Ontario Fishing Network

Volume 1,  Issue 3 - April  2001 - Page 4

Mary RileyThe FishWitch Journal - April 2001 (c) Mary Riley

Well everyone, we’ve reached the end of another ice fishing season on Lake Simcoe, which happens to be my neck of the woods. It’s been a long  winter---great ice, long days and hard fishing. You would much rather come  off the lake at night with arms sore from pulling big lake trout and  whitefish than from nonstop jigging, but hey, stuff happens right?

I know a lot of fishermen out there and it’s been a great time keeping up with both their catches and their bullshooting. Especially when you’re a GIRL! That part of it they don’t let you forget, not for one damned minute, and if you happen to be outfishing them it’s even worse. They snigger and rag you and ask if you broke any nails pulling fish. They think it’s hilarious when you have to answer the call of nature and you aren’t exactly built for convenience like they are. But that’s OK, because I’ve managed to get my own back in spades.

At first if I was getting fish and they weren’t I was a bit embarrassed; some of these boys have been working that lake every winter for 30 years or more. First they laughed indulgently (Isn’t that cute, the little woman caught a fish). Then I’d catch a couple more and they’d want my stick, or to sit in my corner of the hut. Next I went out for a week with a toothache and still got 10 pound lakers, and the boys didn’t find that so funny, especially if they were skunked. I was beginning to detect a faint resentment. After that they started asking my hubby, who is an excellent fisherman, if he really enjoyed my company that much (hey Keith do you really have to bring her every day?) And of course they really got upset when I proceeded to use an unheard of colour of nail polish on my spoon and a totally different type of jigging (I admit I was trying to think like a trout) and nailed another one.

It’s all part of the game. One thing I learned out there for certain. Fishermen have just as many lures in their vocabularies as they do in their tackle boxes. They’ll tell you every story in the book, especially if you are a woman and new to the game. You flutter your eyes in wonder and show how impressed you are with the knowledge they have. Make no mistake, they DO have it. The fun part is watching them fight over who you’re going to listen to and learn from. And of course, they wouldn’t DREAM of lying to you………. The thing is, a lot of women just don’t know what they’re missing when they don’t go fishing. We tend to get mad when the guys take off fishing; instead we should be going too. There’s no sport in the world so relaxing, so filled with anticipation, maybe just so plain good for you. Think it over girls. It’s almost time for screaming reels again. This year I intend to learn flyfishing. I got a little box of bugs (I mean flies) that I found at a garage sale for a dollar and I’m already neck deep in learning about it all.

In closing, I have a word for one of my fishing buddies. He told me he dropped a lighted Coleman lantern down the ice hole and managed to retrieve it, and it was still burning. I told him I caught a 26 pound whitefish. We had a standoff, and finally I said that I’d drop 20 pounds off the fish if he’d blow out the lamp. See ya next time ... Fishwitch


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