Saturday, July 14, 2007

Fish Friday

Two tasty silvers today. We landed them and a pink salmon in a flurry of activity that lasted less than an hour. Brian let me fight them all into the boat. The big guy wrapped the line around the engine, which Brian untangled in an impossibly quick feat of logic while I clutched the reel to prevent the fish from gaining any more leverage. The next two hit right away, bam bam, as a half dozen boats swarmed closer to what everyone hoped was a huge school of salmon. I reeled and danced around Brian who was juggling the net and the fish skull basher and at one point knives, as the boats closed in and wake kicked up and the sea swirled in a vortex of incongruous activity.

Then, just like that, all was quiet again. My heart was pounding, and I sat back down in a bit of a stupor, not really knowing what to do with myself or what would come next. Fishing is really nothing like cycling, which has a fluidity to it ... a continuous movement that ebbs and flows and eventually finds its even pace. Cycling is strenuous until it's not. Fishing is relaxing until it's not.

Fishing also makes me voraciously hungry - much moreso then cycling. Longer rides usually rob me of my full appetite for more than a day. But fishing ... I spend an afternoon sitting and gazing out at the water only to come home with an urge to take little bites out of every single piece of food in the fridge. I'll admit I have only a passing interest in fishing ... but there is something undeniably primal about the sport that makes it really rewarding. When I spend an afternoon gazing out at the water and looking for whales, what I am really doing is spending an afternoon fixated on the violent notion of winning food. And when I come home with a carcass in a bag, I want to devour my reward. Geoff and I pan fried some fillets with chili peppers, creating two big hunks of blackened salmon. Then we used the head and carcass to make a big pot of salmon chowder. Oh, and we had a little salad too.

Worth it? Yes.