish did I catch? Consequently, they miss the characters, in this case Captain Ron; the description of the scenery, for instance the volcano; and information on the culture. I am glad we were able to take the time to enjoy the whole “freshman” experience.