Gone Fishin’

You’ve seen ‘em—the “gone fishin’” bumper stickers:

>   hooked for life;

>   good things come to those who bait;

>   salmon—the other pink meat;

>   hook ‘em and cook ‘em;

>   be back dark thirty;

>   my other wife is the fishin’ life. (I made this last one up myself.)

Wherever fish are bountiful and bitin’, bumper-sticker philosophers keep themselves busy reeling us in.

Last weekend, Reverend Ogle hit the high seas, alone but not lonely. Leaving work early on Friday headed for Dworshak reservoir.

Here’s what he came home with late Sunday.

Kokanee—not the beer named after them, but the reel deal—bite-size salmon.

As is his religion, he stuffed them whole into jars (well, he removed their heads first), and put the jars into a pressure cooker. (As was also my father’s custom, fish heads are always planted right next to any available rose bush. You’ve heard of fish fertilizer, right? Now you know our secret for prize-winning roses.)

The result?

Canned salmon.

But not just ANY canned salmon. Divine canned salmon. Food-of-the-gods canned salmon. If we could swing it, I’d be up for husby abandoning us every weekend. If I could choose one nutrient-dense, calcium-rich, omega-oil packed food, it would be hand-caught, home-canned, Idaho salmon.

Okay, I have enough fishing stories to journal us into oblivion. Don’t get me started. But do tell me yours. I’m easily hooked. Any bumper sticker aficionados out there?

How about the time I was “caught” catching fish with my bare hands by a Fish & Game officer, who not only confiscated my cache (and grilled them for his dinner while I warmed up my empty, cold, numb hands), but slapped me with a fine. Did you know stream/lake fish have to willingly get caught, as in “decide” to bite a hook? I didn’t. I do now. So much for slow, patient hands that react at break neck speed to tickle the tummies of fish just before hooking a thumb up with a gill. Or is that hooking a fish up with a girl?

Brother Rex and me with our catch of the day. Early 60s.

Leave a comment 3 Comments

  1. MaryJane I remember the first time I caught a catfish; I was by myself at a pond while visiting friends. I couldn’t get the hook out of the fishes mouth. Then I nearly fell over when that catfish started squawking at me! Swear on my grannies grave; that fish was talking! So I put him in the pail with water and carried him back to the house, conversing with him all the way.

  2. Heather Tawney says:

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this blog! I grew up where Mama went to church and Dad and me went out fishing on Sunday mornings…I have been blessed with a outdoorsman husband and two beautiful children to pass the true country grit lifestyle onto…this blog speaks to me in so many ways; THANK YOU

  3. Barbara Bolton says:


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