Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Great Angler

Anyone who knows Frank reasonably well also knows that he's an avid angler and a very talented writer. He's so fond of both activities, that a few years back, he wrote a wonderful, humourous book called What Fish Don't Want You To Know, based on his years of fishing experience.

I never really thought I'd learn to enjoy fishing. It involves holding worms, hooking them and sometimes injecting air into them so they'll float above the sinker. That's gross - but if I wanted to get to know the pastime with which Frank is so enamoured, I had to put my squeamish side on hold and just do it.

Now, three summers later, I scarcely shudder when removing a worm from its styrofoam container. I can hook it with hardly a wince. And my stomach only flips, and stops short of a flop when I insert a needle and squeeze air into it to puff it up a tad. It's a pleasure to be out on the boat watching loons float by. I enjoy feeling the sun on my skin and the breeze on my face. I get a kick out of feeling that tug on the end of the line and reeling in a fish sometimes occasionally rarely if I'm lucky. And if the day works out right, it's such a thrill to see the sunset on our way back to shore.

Frank's passion for fishing was not passed along to his sons. Oh they'll fish, much like I will - probably far more intuitively than I do but they don't live and breathe it the way their father has for all of his life. Fortunately, there is yet another family member who appears to be developing a love for the sport.

This video was taken shortly before we left to go up to the cottage last week. There's a creek across the road from Frank's place, and that's where he generally walks Benny twice a day. At this time of the year, salmon are swimming upstream to spawn. They make an impressive sight.

Frank doesn't fish for salmon - but others do...

I'll have some photos for you in a few days.


Frank Baron said...

Ha! That still cracks me up! Darn kind of him to let the fish go though....

And you were much too modest to tell your readers about the nice walleye you caught. I trust they'll see a photo of it before too long. ;)

Thanks for the multiple plugs. You're a peach. :)

Thumbelina said...

Hi you two!
I just love how you took something that relatively disgusts you (blowing up worms? ugh!) and learned to do it because you wanted to share something with this man. This gentle man. I love what you share here. So peaceful and calm. And funny.

You two seem to have got it right. The balance. And you're right about Frank's writing and passion for fishing - that is shines through from him.

But you forgot to mention your talented writing. ;0) And evidently, from Frank's comment, your catch!
Always a pleasure to come here.

Zuzana said...

Hilary, you have such a way with not just pictures, but words as well.
I think fishing is so much more than catching fish. As with any outdoor experience, it is also about being part of nature, even if sometimes in a primal way.;) And it is about sharing memorable moments with someone special as well.:)

I have only tried to fish once in my life, on a small boat in the rugged waves of the North Sea. I was 18 but the memory is with me to this day. One of the best few hours of my life...

Benny is hilarious. He must be a constant source of amusement to you all.;))


SandyCarlson said...

Benny rocks. I laughed so that I am crying. What a great photo.

I'm wondering if he was hunting or playing. That big ol' fish sure did his best to splash the little guy.

Dad taught me to fish. I used to feel bad for the buggers and give them water so they wouldn't die. Guess how much the bucked weighed at the end of a day of mackeral fishing! What I learned to love was the water and the light.

Anonymous said...

I love to watch the peaceful rhythms of fishing. I've never had someone share the love of it with me, so maybe that is why I've never fished.

Great video! :)
I imagine that life with Benny is never dull.

Leah J. Utas said...

Benny is so easy to please. What a happy dog. I rather like fishing myself. Haven't caught anything in ages, but it's relaxing and you get to eat the rewards.

lime said...

funny, when i was a kid hooking a worm didn't bother me in the least. now it kind of skeeves me out. bennie sure does seem determined! so cute:)

Mental P Mama said...

"Call me Ishmael."

Kat said...

Ha! What a brave dog. That fish is bigger than he is. I must say that I am glad the fish got away though. ;)

Anonymous said...

LOL what a great video, ha ha ha...."Forget about it" in the Arnold voice....too funny! Loved hearing you laugh too! :)

Maggie May said...

Love the video and the comment *he'll eat you!*

I could never hook worms and I don't like the thought of fishing. Guess I am too soft.

Daryl said...

Love it .. Benny is so funny .. has he ever caught one and not let it go? I cant imagine what the fish are thinking, assuming they think, probably: ''WTF? Now they're sending in 4 legged menaces''

Jinksy said...

A mix of shggy dog / fishing story, what?!

ds said...

CLASSIC! Husband's family had a lake house at one point, and one of the dogs used to jump in the water chasing...rocks. Benny has a much firmer grasp of reality (if not of the fish).
Can't wait to see the photos of your fish. Wonderful story and video--thank you!

Nancy said...

That was so cute! Bennie has such an adorable personality. What fun he must be. That fish was sure trying to give him the shake off, though.

Anonymous said...

Frank's blog is one of the most under visited I see. LOVE his writing. He makes me think I love fishing, like Suldog makes me believe I love baseball :).

Benny buys in too, no doubt about it!

Clowncar said...

I have never heard of injecting air into worms.

Nor have I ever read Frank's blog.

I hope to remedy that (the second one, not the first).

Travis Erwin said...

You and Frank need to come on down to Texas so I can take y'all bass fishing

rosecreekcottage-carol.blogspot.com said...

Hilary....You brought back images of my dad. He loved fishing. Tried desperately to teach me to love it. Nope. Not for me. Those worms. Eww.
I've missed stopping by. I HAVE to get myself out of the studio~

(If Benny's ever missing....he's at my house!)

Gary said...

I been trying to get them to save enough loonies to fly down here to West Texas so I can take them fishing on Lake Amistad, but I haven't been too successful yet. Maybe some day..
I'm assuming Benny is the deadly fish catcher you spoke of last week?

Hilary said...

• Thanks, Frank. I think Benny experienced one of those "professional quick release" methods you told me about. I will indeed post some photos sometime soon - maybe even one of that walleye. :)

• Hey, Thumbelina! Thank you so much for your very kind compliments. You sure know how to make my day. It's always a bit brighter when you've been by for a visit. Thanks for that. :)

• Thank you so kindly, Protege. You too, are always a boost to my ego, my friend. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Maybe you should try fishing again sometime. If it was among your finest hours, just imagine what might be ahead! Benny is indeed a clown. I'm glad you got a kick out of him, as we so often do. :)

• Sandy, it sounds to me like you got some good memories out of your fishing experiences with your Dad. I have vague recollections of my Dad setting me up with a rod, and catching sunfish off the shore of a lake where we spent our summers. What I remember best is the time spent with him, rather than the actual fishing. You're so right about water and light - they make the day perfect. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, KC. Life with Benny is anything but dull. You called that one right. Maybe the next trip you and your crew take together could include some fishing.. for Mom's sake. Thanks always for the visit. And thank you also for the kind comment about my photos which you left in another blog recently. I saw that with my Google Alerts. You're always so thoughtful that way. :)

• I agree totally, Leah. It's very relaxing and rewarding. Unless you're Benny. Then it's a tad frustrating.. and wet. Thanks for the visit. :)

* Lime, it took quite a while for it to stop bothering me so much. Worse than hooking it was just feeling it retreat into my hand. That creeped me out but I'm getting used to that too. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks for stopping by, Ismael. I hope you had a whale of a time. ;)

• Kat, if that fish hadn't escaped, Benny would have been royally fish slapped. He was no real threat to the salmon. He much prefers the chase to the catch. :)

• Thanks, Rain. Now you know how I enjoy the little videos that you share with us. Thanks always for the visit. :)

• Thanks, Maggie. I got over being too soft. I know how you feel though. It's much like how I perceive hunting. I just couldn't do it as a sport. Ever. I feel differently about fishing though. Fortunately for them, I'm just not that good at it. ;)

• Daryl, Benny never really catches anything he chases. He's all about running them out of his territory and not about capturing them. His favourite is chasing squirrels up a tree. He is a hoot though, eh? :)

• Good one, Jinsky. You got that right! :)

• Thanks, DS. If you saw Benny in action on any given day, you'd retract your "firmer grasp" assessment. He's been known to spend hours searching in deep snow banks for a tossed snowball, in thick grass for those spinning helicopter seeds, and he's fallen off the dock while trying to catch waves. I'll bet that makes your in-laws dog look like a rock(et) scientist! ;)

• Thanks, Nancy. That salmon didn't get this far upstream just to end up as a dog's breakfast. Benny never really stood a chance. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• I agree with you, MT - about Frank and about Suldog. Both have a great way with words. As of course do you. :) Thanks so much for your always kind and thoughtful comments. :)

• Clowncar, if you do, I guarantee a good read.. every time. Thanks for the visit.. always appreciated. :)

• Travis, have you been collaborating with Gary? ;)

• Carol, it's so good to see you stop by. I'm glad this post evoked memories of your time with your Dad. As for Benny, be very careful what you wish for. ;)

• Gary, Benny is indeed the salmon whisperer I mentioned. You may just see us one day yet.. so don't give up. :)

Oman said...

there is something about fishing that is really calming. plus it teaches you to be patient and reflect on your life as a whole. really a medititive activity that i love.

Debbie said...

The video was too cute,
Love your blog :o]
ours is http://thelaffalouds.com

Deb & John

Shammickite said...

I wonder what Benny would have done with the fish if he had actually caught it! That fish was determined to get away.
And you were in B'ville last week???? SO WAS I!!! We really have to get together for that coffee soon, before YoungerSon and The Bride sell up and move (They are househunting!).

~JarieLyn~ said...

Bennie is so darn cute. He sure was determined.

I used to fish all the time when I was a lot younger, then I started thinking about the worms being poked with the hook and I just couldn't do it anymore. Silly, I know. So then, I started using fish eggs as bait, but the smell got to me, then I moved on to rubber worms, etc and now, I don't fish at all. Maybe I'll pick it up again one day.

Great video. I really like your writing a lot too. I've never clicked over to Frank's blog but I'll check it out right now.

Have a great day.

Midlife Roadtripper said...

Now, that was fun. Thanks for taking me along.

I, too, enjoy fishing. Have taught two brothers an three sons how to clean a fish. Still have to clean them for my mom when she fishes off our dock for Blue Gills.

However, each year I have to get used to holding that fish while I take it off the line.

Suldog said...

Benny is my very favorite guest star in all of blogdom :-)

Gary's third pottery blog said...


Louise said...

Now when he brings home dinner, I'll be impressed! (And Frank is a lucky man to have someone who is willing to do what you do. I could never do it. I could go sit on the book--with a book or something else to do because fishing takes WAY too long to not be active in some sense--but could never touch a worm, God forbid blow air into it, and probably not even touch the fish when it comes out. (Never mind killing it and cleaning it.))

the Bag Lady said...

Bennie!! Too cute! (If only he were a teensy bit bigger.... than the fish, that is!)

Anita said...

My husband just took my three daughters (13, 11, & 9) fishing for the first time a week ago. They enjoyed the experience and didn't get totally grossed out by the worms, like I probably would.
Nice story and great dog video!

Redbush said...

Cute video, and your comments on hooking the worm! I used to stream fish, but always had a tough time hooking the worm on the fishhook. I can tell Benny is definitely a fisherdog!

Russell said...

Now THAT is a fun video! I enjoyed the sounds even more than the sights.

The sound of laughter is always music of the best kind. The water, Benny shaking himself off .... that is what I call a true slice of life!

Bravo! (And I don't recall ever using that expression before -- oh well...!)

Hilary said...

Very cool video......love that dog.

Hilary said...

• Lawstude you're sure not the only one to observe those qualities of fishing. You speak the truth. Thank so much for stopping by. :)

• Welcome, Debbie and thanks very much for the kind words. Much appreciated. :)

• Shammie, if Benny had caught that salmon, it would have flipped him clear across the creek! Maybe. ;) Why not grab my email address from my profile page, and we can exchange phone numbers? That way we contact one another when we plan our next trip. I think it would be a hoot to meet up with you. :)

• Thanks so much for all your kind words, JarieLyn. I know that I have to kind of tune out the yuck factor when I'm hooking a worn. It's certainly not something that comes naturally to me but I'm getting better at suppressing it .) Thanks always for such supportive comments. :)

• Thanks, MLJH. Don't tell anyone, but I still struggle with removing most fish from the hook and I've yet to kill one myself. I let Frank do those honours.. for now, anyway. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Not too loud, Suldog. He's all ego. :) Thanks for the visit. :)

• WooF, Gary. :)

• So, Louise, what I'm hearing is.. you'd like to join us fishing sometime! ;) Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks, Baggie. But he is in his own wee mind. :)

• Welcome, Anita and thanks for the kind words. I'm glad your kidlets enjoyed themselves. Maybe they'll start bringing home dinner sometime. Thanks for stopping by. Please come back soon. :)

• Good to see you around and about again, Redbrush. I do still struggle with the worm-handling but I'm getting better. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Grazie, Russell. I'm glad you enjoyed the video of the little goof. He sure did keep us laughing as he so often does. I'm happy to share it with you. Thanks always for the kind words. :)

Thanks kindly, Hilary. He's kind of grown on me too. :)

steviewren said...

Gotta love that Benny. That dog is so darn lovable.

Dianne said...

everything he does tickles me so

I love how he looks around, as though there will be some divine intervention

Hilary said...

• Thanks, Steviewren. I'm inclined to agree with you about Benny. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Too funny, Dianne. I do believe you're getting to know this boy well. He did have something of a bewildered-but-don't-stop-me-now look on his face. I'm glad you get a kick out of Benny. Thanks for stopping by.

Kappa no He said...

I love how Ben looks back once or twice with the expression, "Little help here". Such a brave little pup.

Lulda Casadaga said...

I just love that Benny...that sure would have been a nice dinner; that's if he would have shared it with ya all...:D

Franzine Kafka said...

thanks for visiting my blog. i don't know if you have read lorrie moore but she uses a lot of puns in her writing. she just released a new book.

Cedar said...

I own Frank's book and whenever I feel like going fishing I read it...okay I don't fish a lot these days but I fish through Frank. Frank fishes like my father use to, Dad never let the fish suffer either. You got to respect that in a Fisherperson.

Frank's book is....ready for it Hilary? ALLURING. Oh yeah I said it...

Hilary said...

• Terrie you SO got that right. He's a tad bewildered but undaunted in his quest. Thanks always for the visit. :)

• Lulda, I think that if Benny managed to sink his teeth into that fish, we'd find him on the opposite bank of the creek. But you're right about his sharing. He shared his wet fur with us quite readily. Thanks for the stopping by. :)

• Welcome, Franzine. No, I've not read her. I'll have to look into her work. Thanks very much for that lead.. and for the visit. :)

• Cedar, I totally agree with you about that. Frank always kills the fish quickly if he's going to keep them, and no doubt your father had a great deal of respect for nature too. I'm glad you can revisit fishing through Frank's book. That was one large SCALE pun ... I deBAITed between a groan and a laugh.. then opted for both. I must be HOOKed. ;)