Tuesday, February 28, 2012

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Spring trout fishing on PEI

The first day. Always a first day in these important matters of fishing among good friends and with fine waters. Not that this island is the ultimate in a purists adventure into a rushing arctic river. Nor the first place that line was cast as a child with father along the streams of youth...but a new place of great streams and wonderful new memories that stir the most from a deep almost deserted memory. Opening day of trout here was snowy and cold. As a young man, I only remember one day of fishing the Eastern chars, or brook tout in the high plateaus of the Allegheny that I recall snow falling as we removed the natural artworks called brook trout. These fish are natures jewels. Dark above and dotted with crimson and blue, white edged fins and creamy flanks...golden bellies. These are the trout caught here that have not yet been to sea. They are pure pleasure in the pursuit and eager hungry as the spring thaw awakens and all of us collective awaken to a spring leading to the summer sun. I never really expected that. In the memory of youth it was a time of great awakening and expectation. Rods brought out. Plans made. The early morning trip away to meet the streams and brooks...the air, racing clouds and chilling air ...bird song along places of youthful expectation. The winter is long at this latitude. It is far from the streams of the Arizona rim, later, and in most ways father still from the mountains and cold limestone valleys of the Cumberland gap of my youth. But it is trout fishing the same only modified by the geography and those who cast the line with me here. For those who do not understand that, or those whose memories are yet clouded by the unimportant or memories forgotten I can only say that it is as a wedding should be. The great expectations, hopes, and wishes of a powerful meaningful summer among all that can be profound and important at a time or renewal. The fish are a bit small, but the fill the pan well, dusted in flour and fried golden and a meal that means spring is here. Perhaps I should have fished elsewhere. My father is long a memory. We fished the streams of home and it remains a most important place of memory. Here we go out just a few miles from home here along along the Northumberland strait to fish. Not hours, but minutes to streams that hold many fish. That is why I remained and now that is why I remain. Pain of loss and suffering reduced to total simplicity. We will fish bait now and early here in the West, and as the water warms the flies will take trout...the sea run fish..will return. Larger and silvery from the time away , the meat pink and succulent from their salty foraging we will take some for the BBQ and release the rest. The odd salmon will visit but must be released. There is no finer past-time. Issac Walton observed that the simplicity and solitude of the stream and trout was a renewal of the soul. So be it. Time passed rather poorly against an amazing winter. A winter even these hardy souls said that they had not seen in years. Snow and gale. Snow and gale. Day after day along the shore buried in feet and feet of unmelting white. But the rain came and we went fishing. I met a lady. A true flower of a woman. Beautiful and fragile to intrude on my solitude. She is remarkable in that she distracts me from the brook. It has not been so for many seasons and I have been chided as a romantic. Again. Today was too windy and cold to go back to the Bradshaw and catch more trout. I caught 5 brookies Friday, my friends caught a few too. We returned to town and immediately cleaned and cooked the fished...still we were chilled to the core but it was the finest trout feast that I had had since long before. It has taken more than one winter for me to be able to grasp a new horizon. And the sun that rose from that horizon is the sun that breaks to pink clouds. The kind of sunrise portending a new adventure among people prior foreign, now friends. I changed my field boots and layers to evening wear and went out among those in my hometown. The strong Canadian beer flowed and the dance went along. Separated by only a thread we dance as family and laugh among the last remaining shadowed piles of snow. I remain in my Elba. Surely I miss fishing with my old pals and my son...even my father passed over 40 years ago. But all the souls are present. I remain here to fish, and coordinate that which must be written. All that is ones life is that which is a memory...the material passes away and rots as the last fall leaves are now gone...but the odour remains in the heart of that when one rakes and jumps into the leaf pile with children. It remains but is actually gone back into the damp red island soil.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Deep Winter

So that deep winter speaks a blow of blast that means snow. Its my own fault as all know that I decided to render on my condition that lacks the real abilities to go...away...far away. Some of the island girls that I really do have a fond attachment thus have inculcated that as once I may have gone a fore then thusly shall I go away.

They are cute in their collective muse as I may stay as long as I please....but I suspect that only an excuse perfused thus that I may unknown and no threat to a simple state of being.

I at once went to a smelt shack of friends last a week. We trod heavy snow with some glee past along by the homebrew beer and Tignish shine. Therein I speared smelt in a small heated shack. The smelt stand close to bait and simply stare, if the fisherman is lucky, then they are un ceremoniously harpooned...making a delicious meal, dusted in flour and roasted in the fat du jour.

On a more personal note.....well it has expanded. Life here is much as 8 Th grade when I played football... there are cheerleaders, the undateable, the dogs, nerds, drunks, whatever. But everyone knows everyone so I remain amazed. Soon It may be time abode away to sun and surf...but not just yet...not yet...and snow...SNOW!...Yes a bit of that too... but a hardy sort we stand such a way that not much encumbers too long....but spring trout at 6 weeks makes me want to wait in Hibernia amongst my unleavened friends...yes truly mad...but oh so much fun.....

Shel would have liked this winter on island with me, as it will most likely be my last...the desert beckons....tanned Spanglish speaking ladies await..

Friday, November 12, 2010

Mid November Chill

The incessant rains of late and high winds have finally departed into a chilly dry mid-November. There is not very much new to report but it has been so long that I thought that a basic update entry would be a good idea.

With fishing season over and the winter approach as well as work and family issues in my "social club", fall has grown quiet.. Mary has reappeared with renewed enthusiasm to spend time with me, much to the chagrin of many of my club. I have missed Mary's maturity and good sense, but not the acerbity and hard-nosed islander behaviour that was seen before. i am just going to enjoy our friendship, as I miss our movie dates and restaurant explorations.

Still always brewing as roasting chicory on my cerebrum at this time of year are thoughts of the south, kids, Yankee-land. American Thanksgiving is November 25th this year, my birthday. What fine memories that imagined within the memory of a wonderful pre-life . But I will remain and just wait as it causes no real difficulty yet to do so. The kids are both very busy and my proximity, as previously tested, added little to the actual amount of time we were together last trip home. Perhaps a trip home to visit when logical, anyway.

We keep abreast via telephone and face book as best as is possible. I hear little from old friends these days via any medium anyway. In any case, there are worse things than being an "islander'.
I often think of my elusive X wife and wonder if and when she will return here to be with her theoretical husband. It must be very hard for her to be with her clan all this time, if indeed that is where she is, especially after the life that she had over the last 17 years. As a writer it is an interesting study in human disillusionment. I wish her or them well as the case may be.

So its an expansion on hobbies old and new, exercise now that I am finally up to it and the re embrace of a more healthy fresher diet and avoidance of negative and depressed dypsomanical club members hell-bent on moral turpitude and hepatic cellular death.

Yes, I will have to try some smelt fishing when the ice comes to the harbour. Yes, indeed!

Sunday, October 3, 2010


This time of year is very special to me here on the island. Sometimes we would fore go a summer trip to the maritimes and wait for fall. In those years, we would usually stay at Indian Brook on Bras D'or on Cape Breton Island. Then, often reluctantly, we would spend some time here on this island.

The wonderful colours of the Cabot Trail, the warm people...the crisp air and maybe some fresh mackerel and blueberries made for a wonderful time before the the trip back to the desert. Then, I would bake or fry fish, make blueberry pie and enjoy our rented house along the shores of Bras D'or. Here we usually stayed at Cavendish near the park in a little old-fashioned motel cabins called the White Eagle, in the National park here.

Summerside then was a side trip then. Now it is my home. I am fully integrated here now with new friends and interests, but at time I am still introduced as "my Yankee friend".

Fishing has been less productive than in August, but i have gone to the wharf less these past few weeks. The weather has been unusually mild, but the chill approaches now as the tropical lows go past and the arctic highs arrive. The leaves are colouring and the birds seem anxious to depart for warmer climes as the sun goes lower and lower, and spirits wain for the approach of winter.

There has been little word from my remaining family except for the occasional "facebooking". It seems letters and phone calls are out of date, and that is where people socialize and chat now. I danced with Mary last night and we were to go to supper tonight..Chinese is the tradition...but there has been no word so I assume the date is off. Today marks our two year anniversary as a defunct couple. It is too bad too, as I was looking forward to it.

I almost just left yesterday. No place in mind, I just thought I would head East and stay in a hotel, maybe all the way to Cape Breton and eat blueberries and mackerel. But I decided against it and I am not sure why. Having the ability to go anywhere one wants is not always a reason to do it. Go to the airport and fly to the snowy Rockies, or just drive. A decision unmade again as it has been for me this time of year here.

Thus, I await an inspiration, a reason..raison d'etra". But fishing and a new month and week appear and I remain. placed in time along the beaches of memory, a place that love seems beyond the reaches.