I went down to Karis’s classroom at about noon on Monday, “Karis, look it’s 60 degrees out and sunny! We should go play outside!”
“Yes!” Karis easily agreed. “We should go fishing.”
“Great,” I replied, “I have a pole and line and those dangly things, but none of it is attached to the pole.”
“Oh, well we can set it up,” Karis assured.
So up to my apartment we went. The first task was to get the line onto the pole. With some assistance we were able to tie the line onto the reel. Ok, good, one step down, now we just had to reel the line in so that it was wrapped tightly. Karis held the pole and began to reel, I held the spool that the line was on and tried to keep it from getting tangled. Right after we had started the cat sauntered in. I can tell you exactly what the cat was thinking, “Oooh, a toy! Just for me!” Realizing that this would end badly, I got up to go lock the cat in the bedroom. I came back to find that my absence had caused some of the line to unravel itself and we had a whole big tangle on our hands. A few minutes of untangling, and we were back to reeling the line back on.
Finally, the reel was full of line! Phew, we said, mission accomplished. Thinking that all was well, Karis loosened her grip on the tightly wound reel, only to have another major tangle occur. This time the line actually managed to get into a few gnarly knots, so we just took out the scissors and cut the line. Carefully, I took the end of the line by the reel, brought it up through the loops on the side of the pole and tied it to the spinner and the hook. Now, we could finally feel good, the weight on the line meant that it wouldn’t tangle or come unreeled again. What a relief!
So, off we went, to Mukluktoolik River. After walking west for about 40 minutes, we hit the river. Karis, an experienced fisherwoman, did the first cast. What a nice cast it was, landing right in the middle of the river. Then, it was my turn to cast. I threw the line and the pole back over my shoulder, trying to get thrust so that it would go far… and PLOP…it landed in the water right in front of my feet. “Ok, ok, I’ll try again,” I thought to myself. Plop, not even 5 feet away in very shallow water. Again and again and again I cast right into the water by my feet.
Finally, after at least 50 tries, I got the line to go sailing into the air out to the far side of the river.
“Yay, I got it!” I shouted to Karis, who was standing a little ways away petting her dog.
“You got a fish?” Karis asked?
“No,” I said disappointed, “I figured out how to cast.”
“Well, shucks, we sure need to get a fish!” Karis said.
For the rest of the afternoon, Karis and I alternated who was doing the fishing (after all we only had one pole between us). But, no matter who was doing the fishing, one thing stayed the same: we didn’t catch any fish!
Disheartened that we hadn’t caught any fish and getting hungry for dinner Karis and I walked back into town. I made some salmon (last year’s) for dinner and we griped about the lack of fish in the river that day.