Thursday, November 11, 2010

At The End of The Pole

Sunfish, walleye, bluegill, perch, catfish, bass. I grew up catching these fish. Even when I was barely old enough to hold a cane pole, dad would sit me on the bank of the pond or creek, on the pier off Aunt Bess's store, seated in the front of the boat. I learned to fish with the best of them.

Hollie and Dad raised their kids to fish. We loved it even as adults. As I've said before, I'm not sure if it was because of the catch or because of quality time with our dads laughing, joking, sharing in a way we didn't share on a daily basis.

Fishing in Oregon is different than that of fishing for pan fish. Out here people fish for salmon, trout and other fish I don't recognize. Digging clams and trapping crabs, tasty, but I don't do it.

Last night I went out for happy hour with friends. On the menu was: Crawfish. My son chuckled asking if I would like some. My mind immediately raced back to the creek and the little crawfish we tried to hit with rocks from atop the bridge. The bottom crawlers were not going to cross my palate. Delicacy? I think not.

I would love to go fishing here in Oregon, but my favorite type of fishing is my old cane pole. I remember swinging that pole back when I had a fish with Dad ducking to avoid my flinging line. As I got older, I learned to bait the hook and catch my line. Dad still delighted in every catch I landed.

For hours my dad and Hollie would tell fishing tales. They reminisced about old times. The length of 'the one that got away' seemed to grow with each passing story. Our fathers seemed to glow when they allowed themselves the luxury of time away from the farm with a fishing pole in hand....and with a captive audience.

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