Sunday, July 31, 2005

Great White North

July 28 5:00 AM
Well here I am in the Great White North. My father in law has hosted his second annual Canada fishing trip. Our group is my father in law (who just turned 50), his father (72), his son, myself and his daughter's husband. His wife(my mother in law) came this year as well because Grandpa wanted a cook at the cabin when we came back from fishing. We're staying at the Golden Route Lodge, this dive just west of Chapleau, Ontario. We got here yesterday and got on the lake around 5 PM. I was in a boat with Rod (just like me - family by marriage and an inexperienced fisherman) and Grandpa at the helm. Fishing with Grandpa is an annoying and frustrating experience. He loves fishing and has been doing it all his life. For all that fishing, he sure hasn't learned much. He knows a lot about fishing but a whole lot of nothing about Catching fish. He has no instinct and doesn't know anything about scientifically finding the right spot and staying on the right spot. We found a good spot and the two Jerry's (father in law and his son) found the line and caught at least seven fish. Grandpa couldn't find the line or the right speed if his life depended on it. He managed to stumble across some fish so that he got two fish and Rod got one. That appears to be the limits of his abilities, stumble around until you find a fish. But he sure likes to tell Us how to fish. If you do something differently then he does, he'll try to "correct" you every time he sees an opportunity. That's the way he is with everything. (He also takes things too seriously and has no sense of humor.) A lot of times he's right, sometimes he's not. But even if he's right, sometimes I just want to try something different and he doesn't appreciate that. Add on to it that he's deaf as a post when he's at the motor and fishing with him becomes an ordealing experience. Today I think Jerry Jr is going to drive us. He's a better fisherman than grandpa and a lot easier to get along with. Plus he's willing and able to use the fish finder. So today's experience should be much more enjoyable. Hopefully I'll land the big one today.

July 30 2:00 PM
Day 4 - still haven't caught anything ( well I caught a little one we tossed back,but I'm not willing to officially acknowledge that). They're going back this afternoon, but I'm staying here. I have come to realize that God was sending me a message - I shouldn't be here. He wanted me to spend these five days in some other way and some other place. Everybody else caught at least nine fish,so it wasn't the lake or the weather. I got some bites and lost a couple, but mostly just sat in the boat feeling sorry for myself and getting in the way. Yesterday was a good day. We found a good lake. The weather was beautiful. Rod was having good luck, catching a bunch of bass. We got on the lake around seven in the morning and got off just as it was getting dark. The best part was late in the evening, after the sun had gone down. The lake was smooth as glass, the temperature was perfect and the fish were biting. Jerry put a good bait on his line and the pike bit on it as soon as it dropped in the water. He caught four fish in twenty minutes, most of which was spent taking the hook out. Technically, I caught one of those four fish because he gave me the same bait, but I'm considering it his fish. Besides, we ended up throwing it back later because we didn't need another small pike. Since I don't want the only fish I caught to be a small crappy fish not worth keeping, I'm denying credit. Besides, it was a pretty boring catch. I dropped the bait in and reeled into the boat within thirty seconds. We could have caught more, but we had no need for small pike and it was getting dark. We trolled back to the boat launch and Rod caught a nice bass. We all enjoyed watching it leap from the water and Jerry thought it was a very nice catch. He thought Grandpa would be pretty excited, but he had already caught one just a litte bit bigger. Grandpa either has the best luck of the group or is a better fisherman then he appears to be, because I think he caught the most fish and the biggest fish. Maybe his luck and his son's driving was an unbeatable combination.

Fishing is not for me. I just wasted four days. I could have and should have been working on my writing. Or doing pretty much anything else. And I think God was telling me so by not sending any fish my way. That's the only explanation, the only difference between me and the rest of the group. He's sending a pretty clear message that I should have stayed home and that I shouldn't go on any more fishing trips. When my son is old enough, I might go then. But I would feel wrong going any other time and possibly even then.

Well I'm off to work on my writing.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had no idea you were the type of person who would consider not catching any fish (besides the 2 you actually did catch) a message from god. Or that god would be sending you a message in any capacity. I guess I just don't understand the whole "god is my best buddy!" idea of faith.

Fishing trips aren't really about fishing anyway. At least, I never thought so. It's about spending time with "the guys" and "nature" and all that stuff. I doubt one of the reasons they invited you was so that they could increase their fish-cought count. But then again, maybe these are some freaky people that I have no idea about.

12:19 AM  
Blogger Chris from MI said...

It was 1 that I caught and threw back, I just talked about it twice. The message was more than just not catching fish, that was just the trigger. That's how faith (at least my idea of it) works - something occurs which triggers you to prayer, where you receive answers. And yes, God is my best buddy is a good way to describe my idea of faith.

You're right when you say fishing trips aren't really about fishing. Spending time with the guys is not something I find enjoyable (spending time with anyone is an ordeal) and I can spend time with "nature" and all that stuff without driving 10 hours.

8:51 AM  
Blogger Chris from MI said...

Actually, the more I think about it, the more I think that this fishing trip was about the fishing. None of the people I went with are very social people or hang out with the guys type of people. They were there to catch fish and said so a couple of times. We never spent any time hanging out with the guys, we just fished the entire time. When we weren't in the boats trying to catch our limit, we were eating or sleeping. The only time we did any socializing was during the drive up. Everybody was too tired to talk during the drive back.

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, sounds like you're right, the trip was a waste of time. Too bad.

Your further explanation that not catching fish was only a trigger seems more rational to me. The way I read your original post was that God personally hindered your fishing abilitiy to make a point. Which, I dunno, maybe that whole Zion Lutheran thing messed with my head, seems like something God wouldn't be involved in. I don't believe he is a part of a person's every day life. It just seems too much like, guy in the sky. I guess I always hoped God was bigger than dealing with us silly humans. (though I have no problem with people who have your belief. if it works for you, yippee. and I'm pretty confused about my own belief/fath or lack of in god, so who am I to talk.)

8:01 PM  

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