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Muskies with Marc

The sun had not yet risen on a cold, late November morning as we headed down the dark highway towards the boat launch near Sorel on the St-Lawrence river just East of Montreal. It is the fourth oldest city in Quebec, once a major industrial sector with oil refineries and steel mills and processing plants and other heavy industries that were built on the shores of the river. There had once been giant shipyards that built frigates for the Canadian Navy and most of the industries that remained were  involved in metallurgy, heavy equipment manufacturing, ethanol and grain processing plants, most with needs requiring their own dockage along the river to both ship and receive materials. These factories were surrounded by small,tough, working-class francophone communities where most of their inhabitants, like the generations before them, toiled in the industries along the river. It only seemed fitting that we would be fishing for the toughest fish in these waters.

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Fortune and Glory

IT WAS SOMEWHERE AROUND LAKE HURON that we decided to drive south towards hogtown and spend our last day fishing with Greg Amiel’s Fishing4Tails charter service for steelhead and king salmon before heading back down the final leg of the highway towards home. After one month of fishing everyday, we needed a little fishing to break the trip up and it was the perfect opportunity to finally fish with Greg. We had initially become acquainted  through a variety of internet fishing social networks but this marked our first occasion to meet in person and fish together. Despite the sketchy last-minute arrangements, mostly exchanged through text messages as we worked our way across Northern Ontario, he was incredibly generous with his time and created a hole for us in his busy schedule. Read More »

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The bass apocalypse

Hunched under the canopy of a large elm tree that sheltered us somewhat from the deluge, we waited for what seemed an eternity for the violent tropical storm to relent. We hadn’t even had a chance to wet our lines before the skies parted and the downpour began. The ominous grey clouds in the darkening sky painted a gloomy forecast as they raced over the treetops , as if impatient to reunite with the distant horizon. The torrential summer rainfall cascaded in vertical sheets that undulated across the waters surface,  now whipped with such wind-driven force that it bubbled and frothed like boiling water. Off in the faraway distance, thunder claps resonated and shards of lightning splintered across the sky in delicate fingers that spread out and touched the ground, momentarily caressing the earth in its electrostatic embrace. There was an atmosphere of instability in the air and optimism in our hearts and we hoped this was the weather pattern that would see a reversal of fortune in our hunt for the big bass that had mysteriously disappeared for the last two years. Read More »

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fishing

Fishing as a sport has often been described as an activity mostly consisting up of long periods of boredom followed by short and intense periods of exciting activity. While this proposition is not entirely untrue, the statement misses the point of the exercise entirely and fails to underscore the importance of the events that happen outside those moments of intense activity – which for many is a big part of why they fish. The down time between catching fish allows us those requisite moments of respite from civilization for solitary reflection and introspection, observation and thought about the quarry and nature, or of time to talk and further deepen a close friendship. If one takes a moment to think about it, if we only fished to catch fish that the whole enterprise could logically be viewed as an exceedingly productive way to waste ones time.  The scientific method and catch statistics can back me up on this. Should one be so inclined to do the mathematical calculations of catch rates vs. effort or hours fished they would also quickly arrive at the conclusion  that ninety percent of their time was spent staring at their inert lines and not much else.  In the real world people get fired for such a lack of productivity. But here is where logic and mathematics fall to the wayside and where statistics hold no currency. Read More »

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