Sour Gripes


I have always loved the water (How many times have I said that?). I have not always loved or even liked fishing. I have for as long as I remember loved the scenery of the north. Buddy Kainzy would remind me that what I refer to as north is really “near” north. Mosquitoes and black flies however love me. You would wonder how on earth someone nick named “bait” would ever come to enjoy fishing. Stranger again is the fact that I love fishing in the north.

When we were youngsters I was the worst fisherman of all my buddies and brothers that lined the Thames near the old swinging bridge at Park St. I still can’t figure out why brother Jim could always catch more fish than the rest of us no matter what handicap we imposed on him. I do know that I would rather raft on or wade in the river than fish. On one occasion in my early 20’s I was baited into a fishing charter with a bunch of co-workers. Without going into a bunch of detail I’ll just say that after a couple of “birds’ nests” (massive line tangles) I tossed my brothers (borrowed) fishing pole into Lake Huron. I don’t recall if others on the boat caught anything but I know I didn’t. What then turned the tide on my outlook on fishing?

A couple of occurrences were to change the tide. Brian Douglas invited me to “Whispering Pines” their cabin near Kipawa Quebec. How could I not enjoy the peace, serenity and beautiful scenery. I believe the first trip in early June required bug jackets . We opened the camp and did a little fishing. He caught a lot and I actually caught a few. A seed was planted. Shortly after we were there again and Podsy accompanied us. They liked that the bugs all congregated at my end of the boat. A miracle happened! The Masters (Ted and Brian) of fishing, of course, caught fish. I caught a lot of fish! We released most of them as we still do. Some were too small and others we thought were large females that are the reproducers. Let me tell you there is nothing like fresh Walleye . Although Brian and Ted will probably always out fish me (As do most of the women that fish with us), I am building a small immunity to the bugs and just love being on the water and fishing. I am at times reminded that it is called fishing and not “catching”.

The other turning point came when Doug Durnin of Saratoga Homes invited me and a couple of friends to go salmon fishing. It turned out to be a very foggy morning and fishing was tough. We caught only one salmon that day and I didn’t land it. The fight of that fish though was exciting and I wanted to test myself against that tough an opponent. My next invitation was to enter the Owen Sound fishing derby. Although we came nowhere near a record fish we did catch a few. If you think landing a fish that is as strong as a Salmon weighing in the mid teens is easy you’d be wrong! Adrenelin flows whether the fish is large or small and if you don’t catch fish you still can’t get closer to nature. It is reported that changing conditions and invasive species are greatly diminishing the size and numbers of salmon in “The Sound”: Pity. As you may have guessed the lure of the north (Douglas’Alwaki Lodge) has me heading fishing for a few days.


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