posted on Sep, 15 2005 @ 07:59 PM
It was one of those calm evenings, the red sun settling behind a fuzzy gray cloudbank across Lake Huron while boats of all types putted slowly into
harbour. Leaning on the boardwalk railings, I slipped into a funk remembering those times when I'd be coming off the lake myself with a salmon or a
trout in my fish box. The inboard motor at low revs would be quiet enough to hear the piper on the lighthouse from a mile out. That time of the day,
offshore winds would carry the smells of a summer beach town out to greet me...BBQ'd steaks, hot dogs from the beach house stand, even a faint smell
of coconut oil from sunbathers would waft their way out to me.
Memories like this put a little smile on my face that evening. Those happy days of fishing miles offshore were some of the most pleasant, almost 'zen
like' times of my life. Alone, far out, watching a rod tip for hours, hoping for a tap to spin me to action.
"Hey!" A voice at my side made me turn.
"Hey, Cliff...how you doin'?", I said, recognizing an old fishing buddy; "Been out lately?"
"Naw", he said, "what's the use? I was out this morning, before dawn, but it was flat.'
"Yea, flat water just ain't productive."
I chuckled and watched a sailboat come in, the captain folding sail while a young girl handled the wheel. Nice hull, I thought, noticing the way the
water stayed undisturbed in her wake.
"So", Cliff asked, "Hows the Foggy Lady? Haven't seen her around lately..."
Tucking my chin into my chest, I tasted a bit of bile with that.
"I sold her"
Cliff had a puzzled look on his face. "I figured you'd never..."
"Well, I did", cutting him off, "what's a fishing boat without fish?"
Cliffs face clouded over and I could see he was bugged.
"They'll be back", he threw this at me like a dare. "It's just a bad year!"
"Just like the year before and the year before that, Cliff?"
He just looked at me, but I could see the pain in his eyes. I could tell he was giving up hope too.
I looked him straight in the eye and laid a hand on his strong shoulders.
"Cliff...the fish are gone. I dunno if its the Zebra mussels, the cormorant population or the commercial fisheries...it don't matter, the fish are
gone, my boat is gone and, man, I miss fishing with you too. You take care, bud..."
I looked one more time over that flat water, turned, and walked away.
[edit on 15-9-2005 by masqua]