CLIFF’S EDGE: Gone fishin’

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It’s foolish to try describing something that hasn’t occurred yet with any pretense of accuracy. I’m going to go for it, though, because I want to tell you what I’m doing today before I do it.

Anyway, as you’re poking and probing through today’s B-Town Blog, I will be kicking back in the bow of a modest fishing boat on a rather large lake in Southwestern Ontario, Canada.

With me, I’m assuming, are Pat, my college roommate of a few decades ago, and Bob, a mutual friend.

Pat is in the stern at the controls of the outboard, as has always been the case in the half-dozen years or so that we’ve been doing something of this nature.

He’s been supporting recreational fishing in Ontario for several more years than Bob and I have, so he’s the skipper by default. Even on shore, he’s the one who plans, schedules, directs and critiques our performance.

Bob is seated at the side of the boat opposite the one I’m occupying. He’s fussing with his pole, line and assortment of lures. He’s a natural fusser. He’s also a whale of a good cook, which is his primary duty at least three times each day .

Our trip started out five days ago from Milwaukie, Wis., where Pat is retired from a career as an editor with a newspaper there. Our first substantial stop after we’d crossed the border into Canada was in Dryden, where Bob oversaw our supermarket shopping for the week.

We have been eating well, I assure you.

My primary duty in the boat is twofold: First I’m to keep my line away from those of the other two; second, I’m to keep track of the net in the bottom of the boat. Should someone hook a fish, it’s my duty to bring that net as soon as possible to the vicinity of that flailing fish.

On shore, since I don’t plan, direct or cook, I do the dishes, and I’ve been told I’m exceptionally good at it.

Should you have had the pleasure of fishing (and I don’t know why you’d still be reading this if you haven’t), you’ll understand, I’m sure, that a good portion of our time cruising about this week has been taken up with conversation.

Since all three of us have spent the larger portion of our lives as journalists, we have many stories to tell, sometimes for the second or third…..or fourth time. They get better with the telling.

By today we will have caught an assortment of bass and pike for sure. Perhaps we’ve also taken a lake trout or Muskie (the latter only if we’ve been exceptionally lucky.)

We have eaten a few of the bass; Most of them have been returned to the lake alive.

Pat and Bob may take a couple home with them. Every one that I have caught will arrive back in Burien next week in my memory, my camera or both.

Anyway, it’s a fine day to be in Ontario, and I’m happy to be sharing it with you.

Cliff Rowe is a retired journalist and journalism professor. (He practiced both in a time before journalists and what they produced were considered “enemies of the people.”) He and his family have lived in the Shorewood area of White Center (then Burien) since 1969 when they returned to the Northwest after seven years in the Chicago area. There, following graduate school, he wrote and edited with the Chicago Sun-Times and with Paddock Publications in the Chicago suburbs. On moving here, he was with The Seattle Times for 11 years before turning to teaching journalism at Pacific Lutheran University for 35 years, retiring in 2015.

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3 Responses to “CLIFF’S EDGE: Gone fishin’”
  1. Great says:

    Now that is how a person does retirement. Cliff, I am always the camp b**ch also, and wouldn’t have it any other way. 🙂

  2. Clean it up! says:

    Hope you are enjoying your fishing trip Cliff. Wonderful post. I could almost feel the cool crisp morning air and smell the fish frying! Enjoy!

  3. cliff rowe says:

    I’m back on the U.S. side of the border in the farm country of Northern Wisconsin. I’ll be in Milwaukee tomorrow. But that’s not why I’m talking to myself. I’m using this opportunity to correct a major goof in the fishing column. We ‘ve been fishing for WALLEYE. I misspoke when I said we were catching bass in part. Not bass, WALLEYES. You media observers/critics have me nervously on my toes. Later…..

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