Sunfish and Bobbers
Friday, April 2, 2010
When I think of fishing, I think of bobbers. If I had to conjure up one simple image that would represent the whole experience of fishing, it would be the simple circle with a little square on top. Maybe there is such a drawing in a cave somewhere in France. And when I think of the pureness of that experience, I think of fishing for sunfish. Fly fishermen can talk about their brand of fishing as an art, pared down to the basics of form and content, the matching of wits and patience...blah, blah, blah (I'm just yanking your chain) but I would like to honour the sunfish and the bobber.
When I was a kid, my dad, my brother and I along with my uncles and cousins would go to a pond near Lake Erie called St. Williams. This would be the opening of Trout Season in southern Ontario. It always opened on the last weekend of April. Midnight On Saturday. We would have already been there for a few hours, having staked out our spot and set up our little campfire, lawn chairs, coleman stove. There would be guitars and harmonicas and a cooler or two filled with refreshnments. But no one was allowed to fish until the stroke of midnight. No one was allowed to fish for trout, that is. But I would have my worm in the water near the shore where the sunfish were already making their nests. I couldn't play guitar and I couldn't drink beer, but I was young enough to catch sunfish. And it wasn' the law that you had to be a little kid to catch sunfish. No, it was just looked down on when you were at a trout pond and there were noble trout to be caught. Anyone could catch a sunfish. I always found sunfish to be a beautiful fish, with their flashes of blue and bright orange bellies. And they seemed to be put on the earth as a consolation prize. To be caught when nothing else could be caught. Sunfish are in the water to reassure us that , yup there's fish in there. Talk about a noble fish!
And as for bobbers, well. I love them. They will always hold a sacred spot in my tackle box.
In the studio are 25 new paintings that celebrate the Sunfish and Bobber. They will be hanging till the end of April and are in a nice range of sizes. They are perfect for anyone who has ever watched a young child at the end of a dock or the edge of the water spend hours matching wits with the glorious sunfish, using the unflappable bobber.