Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Ants in my Pants

As I patiently await October and the first timid upstream forays of my beloved steelhead, I've temporarily turned once again to chinook salmon to cure the "itch." So last Saturday night, I decided to spend a couple of hours in an estuary east of Oshawa, floating marshmallows for "boots."

I have to apologise to Joe Ahmad for diverging in so diametrical a fashion from his latest post, because "lobbing marshmallows" although widely subscribed to as a viable method for catching Chinooks is nothing more than a low-probability exercise in "lining." I can hear all my steelhead buddies laughing at me already, especially because I hear that their outings have all surpassed my own, but to be honest I didn't feel like fighting for a spot on a pier; or going anywhere that would be so busy that one could read fine print by the light of all the glow sticks & glow spoons being whizzed about. I just wanted my own quiet little spot, by a quiet river, quietly on a quiet night...okay?

As it turned out, though, the spot was not as quiet as I had hoped. Several anglers had already had the same notion as I had, and they were hunkered down in most of the best spots. One fellow even had a motion-sensing Coleman lantern, which I thought was a pretty nifty item, and he confirmed for me (alas) that things were pretty slow in this section of the river.

Maybe I'm beating to death the "father of twins" thing; but when you've sufficiently mastered the art of simultaneoulsy (and acrobatically) feeding two babies their formula, fruit & cereal, after bathing them one at a time, while keeping them occupied with a mobile, or baby mozart or whatever, to reward your wife with a well deserved night out (i.e. two against one): there are things about which you just ain't gonna be fussy. Anyway, when the steelhead roll in, "super dad" will see his fussy-o-meter go up. But for Lake Ontario "boots" I won't sweat it. At this point, my fishing motto is "just happy to be here."

Let me describe the rest of the evening, then. I managed, by dint of stomping and crash-banging the tall grass (in the dark), to find a suitable spot from whence to lob my salmony marshy mallows. Upstream from me was a group of silent, jogging-suit adorned locals, s
ilent as tombstones, and downstream from me, with rods like glowing toxic cat-tails, was a pod of verbose russians. I deduced that they were russians by the quick, rapid repetition of "da" whenever somebody's marshmallow encountered the open maw of a passing salmon. Which invariably led to tangles of tolstoyan proportions, seeing as they were all sitting much too close to eachother. The salmon, bless them, have no idea that we call them "boots" and so they remain powerful and, when hooked, frenzied. So, in their frenzy, they tend to ignore the fact that the line that happens to be hooked to them also happens to be entangling itself with all the other lines in the vicinity as they fight; nor, I think, do they care that they are subsequently providing a canadian the opportunity to listen to what must have been some very colourful russian invective.

That night, all the salmon were successful in these attempts to be free. I didn't see a single one landed. Many were hooked, but none of them appeared to think the marshmallows so palatable as to beg for more on shore. "Could yuh help poor salmon with a bituva marshmalluh, eh?"

The ants however, must have thought that they had hit paydirt ... and how. As it turns out, in my anti-social attempt to claim my very own riverfront property, I had stomped my way to Lilliput, as it were. And the little people were all in a tizzy, deciding how best to subdue me. Such a big meal, I must have seemed, that at least the entire kitchen staff of the Queen, as well as some her presonal retinue, was sent to fetch tasty bits of my self to her highness's table. Of course, intent on salmon, and smoking a cigar (for which it was a perfect night, still and damp - I made lots of really nice smoke rings ... JB, it was a monte cristo #3), I thought merely, as I kicked and scratched and rubbed, "what the? ... these mosquito bites really burn !"

I only discovered the culprits of my discomfort when, having arrived at home, I shook all the dying ones out of my pants and into the toilet. I flushed them all of course, because that's not the sort of thing you really want to be bragging about bringing home; a bunch of pants ants. Oops! and that's what I just blogged. Doh!

Maybe "next time" eh?


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