Thursday, July 24, 2008

Teach a man to fish ...

I just spent a few days up on British Columbia's Vancouver Island. We were in a town called Tahsis, to be exact, and Tahsis had the distinction of being a mill town which no longer had a mill (or many people) in it. This made for a pretty depressing little locale, but thankfully it was plopped on a gorgeous inlet of water surrounded by the breathtaking scenery of snowy, tree-lined peaks.

I went to Tahsis with friends to fish for salmon. It'd been a while since I'd gone anywhere specifically with the intent of fishing. As a kid I fished every weekend on the Finger Lakes of New York State for bass and pike and little perch and more. I'd done some salt water fishing in Ocean City, Md., during summer vacations. But spending a couple days on a boat with bait in the water nowadays wasn't something I longed to do -- until this weekend.

What does this all mean photographically? Well, I took pictures of course. Specifically I took pictures of dead fish. I didn't really think twice about it when taking the pictures on the boat and on the dock, I was just trying to document the catch, which included 8 salmon and 1 large halibut. Looking at the pictures now, I still see them as more beautiful than ... sadistic. I mean, there is the blood and guts of a living creature that I killed. But there's no waste going on here, the fish is all being happily consumed by us.

I've never hunted and I wonder whether I would do the same thing with say, a deer. There's so much luck and chance involved I imagine I would be caught up in the thrill of making a kill and would want to document it. But it feels so different in my mind, and I can watch a fishing show on TV but always change the channel when I see hunters going after big game.

Anyway, lots more pics from beautiful B.C. and the bountiful Pacific over at flickr.


Sam McDonald said...

I like bloody fish! Nice shooting, Kurt. Hope all's well, my man.

TimsHead said...

I must admit to being more interested in the allure of fishing, of sitting quietly in a boat surrounded by nature, than the desire to ever catch a fish. And to think Oswego County is known as the Salmon Fishing Capital of the World! (Though I'm sure it's not a unique claim.)

But then I also think about Steven Wright's observation that there's a fine line between fishing and standing on a dock looking like an idiot. I'd feel like the latter.