Monday, October 18, 2010

Fall into winter

Long summer.
But the freezer is full of salmon.
A good sign that the bank account is full too.

Fishing is work no matter what people say.
Trying to get more money from each pound of fish.
Selling to the tourists.
Selling to the restaurants.
Mercy selling, what is left, to the cannery for half the price of the above.

Sock it away like a squirrel hides nuts.

November 1st the commercial fishing season is over.
But the salmon have already run up the river.
It's half way thru October and the salmon are very hard to find with a net or a pole.
They are spawning---pro creating---up the river somewhere.

The pro created will come back 3 to 7 years from now.
And do what their parents did.
Spawn...and then pass away.
Unless they are caught along the way and sacrificed for the lives of humans.

It's a good thing.

The Yakima Indians fished for these salmon for 12,000 years.
And in 1995 the Chief of a Yakima tribe was sent to jail for 5 years.
He forgot to fill out a federal form clarifying exactly how many salmon he caught and sold that day.

Seems like science fiction.
His people fished for 12,000 years.
We threw him in jail for not following the 'white man's rules'.
White man made those rules less than 100 years ago.
We can't seem to manage our natural resources well.

Balance is key.

The Indians managed for 12,000 years.
But ;white man' successfully messed things up in a little over 100 years.

We are to blame for our 'industrialized demise.'

But no----let's blame commercial fisherman.
And Indians.
It's easier to blame.
And prove power with incarceration or monetary fines.

Being a commercial salmon fisherman.
I feel for the Indians.
I guess that is obvious.

The new 'white man' being the 'conservationist movement' who tries to simplify the world's resource issues by blaming one group....the harvester.

Hoping they can throw all the 'Indians' in jail and throw away the key.
Such bullshit.

SO-----the season is almost over.
But the sun is out.
The waves aplenty.
4 days of paddling, catching, surfing, crashing.

It was 39 degrees this morning.
I drank my coffee and watched the sun rise
over the glassy bay in front of my house.

Pushing on into fall...and eventually into winter.
Spending that money socked away like nuts.
Ripping fireplace fires.
Just stacked 3 cords of wood in the garage.
It's that time again.
Pumpkins, rain, cold sunny days, and a green lawn that doesn't need mowing (whew)
Eating salmon from the overstocked freezer--- all winter long.

Duck dive.
Here comes a set.
Paddle out a bit further.
Turn and burn.

I am sore in new, but oh so familiar, places in my body today.
4 days of paddling, catching, surfing, crashing.

It was a long six months of fishing.
Three months of the six were surf-less.
There was surf---but it is small surf in Oregon in summer.
Summer waves in Oregon never seem to provide the necessary stoke.

Fall, and winter, bring the bigger and more powerful groundswells back.
Swells that travel 1000 miles and clean up beautifully along the way.

We surfers get to catch those waves....
Just before they crash onto the gravel, rocks and sand--- and die.
Much like the salmon.

Felt good to surf ----after 3 months of down time.
And amazing that we just don't forget...?
how to do it.

Something always draws us back.
Like the salmon are drawn to the river.
And they fight so hard to get up that river.

Duck dive.
My wave.

1 comment:

  1. Nice, I'm trying to fill said freezer right now..... waves aplenty tho'.........