Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Spell, The Sister, and The Smell.

My dad was beginning to believe that there weren't fish in Colorado. All these posts and pictures of mine must be from a different state, or be photo-shopped, or something, he said. Before every one of his visits this spring, the weather over ate on calm and upon his crossing of state lines, it got a bad case of the winds.

Memorial Day weekend my parents came out for a visit -- to try again -- and after two days, Sunday morning dawned still fishless. We had one day left and would have to charm the third. Mom heard tell of Walden Ponds and was wooed by name alone. We must go there, she said, it sounds so romantic. The birds' song would be vibrant, the water would be glassy, the fish would be bitey and even the mud would be magical. She felt it, thus it must be so. We'd spend the afternoon dabbling in existentialism.

My sister Erica has the smell. Fish love her. They swim to her instinctively with pheromonal attraction. I've never looked, but she must have gills someplace. I always teased her that she was adopted and that her real parents are aliens. She never believed me, but I never stopped trying to convince her it was true. Hmm maybe, yes maybe, she is the spawn of Sunfish. That's it. She is dangerous. She never needed power-bait -- she has power-smell. Fish know, but they just can't stay away. Like that woman who is just too beautiful - men know they'll be hurt - fish know they'll be hooked - but they just.....can' themselves. They want her.

We've been trying to figure this smell thing out for decades now, my dad and I. When we're all fishing together, she catches fish. We don't. We switch spots and fish in hers. Nothin'! They follow her. Now, she doesn't fish anymore. Evolved from gills to thumbs, she's morphed into a rock climbing monkey and is wicked good in that too.

Thus, a scientific experiment was in order. Does she still have The Smell? Testing the hypothesis of one's fish curse and another's magical power is a very scientific endeavor, you know. Erica wasn't coming fishing with us and before she left to climb we had her touch all the lures and flies in my dad's tackle box. The ultimate test. Is the attraction still there after all these years?  

We dabbled.


...we had the free will to do so...we chose to,
 and we fully realized that this whole power-smell thing was irrational. 
We desired the fish. It was worldly. It was futile.

Every decision has a consequence......

...and my decision to tie on a Wooly Bugger, proved philosophically sound.

We dabbled some more.

Come on power-smell, work! Be not simply good, be good for something. Then, from down the bank, I heard a quiet chuckle. "Did you get one?" I asked. "Yeah, but I was hoping you didn't hear my laugh and wouldn't notice" Papa replied.

More fish, bigger fish, redder fish, and bluer fish followed. The curse is broken.
The irrational, rationalized. Finally. Fish on...


  1. Good stuff!

    Your sis is a bad ass on those rocks. Wow.

  2. Glad that you didn't have to use photoshop this time :-)

    "...we desired the fish. It was worldly. It was futile."

    Great post!

  3. The weather got a bad case of the winds....ha, I think there's a second meaning in that. Twas fun. Cya again soon.

  4. Brilliant stuff.
    Please figure out a way so I can "follow" via email. It's all I have the patience for to figure out.

  5. John - My sis has biceps that scare every man I know...she kicks some serious ass on the boulders!

    Sanders - Me too, that editing photos stuff gets so darn time consuming! ;) hehe! Thanks!

    Pa - You read into it as I meant it...why yes, there's a double meaning in that!

    Ken G. - I figured it out and added a "subscribe by email" feature underneath "followers" on the sidebar. Glad you enjoyed it!

    Ryan - thanks!

  6. Nice post youngster. I'm only sorry that I missed ma and pa while they were here. You all crack me up...could Erica be anything but a star?

  7. Cofisher - youngster? ;) hehe. They are coming back in July. We'll all have to rendezvous!!! And no, she could be nothing but...she studied astro-physics, has her Messier Certificate, and I am storing her very large Dobsonian telescope in my extra bedroom at this point in time. I forget whether it is an 18 or 20 incher. Either way, it's taller than me!

  8. Siblings, don' you just hate them LOLOLOL

    "I would rather be lucky than good", someone once told me that, i am beginning to realize just what he meant.

    Lovely stuff as usual.

  9. Tom - I would rather be lucky than good / I would rather be beautiful than smart --> yep, I've been told both! And, while the latter options makes one feel the conquering hero, the former makes life oh so much easier. ;) Many thanks for your comment!

  10. LOL! That fish is too funny. At least he caught one, right? :D

  11. Yes it was indeed a magical day at Walden Pond and you wove it all into a delightful story with many hidden meanings ;-)
    Oh and Erica had those hidden gills from infancy, remember what a crazy swimming baby she was...swam as if she were half fish.


  12. Sarah - right! He caught a few, in fact. There is yet another story to tell! :)

    sgb - There's a double meaning in that! hehe. I knew you guys adopted her!

  13. Still love reading your blog! You keep it interesting! So... your father is like 50' tall right?

    Maybe your sis exudes anise oil? Does she smell kinda like black licorice?

  14. "We'd spend the afternoon dabbling in existentialism."

    I really do love the style in which you write and convey everything Erin,your blog is a joy to read.

  15. e,
    A family outing intertwined with some sweet thoughts. Existentialism, it's all good. Scott

  16. backcountryfishnerd - Totally! My dad's a's where I get my 5' 4" frame!

    Mark - Thank you so much! I'm very glad you enjoy these scribblings of mine....your comments are always a joy, and always much appreciated!

    Scott - Thanks for your comment! Existentialism...I've done a bit of dabbling. :)

  17. backcountryfishnerd - black licorice, eh? I'll have to smell her next time I see her. :)