I read a very amusing and informative article in the Globe And Mail recently, about fishing which prompted this note. More about that, down the page.
As a young lad enjoying the privilege of summer holidays in #Muskoka, I loved to get out in my little boat ( with a 10 Johnston on the back) and run about chasing waves. Later, I was chasing girls, but often, it was all about chasing fish.
Early, many mornings, I’d hop in my boat and run up to visit with Mrs. Cunningham (now Purk’s Place) by the amazing Bala Water Falls that tumble down into the Moon River. Here I’d purchase my allotment of worms, so I could attempt to trick a bass or two into my boat with the help of a net-at-the-ready.
Fishing at the middle train bridge on Bala Bay was, and still is a key location. With three entry points for the water to stream from Lake Muskoka proper, into Bala Bay, the constant current, the train trestle concrete abutments, and the disintegrating cribs are an attraction for what many believe is, pound for pound, the world’s best, fresh water fighting fish: the small mouth bass.
Fast forward forty plus years. Now I take great pleasure in taking my niece’s children on adventures in various water-craft. For a few years now, two of these great kids have joined me to learn about fishing at this middle bridge.
Now you must realize, I am not a great fisherman. Never very lucky, not very skilled, I just like the process, the quiet, the hum of trolling along, and in particular just being on the water. So as an instructor, I’m okay to teach how to put half a worm on a hook, anchor the boat, and point out the trials of knocking over the tackle box when it is open. The basics I can cover.
We ALWAYS catch a few fish, so it’s a fun outing, often a little chaotic anchoring in a current, and organizing two or three lines without getting tangled.
Typically, we haul in several rock bass (always unceremoniously tossed back in), but you know when you have a small mouth on the line, big or small. They just feel different, and when they break the water and jump, visually it’s very stimulating. Youngster’s sound effects are guaranteed!
Last summer, my neice kinda hit the jackpot (pictured above) with a lovely bass which required (speaking of chaos) the net, and a flurry of activity getting other lines reeled in. Of particular interest to me was not letting the rod and reel end up in water towed off by this muscular specimen.
Bringing this fish home to Gramma and proud parents was akin to doing a sail past after winning Bala’s Callaghan Cup. The kids were glowing, and I think I was too.
Which brings me back to The Globe And Mail article on The Bassmaster Classic. What a terrific read by #CathalKelly. A real eye opener. Even if you don’t know anything about fishing, this article is about the world heavy weight championship of fishing tournaments. and Cathal’s trials and tribulations as an observer. Serious, and after reading this, dangerous too.
As I say, I like fishing, but there are degrees of desire to be on the water, one with your adversary and the elements. I prefer Bala Bay and Lake Muskoka on a sunny morning.