Saturday, October 09, 2004

Gone Fishin'

Yesterday we made our way to Domaine des Forges for our fishing expidition. It's about an hour away from Troyes, and is consisted of about five stocked ponds and a little river, varying in size. For about 13 euros for the afternoon, you're welcome to catch as many fish as you like. Often, Steph and his dad and brother will fish off in the wilderness, but they like to go to the stocked ponds when they are accompanied by the womenfolk (me and Maman Ute, whatever niece or sister-in-law happens to tag along). Usually whatever women come along share a ticket - thereby sharing a fishing pole - because obviously women don't have the proper skills to fill up the fishing basket (or so the thinking goes. This backfired - quite humorously in my opinion - back in April when Steph was quite put out when the three women caught more than he did.). This actually suits me fine, as it gives me the opportunity to walk around the ponds and visit with our party who always spread out over the area.

First off, let me say yesterday was damned cold. I don't think it ever got over 60 degrees, and it was damp (a winning combination). I thought I was appropriately dressed but a hat and some gloves probably would have been a good idea. Miraculously, we didn't have any rain at all, especially since when we left there were signs of a good downpour all the way home.

But I digress.

The first three ponds are stocked with trout, which the French prefer, then you've got a bigger pond filled with carp, which apparently is only staked out by the English (how they found this little fishing area in the middle of nowhere is beyond me). So for the afternoon, we circled around the first three ponds and did what we could.

I spent a lot of time mulling over the prefered catching methods of the family. This started when Steph put his first catch of the day in our basket and ran off to catch some more, leaving me sitting next to the basket which contained a fish drowning in air. Now, I am as much of a meat-eater as the next guy, but my thoughts kept going to the fish dying in the basket. I don't really think fish are sentient beings, but can you imagine the next fish getting thrown in the basket and finding his dead brother, and knowing you're doomed to the same fate? Rather like that movie The Vanishing, innit?

Then there's Phillippe, who likes to rip the fish's head off before depositing it into his bag. Or Maman Ute, who enthusiasically beat her fish against a tree until it shrugged off its mortal coil. I don't know which method produces the best karma, but it was amusing to watch, anyway.

So, the final tally for yesterday:
Phillippe: 18
Papa Alain: 7
Stephane: 6
Maman Ute: 2
Me: big whopping zero
Dammit dammit dammit

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