Monday, April 17, 2006

An Inspiring Trip

Last Thursday's was not as fish-filled a trip as anticipated, but I did manage a few surprisingly fresh steelhead on a south shore Lake Erie tributary. It was a long trip, almost 1000km there and back for me. And, although it made me wonder at my sanity in view of the expense in gasoline alone, it was worthwhile as a learning experience. Truly eye opening. I'm still kicking myself for having forgotten my digicam, as I would have loved to share a picture. So many opportunities, other than fish, presented themselves... So, though the attached photo is thematic enough, it's from a couple of years ago. It shows my good friend Mike, waiting for a strike.

In any case, the numbers of fish are quite high in this tributary, because even though the water was very off-coloured (or as Mike often says "barely fishable") three of us managed well in excess of 30 steelhead landed. In my opinion, we had no business catching so many under the conditions that we faced. Therefore, as soon as I can string a couple of days together, when the flows are clearer, I'll be going back to that very spot!

In the meantime, I was moved to poetry & I share it with you now. Think of an earlier than average morning, before the coffee really sets in or the endless road-miles stop ticking in the back of your eyes, sometime shortly after the first cast, when you are not ready, nor are your fingers that grip the rod more like paws than articulate digits...



down goes
the float float
down goes
the down
the goes float
goes float the
down the goes
down float
float goes
down ! the

rod swings
up up rod
swings the swings
up rod up
swings the
rod !

too late. nothing.
only a shade
swimming in dream
dreaming in the water
of a thought of


Monday, April 10, 2006


Already, the rod is prepared, cleaned and polished. The flies and jigs are in their boxes. The multicoloured sacks of spawn are quietly waiting in the freezer. The waders are by the door, as is the jacket and the vest with all its zippers and pouches and rattling containers. The hat is hanging on a peg.

Will Thursday be a great day? Unforgettable, humming even through the headstone once all these things have come to naught for me? The forecast looks promising, and the river is preparing the scene, lashing its eye-green ribbon through the countryside and under the boughs of trees. Tuning its orchestra of voices to rocks and ledges through riffles and runs.

I could go fishless. The steelhead may deem me, on that day, less than worthy & will not wish to play for me. They will see the long baton, the light note of the float as it rides the murmuring current, and yet find me wanting in prestige. No great music can come of him!

Luckily, not all symphonies or rock ballads or little country tunes need the great clash of bright cymbals, though beautifully striped with red and pink as these. The cardinal has a fine tenor, and the white breasted sparrow a soprano that embodies and instills ease. The river also needs only to be listened to.

And then when I come home, like Sam Gamgee, I will say "I'm back," but also - as I've already done now many times - read in my sons' smiles and my wife's, "I'm here."


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Blogging! Looks Like Fun!

I've decided to try my hand at blogging. It looks like fun & also means that I can practice my writing & editing skills, all while blabbing about my third passion: steelheading.

What are the first two? My beautiful & awe-inspiring wife, and my brand new twin sons. Yes, this means that the third passion is getting scant attention these days, but a starving man will gladly gobble up the slightest crumb! And getting not one, but two infantile smiles when I get home from work, is the gentlest remedy for "creek sickness."

I'll be writing more in days to come, especially one article that I wish to try out & eventually publish, on great lakes float-fishing opportunities at natural river mouths. It's something I've been working on & refining for some time now, and I hope to have enough "research data" by the end of next fall. In the meantime, I know I'll find all sorts of other things to talk about :)

Ciao for now!