Fishing in Canada

Last week I didn’t post at all because I was busy roughing it in the Canadian wilderness. Mike and I spent the week fishing with his parents, who have been driving around the country for three years now in their suped-up RV (talk about a HeSo project!).

Now let me make this clear: I had never been fishing before. The thought of impaling a worm on a hook so that I can sit around for a few hours and wait for a bite filled me with anxiety and guilt. Yet, fishing was an important part of my husband’s childhood, so I really wanted to get a better sense of what draws people to this past time.

I am not a morning person, but waking up at 5 am, trudging through icy water to get to the boat, and holding on to your thermos of coffee like it’s your lifeline, was surprisingly  fun. Being a New York City girl, I hardly ever feel alone when I’m outside. If I want a taste of nature, I end up in Central Park where a three piece bands is playing Take Five, kids are screaming, tourists are asking me for directions, and some guy is trying to sell me $4 water. Out on the lake, the water was absolutely still, we were the only people out, and it was blissfully quiet.

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The sunrise as we readied ourselves for early morning fishing

I really wanted to prove that I wasn’t a sissy, but the truth is I am a sissy. For the life if me, I could not bring myself to put the writhing worm on the hook. Mike and his mom took turns hooking my bait. At first I caught a bunch of these little guys:

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Perch number 15

We had to throw these back in the water because they were too small. Then we caught some bigger fish. I tried with all my might to hold the fish for picture time, but they were too gross and unpredictable. My father-in-law had to hold up the fish in each of my pictures:

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Can you tell how uncomfortable I am?

Mike was a natural at fishing:

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Mike and his fish

Eventually I got the hang of it:

My 25" Bass

My 25″ Bass

The best part of this fishing trip was that we got to eat fresh fish every night. The worst part about eating fresh fish every night is that you have to gut and skin the fish. Yuk! I have a whole new appreciation for the perfect fillets of fish in the supermarket.

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Skinning a bass

So now that I’m back home, and no longer smelling of fish, would I do it all again? I quickly realized that fishing is not about the fish at all – it’s about slowing down your pace, your expectations, and your thoughts. One day you can catch 20 fish, and the  next day you can catch nothing but seaweed. While the underwater tug-of-war is exhilarating, it’s the hours of staring off into the wilderness that felt like an exotic experience for me. Having nothing to do but just observe, and relax, was  a vacation in of itself. So, yes, I would go fishing again.

 

11 comments

  1. There is no way in hell that I could do that. I once caught a shoe when I went fishing — yes that happens — but nothing else. That was the last time I went. And I’d hate to think where the shoe came from. I didn’t then, I just laughed as I was too young and naive to consider the macabre possibilities. I had a long time recurring nightmare after I went fishing that kept me from ever trying it again. Your story reminded me of it.
    I’m glad you had a great time, but for me, someone else has to do the dirty work, that I’d gladly pay them to do.
    One of the reasons we live where we do is to have the peace you speak about where we live, but still be close to the city.
    I love your writing. It both gives me a chance to know you better, and it brings to light many memories and feelings of my own.
    xoxox,
    Mom

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  2. Admit it, you’re hooked! I felt similarly the first few times I went fishing. Having to touch a slimy wiggly worm was bad enough but then having to plunge a hook through it! It did get much easier. I never skinned a fish so you’re already an expert in my book. I agree, it’s not about the fishing but the sense of the slowing of time. Nicely done.

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    1. Haha, nice pun 🙂 I’d have to go about ten more times before I could hook at worm. I don’t know why skinning seemed so easy – I guess because I’ve taken skin off fish from the grocery store, but I’ve never done anything with worms before. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. We used to go fishing a lot when I was a kid and I never could touch either worm nor fish. And never will. But I’d go along just for the peace and quiet.

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  4. You know, I don’t think I really understood the point of fishing until I read your post. Now I almost think I’m ready to give it a try. I could use some time to slow down and reflect a bit on life. Thanks for the enjoyable read, and the pics.

    BTW – I am not a morning person either. I’m not even sure if I could be coherent at 5am 🙂

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