Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fishy Goings-On in the Ozarks

An early email arrived from my wonderful wife describing an Ozark outing devoted to fine fishing.

"This morning, we went to Uncle Clarence's farm and did [some] fishing as you can see [from] the pictures. We had fun catching a lot of fish, mainly perch. Sa-Rah was the one who caught the first fish . . ."

". . . but En-Uk was the one who caught the most fish." Starting with this one:

"He caught about 11, Sa-Rah 3, and I did 2." The fishing conditions must have been extraordinary, for Sa-Rah apparently hooked one on dry land:

I can see from the oak tree's position and also from En-Uk's casting direction that Sa-Rah is facing dry land. What a miracle! Let's see if that critter is really a fish.

Yeah, it's a fish . . . and a rather big perch, at that! I reckon that it's the dry-land variety. There aren't many of those, so Sa-Rah was indeed fortunate. My wife tells me that after such an astounding success 'landing' a perch, "Sa-Rah switched to catching catfish, sitting on the chair and waiting for a catfish to bite the bait, but without success." Maybe she should have tried for a dry-land cat?

"She then got bored and stopped fishing." That large bale of hay was obviously scaring off the fish, which are terribly nervous during haying season because they know from experience that a horde of teenage boys fresh from hauling hay can at any moment launch themselves from the banks and cannonball into the water. En-Uk, however, far from the haybale, continued to fish.

Uncle Clarence stood nearby, practicing his golf swing . . . unless he was baiting En-Uk's hook with the sacrificial crickets, for as Sun-Ae tells me, "He raises crickets to use them as bait."

With the vicarious sacrifice of those crickets, Uncle Clarence and little En-Uk stood under the iconic tree and became fishers of many . . . fishy underwater creatures. Sometimes known as fish.

Sun-Ae tells me that with Sa-Rah out of the competition, En-Uk caught by far the most fish -- 11 to her 3, you'll recall. There were repercussions. "Naturally, En-Uk was happy and became so proud, bragging [about] himself and making Sa-Rah feel jealous and annoyed." And well he might take pride, for we see here on ice these many fine fish, the vast majority of which were pulled in by En-Uk. Poor Sa-Rah, losing out to her bragging little brother!

"But [Sa-Rah overcame her negative feelings, and] they were fine and behaved alright." If so, then they are already more mature than I. Of course, they had a good role model, for not only did Uncle Clarence help with the fishing detail, but he "was [so] nice [as] to bring some sandwiches and drinks with him." Sun-Ae tells us that she "also took some sandwiches [along], but . . . ate his."

All of this took a considerable time, in toto: "We fished [for] about 3 hours and then the cows started making noise and moving, so we stopped."

Ah, yes, those pushy cattle, which undoubtedly had been anxiously awaiting their turn at fishing.

At any rate, as Sun-Ae reports, "It was relaxing and fun. Uncle Clarence is 83 but still so fit to do things with us, very nice." He's always been an outdoorsman -- in addition to being a scientist, specifically an entymologist. Hence the crickets.

Another day came to its happy end, but the next day will herald another fulfilling adventure. "Tomorrow," Sun-Ae tells me, "we might go swimming to the swimming pool."

To the swimming pool? Hmmm . . . that would be quite a swim. I'm not sure that it can be done. That pool is in the vicinity of yesterday's city-park lake (the site for sore eye-fishing), and one might be able to swim to the lake from my brother John's place. Just swim down South Fork River a piece, then up the town branch to where it divides into two small tributary creeks, take the right one, and then another right at the next split. Given the recent rains, one might be able to swim all the way up to the city-park lake, but the pool is further on uphill, and I don't recall any waterway link between the lake and the pool.

But expect photos from this promised underwater adventure of my offspring struggling like salmon against the current as they strive to achieve their nearly impossible goal of reaching that pool from which I sprang!

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At 4:07 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Looks and sounds like they had a great time. Did they enjoy the fresh fish for dinner?

At 5:32 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Nomad, my lovely, longed-for wife tells me in an email that my cousin Sara took the fish to clean and prepare. (Or did my fishing-champion son tell me this over the phone?) I assume that they'll all enjoy the critters sometime.

Growing up in the Ozarks, I did this sort of fishing thoughtlessly . . . unlike professional fishermen such as yourself.

By the way . . . are you still in Korea?

Jeffery Hodges

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