A small chunk of our time spent in Canada was at the cottage of one of Grandpa Reed’s friends, Tony. There is an bi-annual “sisters weekend” where all of the Reed sisters and the spouses of the brothers go up to this cottage for a weekend. Grandpa and Tony wanted us to go up there for a day and get it ready for the girls (i.e. testing out the boats, making sure the water temperature was acceptable, testing to see if the fish tasted alright, that sort of thing), and so took along me, my sister Rosie and my cousin Daniel. However, ladies and gentlemen, as perfect as this all sounds, of course there was a catch. Because we didn’t take much food, we were going to catch fish and eat that for supper and lunch the next day. I inform you now that of the 5 people who went on that trip, only 1 could fish.
The first day we were there (Thursday), we mainly spent out on the boats. I took a strong preference to the canoe, and so was el solo lobo, since Rosie and Grandpa were stay-ashore people and Daniel fell in love with the kayak. At about 4:oo pm, Tony says; “So how’s about we go catch some fish?”. So Rosie, Daniel and I piled into the canoe and Tony went out in the kayak. We had only 2 rods between us, so the canoers took it in turns to fish. On return, we counted up our catches; Kayak 2, Canoe 0. So we cooked up the fish for supper and MAN were they tasty!!! I have had a lot of nice fish in my life, but that fish we had was in the Top 3, if not the best (however, my passionate affair with bass, while amazing and beautiful, will never interfere with my almost endless love for Norwegian Smoked Salmon. Note the capitals). Of course, this delicious fish spurned us on to catch more for lunch the next day, and what follows is the tale of just that. Ahem!
Moby Dick of the Lake
In which a young man catches a massive fish, much to the chagrin of his cousin and the boon of his self-esteem
It is a warm summer’s morning when Oliver Eastwood, a young man of 14, wakes up. He sits up in bed, rubs the sleep off his eyes and the drool off his cheek. The clock reads 8:15 am. He gets out of bed, slowly, or his aching bones could just snap. As he stumbles down to the pier, still half-asleep, his joints crack and pop like dry wood burning in a fire. He sees his cousin, Daniel, and his friend, the Aging Seaman Tony, stepping into a canoe. Tony’s sou’wester droops low over his face, almost as low as the sun is in the sky. “Coming fishing, Oliver?” Tony inquires, his voice cracked from years of salt water and shouting over storms. Oliver wordlessly takes a reel and a pot of worms, dons his ever-faithful fluorescent life jacket and slides into the kayak. Not his preferred mode of transportation, but it will have to do. He curses as water drips from his paddle onto his lap. Tony chuckles. A rookie mistake.
They now drift around the lake, keeping an eye out for monsters such as Mike the Pike and McGeever the Beaver. Slick Tony reels in a few fish. Daniel gazes intently at his line, daring the fish to bite. Oliver only manages to look cool, if one considers getting their line caught in reeds to be suave. Suddenly, Tony bellows across the lake “Daniel’s got a bite!”. Oliver wheels his kayak around and can only watch as Daniel reels in the bass version of Moby Dick. “You played him perfectly!” exclaims Tony, which as we all know is the greatest praise you can get from a Veteran Mariner. “Hey Daniel” he guffaws, “Better stay away from Oliver; he’s bad luck!”. Oliver shakes his head and utter a comment so witty that you get third-degree burns just from reading it, therefore it has been censored by the editor. However, do know that it was witty enough to stun Tony into silence for the rest of the trip.
The fish was cooked later that day and Oliver, however jealous he was of his superior cousin, put that aside and ate through the equivalent of 2 plates of fish.
Thank you so much to Tony for the cottage trip, Rosie and Grandpa for the good fun, and kudos to Daniel on catching THE largest fish of the trip. I’m not jealous, just soooooo glad that I got to spend so long with you!