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I’m not sure if people who love fishing are born or created. What I do know is this; my father started the endless pursuit of hooking on one when he placed rod and reel into small hands that could barely wrap around a fiberglass pole.

All of my most savoured memories involve fishing and all the surrounding activity that goes along with it. It seems that there is a space that can only be entered once that first line is cast. In that space, the stress and challenges of life become less significant and senses become acutely aware of the nature that is all around. The thrum of insects, the ripple of water, and the whir of a spinning reel create a kind of harmonic poetry.

Chris is passionate about fishing.
Fishing connects me to the past and when life becomes chaotic, it grounds me to the present. It’s not always about actually catching a fish; more often, it’s about taking time out for me and spending time with those who also indulge in this hypnotic pastime.

I tend to lean towards rule breaking when it comes to my fishing techniques. If it works, I use it but if fishing is slow, I have no problem diverging from main school thought and putting my creativity to work. Nothing better than having some freaky looking setup on the end of my line and being told there’s no way that’ll work. Doesn’t always but when it does... sweetness!

My daughter and I have also enlisted the trusted technique of singing to the fish. Yes, singing. We have found that like people, fish also have definitive music tastes. The lyrics are usually the same but set to different genres until “BAM!” Fish on!

There are bodies of water that have become my ‘go-to’ places and more often than not, the setting and memory connection is as crucial as the catching potential.

Most of my adventures have taken place in Alberta but I have had the joy of fishing in several BC locations but the highlight so far has been my recent trip to the NWT.

On a warm summer’s morning, we set out on a dream-fulfilling trip that ended up exceeding any expectations. We flew from Edmonton to Yellowknife and from there we took a charter plane to a lodge on the east arm of Great Slave Lake. Our lodge was as it should be, not catering to those with a need for pampering, it was instead about embracing comfort through simplicity.

Our first day saw us on the lake within a couple hours of arrival and the fish did not disappoint. The shock factor of that first hit to the line offered up a near comedic reaction from my boyfriend. Soon the adrenaline began to rush, as we white knuckled are rods in expectation of the next ‘hit’. What followed were three amazing days of lakers from 8 to 21-pounds hooked on, voracious pike caught on top-water lures, and an almost dream like couple of hours spent in a rushing river stalking trophy-sized Arctic grayling.

Of the 15 or so guests at the lodge that week, I was the only woman. I’m not sure why more women don’t engage in this fulfilling activity. Maybe it’s the perception that it’s a ‘mans” sport, I’m not sure. I have introduced a few women friends to the thrill of the ‘cast’ and some have been hooked. It is a pleasure to introduce them to a pastime that can take you on adventures unknown, a pastime that can be done in solitude or in the company of friends.

There is a connection that happens between people as they cast lines together. Often, there is very little conversation and instead what occurs is a blending of spirit, as we engage in this timeless activity that has evolved from necessity to pleasure.

I hope that my hands never grow too old to cast a line and that there will always be time for ‘one more cast’. ■

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