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I am just a guy who uses fishing and playing guitar to keep myself sane...or at least try to.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

#2...And I am Getting Old

Going through my fish pictures has been very interesting.
I started fishing for these slimy little monkies right around a decade ago give or take and a lot of things have changed in my life since then.
I have said on more than one occasion that if someone were to have approached me 15years ago and described my current life to me I would've laughed my fool head off.
My current condition is just about as far removed as it could possibly be...
and yet...
I have found happiness....extreme happiness at times.
I bitch a bit about my kids now and then but in all honesty I have never felt love like the love I have for my children.
If I had known how much they were going to mean to me I probably never would've had them.
They destroy who you were...but it is beautiful destruction...and who I am now is a much better person.
The same goes for my wife as well....even though our relationship has evolved into something I can barely recognize...it still is beautiful.
We had some great years that were just the two of us and I suppose it is normal that the kids kind of dominate at this stage.
I am hopeful that when the kids get a bit older that we will be able to find some time for ourselves again....but I am not holding my breath.
The Job..
The job...
I am fortunate to have a job and it was a real first for me to earn a living at something that I am passionate about doing...
But I am sure it has taken years off my life... and will continue too if I allow it.
I don't know who is worse really...
Management ...my co-workers...or the fucking criminals....
Bottom line is...
Life has gotten very serious in a hurry.
I regret nothing.
I look old in this picture...old but happy...

And look at that fishy

This was the first fish of the 2007 season.
That season took a bit to get into gear and compared to the previous 2006 year kind of teetered on the edge of being a bust.
But.. the water finally rose...and the fish came in...albeit not with the previous years quality ..but shit...it was still great.
This was a great fish and when I set up on him it was all joy....
It was an awesome way to begin the year.
I love the lamprey mark....which is kind of a weird thing to say...but it was a scar that gave this big fella some character.
I guess he's been though the the wringer too.
God bless this river and its fish.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

#3...RUBE Strikes Again...

I wasn't sure whether this fish was going to place on my little list.
I am ashamed that I killed it.
I have been fond of saying that this fish provided the greatest fight of any fish that I have ever hooked.....and that is probably accurate still.
Quite a bit of that however was due to the fact that it was the first October HOT Wild fish...on gear that was waaayyyyy to flimsy...and I had zero experience with fish like this.
It was my first HOLY SHIT!!! fish.
I had been fishing Sauble Falls exclusively for about 4 seasons trying desperately to figure out the sport.
I had gotten to the point where I was catching the occasional fish but still half expected to get skunked whenever I left the house. LOL
That river is a bitch still today even though I have managed to figure it out somewhat.
The water is fast and always ultra clear. The river also seems to select for big strong fish that are able to make it up over the falls themselves.

It is a neat place and typing this now I can picture it vividly in my mind.
I usually pull into the parking lot way before sun up and just sit and listen to the roar of water.
I think I will make it a point of heading back there this year.

I don't think that I will wax poetic about this too too much ...
It was October 13th after a week of solid rain and the river was quite busy.
I had just bought my first Islander and paired it up with an 11 1/2 ft premier blank that was as stiff as a piece of wet spaghetti.
The river was crowded and I had fished for about 4 solid hours without even so much as a bump.
Misery loves company as the saying goes and I had lots of it...the river was being very difficult.
The usual faces were there and quite a few of them were what I considered to be 'heavy hitters'...I was painfully self conscious.
No scowls though...as a matter of fact most guys were very helpful and I really owe them a debt of gratitude for some of the tips they offered early on.
Anyway....after casting for that amount of time I had kind of lost my focus and was getting a wee bit frustrated with the amount of line twist that had resulted from 10 thousand long throws.
After one pathetic throw the line came back at me and the float landed about 3 ft in front of me....where it promptly shot beneath the surface.
All I remember is fear....

To this day I don't think that I have ever had a fish peel line that quickly from my reel. The fish jumped at least 7 times...and they were the kind of jumps we dream about....like straight out of the water clearing the water in feet rather than inches...
Just amazing.
The fish made it all the way across the river before I could even gain any control over it and when it breached over there it took the boys on the far side a bit to figure out who had the fish on.
Backing out of the water on the Sauble is always a bit of a test. The river bottom is littered with old wood from a dock that used to be there and it is slippery.
So now that I have gathered everyones attention I couldn't help but fall three friggin times in the water trying to catch up with this fish.
I was never more excited about a fish.
I was still a rube back then...and this fish came home with me. It stings a bit in my memory...but you know....maybe I should lighten up a bit.
It was a great meal and fed a dozen of us that night. It was a proud moment.
...and rightfully so...


I have turned the corner and never looked back.
I was a shitheel....I think we all go through it....
Complete with my orange whistle....
The tackle box was somebody elses though... I swear

BTW... I am back in the working world...
I worked 90 fucking hours last week....nothing like jumping right in....CHRIST....

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

#4 The Perfect Winter Buck From Home

Each fishing trip is special in its own right I suppose but it is a mystery sometimes why certain moments stand out from others.
I am a strange Cat...and I always have been.
One of the peculiarities I have when it comes to fishing is that although admittedly it is impossible not to enjoy a ridiculous double digit day when everybody is drillin 'em I always have a slight guilty feeling..or a feeling of disappointment.
Don't get me wrong... it is a feeling I can get over...rather quickly...lol
But it is there.
I have this knucklehead idea that each fish should be special...and sort of stand out on its own for you..at least for a moment.
Even the days where we've stood on them I have tried....quite often unsuccessfully...to give each fish its due.
...To take a moment after beaching each fish and just kind of relax and savour the moment instead of frantically searching through the vest for the bait that just worked so you can get back in there...
It is hard not to get caught up when the fishing is crazy hot ...but to me it is poison. The day becomes a blurr.
You end up thinking about the next trip on the drive home instead of appreciating the one you'd just finished and in the process losing all of its healing powers. A great fishing day really adds to the quality of my life and I think that even my wife recognizes now that I am a better person after a great day on the water.
The trick is figuring out what exactly a great day is and having the discipline to go and find it....
I love this fish.
I am fond of saying that this was the perfect winter buck.

...and it was flawless. Beautiful spots , great colours, perfect white tipped fins and prodigious strength.
Pound for Pound one of the strongest ...
But going back through my pics for this little winter project has made me realize that there have been a number of similar fish...
But I don't remember them...
It was easy to remember this fella...

This was the only fish we got that day...and it didn't come easy.
It was a cold...very cold ...and slow day.
I can still picture the float giving just a wiggle in the tail out and the lethargic head shakes before the fish came alive for us....

...The pain in my frost bitten hands working to undermine my patience...lol
So overwhelmed by the moment that I set the Islander down in the water...which I am sure was the end of my trotting for the morning.
Great fish.
Maybe because it was the only one?
Or maybe a slow day is sometimes a gift to set you straight.