Opening Day of Trout Season


Yesterday, for those of you not up on these things, was, as I have stated before, my husband’s High Holy Day.  In other words, Opening Day of Trout Season in Rhode Island.  I’ve written about it before – if you care to learn all about the rites and rituals involved, this old post should fill you in.

Bill went with his friend John this year.  They caught 11 trout all together.  The limit is 6 per person.  Bill caught 10 of them, John caught one.  Same canoe, same kinds of bait, fishing in the same spot.  And they were just drifting, using power bait (which stinks like anything but it smells quite appetizing to hungry trout) and waiting to feel a bite.  So it’s not like John did anything wrong…except that he dissed the Fish Gods.

You laugh, but I have seen proof of it before, and I have no doubt that this is what happened to him this year.  The fact that before he insulted the Fish Gods he had caught a trout and after his blaspheming he caught no more is indisputable.  So what other conclusion can be drawn?  Bill, on the other hand, was prepped and ready to go the night before, as he always is…and he was even going while terribly sick with bronchitis, or something like it, sacrificing his health in his devotion to the Fish Gods.  He is truly devout. 

He and John had made their plans earlier in the week.  John was to arrive at our house at 4:30.  Since this is John, and time runs on a different clock in his world, Bill figured he’d get to our house at 4:45.  It was later.  But before that, I’d say at approximately 4:27, Bill started the annual Fuming About John and How Late He Always Is and If John Is Not Here By Ten Past Five I’m Leaving thing.  He does this every year – or actually every time he and John make plans to go fishing – or plans to brew an all grain batch of beer, too – that involve John arriving at a precise time of day.

Well, John arrived a few minutes before five, so after hazing him a bit, Bill handed John a mug of coffee and they were on their way. 

The disrespect part came while out on the water.  John had caught a trout, and somehow they ended up talking again about how John was on the verge of being late and upsetting the Fish Gods, and John said something along the lines of "F*** the Fish Gods!" and "I spit on the Fish Gods!"  I don’t know how accurate that is, but the sentiment is there anyway.  Well, it’s lucky for John that the number of The Fishing Faithful far outnumbered him and his sinful words.  Otherwise the thunder would have rumbled, lightening would have struck John, and all the trout stocked in the pond would have dragged him into the water and feasted upon his charred flesh. 

So instead of wrecking the fishing for everyone else yesterday, the Fishing Gods just cursed John and caused the power bait on his line to smell like DANGER DANGER DANGER to the trout, and so they did not go near it but instead were tempted by the power bait of Bill, which smelled like…oh…like grilled trout smells to me.  VERY VERY YUMMY.

And that’s what we had for dinner.  (Bill and John had it for lunch too, but I wasn’t home.)  Grilled trout.  With some wood chips in the grill to create some smoke.  The flavor was fabulous.  Had that with some spaghetti that I tossed with spinach that I’d sauteed in olive oil and a little puree of roasted garlic…some salt and pepper and tarragon, and some grated aged Asiago cheese.  The only downside of the evening was after I’d swallowed my last bite of trout.  I missed a bone.  Trout have lots of very very thin bones that you either have to pick out ahead of time or resign yourself to picking out while you eat.  I missed one.  I felt it in my throat, on the right side, not very far down but too far to do anything about without triggering a very violent gagging reflex.  So I tried eating more spaghetti, in big mouthfuls, to try to grab the bone from wherever it was lodged and drag it down the rest of the way.  Then I drank big gulps of Reisling, which didn’t help either but I’m sure contributed to the little headache I had when Julia woke me up at 4:15.  Finally, somehow, the sharp little pricking sensation went away, so I didn’t have to worry about somehow choking to death or bleeding to death in the middle of the night.  Not that I really think that would have happened but I like a good worry before I drop off to sleep, don’t you?

So that was yesterday.  But I left out one part.  My BIG PLAN, for myself, for that morning, was to spend the time between Bill leaving and the kids waking up as time FOR ME.  Time to sit and read the "Tastings" column in Friday’s Wall Street Journal because I didn’t get a chance to on Friday…drink some coffee at a leisurely pace…maybe write in this oft-neglected blog…or whatever.  But just some quiet time for me.  And the kids have been waking up around 6:00 lately, so I figured I’d have an hour, and that would be a nice start to my day.  (Oh, and yes, I was up at 4:00 with Bill because MY role, in the rites and rituals of Opening Day, in case you didn’t read the old post I linked to in that first paragraph up there, is to make the traditional Fried Egg and Cheese and Ham on An English Muffin sandwich for Bill – and for John if he is on time and therefore Deserving of It.)

Well, like they say, the best laid plans…Julia was AWAKE at about 4:30.  She was very happy to hang out with her beloved Da Da! for a while.  And then Alex woke up at 5:04 – minutes after Bill left.  So no free time for me yesterday morning.  Ah well.  I got my hair cut and my eyebrows waxed yesterday afternoon, and my sister watched my kids for me, so that counts as quality time for myself.  I certainly look a tiny bit better than I did before.  Every little bit helps.

So that’s about it for the moment.  Bill’s rehearsing with a colleague for a faculty recital on Thursday…Julia is taking a nap…Alex is in the living room playing with Legos and talking to himself.  I hope to be able to post again today…we’ll see!

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