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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It was the first day of the season and while I didn’t catch anything I wasn’t too concerned as it was still early in the season and had come equipped with modest expectations of not catching anything at all. It was more of a reconnaissance trip, first to check on the water levels to determine if they were low enough to crossover to the island in the middle, and to see if the fish had begun their annual spawning run. It was a beautiful day and it felt good to be outdoors after a long winter, to feel the warmth of the sun upon your face, and to watch the migratory birds flying in tight formations in the cerulean sky as they have done since the beginning of time. It had been two weeks since Milad died and I desperately needed an affirmation that life was for the living and that it stopped for nobody, despite the heartbreak and grieving. Read More