Fish Tale, Cautionary Tale

In my last post I wrote about my experience as a reluctant camper.  If I’m a reluctant camper, I’m an even more reluctant fisherman.  I think I’ve been fishing two or three times in my life.  There’s only one occasion I really remember though.  That was when I was about 10 or 11 and I went with my parents and a couple of my brothers.

Fish tale catch.
All the fishes that made up our fish tale.

We choose a small river near our then home town of Prince Albert Saskatchewan.  At the end of the day our final total was 17.  That wasn’t the number of fish we caught, that was the number of leads and lures we lost.  Not surprisingly we didn’t do much fishing after that event.

So, like camping, fishing hasn’t been a regular activity in my life.  Saturday afternoon, however, I decided I would give it a try.  In all honesty, all I hoped for was to get through my time fishing without sticking a hook into the ear of one of the guys who were fishing with me.

Eric Parson’s catch.
Philip's fish tale fish.
Philip’s fish was the biggest of the fishes in our fish tale.

In the end there were three of us who were fishing.  Eric who’s a Deacon at St. Margaret’s, Philip, who recently returned to Manitoba after many years in New Zealand and who had been a camper at Manitoba Pioneer Camp over 50 years ago.  Lastly, there was me.

Eric brought his own rod, but Philip and I were using equipment provided by MPC.  Pete Dearborn, the camp’s executive director helped get me set up and before he left reminded me to allow the any fish I caught to play itself out on the line.  I thanked him, but I thought I was as likely to need the advice as I was to need advice on how to behave in front of royalty.

Sure enough about 10 minutes in, I felt a tug on my line.  At first I thought I had snagged my line on an old boot or something.  However, the tug kept persisting. Turned out I needed Pete’s advice.  I let the fish play itself out a bit and then reeled it in.  My first ever catch.  Philip and Eric were kind enough to deal with it once I got it to land.  As a group we off and running.


Next it was Eric’s turn.  We went back and forth in our positioning for a little while. This changing worked out well, and a few minutes after I caught mine, Eric reeled in one.


The Big Fish That Didn’t Get Away:

This left Philip as the only member of our group without a fish.  While we were fishing, he said he had seen a big one close to shore.  It had almost taken the lure, but in the end it hadn’t.  Still we were in a good spot, and in a couple of minutes Philip had his catch.

Then it got interesting.  The big fish returned and decided that it too, wanted the fish on Philip’s line.  So a battle ensued, and the big fish just wouldn’t let go.  That was a big mistake, for in a matter of moments, thanks to great teamwork between Philip and Eric, we had not one but two extra fish to add to our haul. You may not be able to see it well in the picture below of the two fish in the net, but the one with all the fish together shows how the big fish stayed clamped on to the little fish.

Fish tale double.
The big fish wouldn’t let the little one go, and both got caught.

That’s where the cautionary tale comes in.  The big fish was so focused on grabbing the little fish that in the end it became the prize catch.  Sometimes you just need to let go.

Fish tale first timer.
I finally caught a fish.

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