Tuesday, September 29, 2009

FISHING Erna and the Pike

Old Trunks wishes to share what a fat pike looks like. This is Erna holding a fish her husband caught. There were no details on the back of the picture to say where, when, why. We just know it was Les' fish because the Johnson men had a way of having someone else hold the fish for a picture. Not written in granite, as you can see, Les holds his own stringer in an undated picture. Look closely at the back ground and you can see the size of the boat the family put the little pull start engine on. Again, I repeat, it was carried in the trunk of the car.

Although Erna may have been very strict about many matters, when it came to cooking the catch and fishing, she must have been heaven's answer to the fisherman husband. Her short steel pole with an open face casting reel and black ice line was silent after Les died in the mid-seventies. Most likely it had been put in the rafters of the garage the summer before. In handling it even now, it gives Old Trunks a sense of awe with its heavy line and no brake system to stop the line after casting. One had to have a great thumb to stop the line lest one has to pick out a back lash. What is a back lash? That is when the line gets all snarled up and buried on the spool and you either pick it out with a crochet hook or use a different rod/reel until you are back at camp. But only if the bite is really on does one lay down equipment in need of attention.
Now, personally, I need three combinations. It is rare I have a miserable tangle up that I can't solve. What happens is simple. I just lay it down and use something else. I can't untangle jewelry in a mess nor can I do puzzles. Eventually, Tom will pick it up and work on the snag long before we are dock side. Might be some ghostly voice coming from his father saying, "Untangle your own snags". Maybe.
One of the things that seem so odd to me in looking at the old Johnson pictures is the fish are on stringers or held in a vertical position. Maybe it is because we are catch and release and do not string the fish nor do we generally hold them vertical.
Trust you have had a bite today.

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