since i've moved to edison, fall has come to signify the mighty salmon runs. last week we noticed the first few fallen leaves on the ground, and at the same time, a buzz was in the air. salmon had been pooling out in the bay, and the first couple had been caught in the river. suddenly, as if an alarm had sounded, by the droves hopeful fishermen appeared. with waders and nets and every kind of tackle, on the banks, by boat and in the water, they were here to hunt those amazing creatures. but, as the saying goes, "if it were easy, it would be called catching." most spend hours upon hours and leave empty-handed. there's always the chance, like a gambler with a good hand of cards: all the conditions are right, and you'll be the one carrying that fish down the dike. for years i've watched james go through the annual ritual of riverbank fishing. Its an exercise of patience: getting to know the holes and the tides, watching for the fish waves, learning the patterns. for him, it's as much about the observance of nature and a certain salmon mysticism as it is about harvesting food. and at times, it's just a frustrating and time consuming obsession. but at it's best, it's an undeniable rush to be connected, by a thread, to such fierce and wild power.
james has been a fisherman since before he could walk. It is in his blood; intrinsic to the core of his being. So when he caught his first salmon of the season yesterday, at about three feet long, a fiery pride shone in his eyes. i send a hearty thank you to the universe for this amazing gift.