Tag Archives: ken g

Sunset in the Neighborhood

Sunset in the neighborhood.

You take what you can get.

Or, you take what you got.

I live a short block from some busy railroad tracks.
Tiki the Bitch Queen likes to go for extended evening walks along the tracks.
Lots of fresh and new smells I guess.
She can shit where she wants and neither of us give it much thought.

Sunsets are more urban, more industrial, but I grew up that way a long time ago.
I guess back then I was an inner city kid.
Punk kids, I recall being called.
There are some things you’re perpetually used to.
Urban sunsets are one of those.

It’s no longer what I want, what I prefer.
But, you take what you can get.
Or, you take what you got.

Last Weeks Fishing Report

Last weeks fishing report that Dale Bowman of the Chicago Sun Times didn’t include in his weekly summary. I kind of liked it even though I didn’t get out fishing much and didn’t catch much either. Didn’t write much, but I put in a few paragraphs by someone that did. I don’t know, I liked it…

Not much to report this week, only got out twice and both were short ventures. Two creeks, two smallies caught, two missed. The creeks were high running chocolate. Hit the river once, it was even worse and produced nothing.

The spot on the river I hit is a good spot I used to frequent and while living in Yorkville, I didn’t get to it much. Now it’s just upstream. Nobody goes there cause it’s pretty much a haven for the homeless. They even put a bike path and bridge over the river. Now the homeless don’t have to walk over the rail road bridge to get to the island.

I’ll go back there. Me and the homeless get along well for some reason. I don’t judge them and I’m good for a cheap cigar.

I think that makes the following from Big Two Hearted River a good thing to run, if you feel like it and nobody else sends you anything. Just substitute smallie for trout. Wish I ran into more river anglers that embody this sentiment. They seem to have all disappeared.

Nick looked at the burned-over stretch of hillside, where he had expected to find the scattered houses of the town and then walked down the railroad track to the bridge over the river. The river was there. It swirled against the log spires of the bridge. Nick looked down into the clear, brown water, colored from the pebbly bottom, and watched the trout keeping themselves steady in the current with wavering fins. As he watched them they changed their again by quick angles, only to hold steady in the fast water again. Nick watched them a long time. 

He watched them holding themselves with their noses into the current, many trout in deep, fast moving water, slightly distorted as he watched far down through the glassy convex surface of the pool its surface pushing and swelling smooth against the resistance of the log-driven piles of the bridge. At the bottom of the pool were the big trout. Nick did not see them at first. Then he saw them at the bottom of the pool, big trout looking to hold themselves on the gravel bottom in a varying mist of gravel and sand, raised in spurts by the current. 

Nick looked down into the pool from the bridge. It was a hot day. A kingfisher flew up the stream. It was a long time since Nick had looked into a stream and seen trout. They were very satisfactory. As the shadow of the kingfisher moved up the stream, a big trout shot upstream in a long angle, only his shadow marking the angle, then lost his shadow as he came through the surface of the water, caught the sun, and then, as he went back into the stream under the surface, his shadow seemed to float down the stream with the current unresisting, to his post under the bridge where he tightened facing up into the current. 

Nick’s heart tightened as the trout moved. He felt all the old feeling. He turned and looked down the stream. It stretched away, pebbly-bottomed with shallows and big boulders and a deep pool as it curved away around the foot of a bluff. 

Nick walked back up the ties to where his pack lay in the cinders beside the railway track. He was happy. He adjusted the pack harness around the bundle, pulling straps tight, slung the pack on his back, got his arms through the shoulder straps and took some of the pull off his shoulders by leaning his forehead against the wide band of the tump-line. Still, it was too heavy. It was much too heavy. He had his leather rod-case in his hand and leaning forward to keep the weight of the pack high on his shoulders he walked along the road that paralleled the railway track, leaving the burned town behind in the heat, and he turned off around a hill with a high, fire-scarred hill on either side onto a road that went back into the country. He walked along the road feeling the ache from the pull of the heavy pack. The road climbed steadily. It was hard work walking up-hill. His muscles ached and the day was hot, but Nick felt happy. He felt he had left everything behind, the need for  thinking, the need to write, other needs. It was all back of him.

Sun Rise Moon Set

Saturday, October 19th, 7:05 AM.

Off to the east the clouds were low and gray.

To the west, not a cloud in the sky.

Even in the low morning light the western horizon glowed from the harvest dust.

Nothing glowed much back to the east.

Directly overhead, the distinct line of the incoming cold front.

And it got colder.

Two hours later, two fish later and increasingly numb fingers, I gave up.

I got what I came for, may as well go home.

This Trend has to Stop

Twice in barely a week while out fishing for smallies, I’ve caught carp. This trend has to stop. I don’t mind foul hooking one now and then. I can usually shake the thing loose without ever having to actually touch it, but these fish are hitting the lure with their ugly, puffy little mouths.

Over a dozen years ago I intentionally targeted carp. It’s a sad moment in my life and one that I wish I could forget, but the two cases of popped ligaments in my right hand are a constant reminder. On a cold fall or winter day, I can actually feel the sting in the area just below the pad of my thumb, near the wrist. A constant reminder of my misadventures with carp.

Then one day while getting ready to go out carp fishing, I was looking at myself in the mirror. I felt despondent, much like an alcoholic that just finished off a pint of mouthwash because there was no other alcohol left in the house. I didn’t want to do this anymore. It was a low point in my fishing adventures and I knew I had to stop.

And like throwing a switch, that realization, that admittance of weakness had me quit overnight. I never intentionally fished for those slimy things again.

Here it is July. My records show that it’s always been the toughest month for me when it comes to targeting smallies on the Fox River. I usually put up with anything that is willing to hit and even tolerate that tail or dorsal fin hooked carp, as long as I can shake it loose.

But these things have been hitting lures.

Hitting them like they’re smallies and forcing me to reel them all the way in and have to touch them in order to get the lure out. I can’t scrub my hands hard enough after doing this. The smell of carp seems to linger and the slime never seems to go away.

I’ve considered taking them home. I have recipes for carp and hear that when done right they don’t taste too bad.

And as an old Polish wise man once told me…

Available as a t-shirt!

I also hear they are an exceptional fertilizer for a vegetable garden.

I wonder if whatever they fertilize winds up tasting like carp.