So, my beloved and I seem to be developing something of a shared brain. Which is an interesting thing to be doing, as we are also both autonomous human beings (as in: merging is not being a Problem here, thank goodness).
Anyway. The point of this post isn’t to comment on our developing tendency to think about the same thing at the same time, so much as to talk about the latest mind-meld that is leading us to this conclusion: We have both been thinking about (re-)learning how to fish, with local food (and cheaper groceries) in mind.
Basically, a year-long Ontario fishing license (including the Outdoor Card) costs about $37.00 Cdn. Which is the price of about five 2-person-sized fish fillets from the grocery store, but which can – if you’re good at this – net you close to 50 2-person-sized fish dinners over the course of year, if you catch the fish yourself. (Granted, you’ve also got to factor in rods, lines, reels, hooks, bait, and so-on. BUT the difference in price is still kind of staggering). That it would be local fish, at that — I daydream about bass sauteed with mushrooms in cream and seasoned with dill and tarragon, serving baked pickerel with a pickled sour cherries, or doing dried, candied brown trout in a solar dehydrator on the balcony — just makes it all the more appealing.
Basically, what’s giving us – or at least me – the crazy idea that we could do this is that (a) we don’t have a tonne of money, so being able to cut out the middle-man in terms of meat-acquisition is a good idea, but also (b) I grew up fishing (on rare occasions, but still) with my dad. So I’ve done it before and I know how to use a line (more or less – it’s been about 14 years) and have never had any qualms about dragging a fish to hir death.
There’s a ridiculous variety of fish available in the local (urban) rivers and the wee lake (“lake”) that feeds into (out of?) the Canal, and I already know that you can eat those fish safely. For a given value of “safely”, at any rate. According to the Consumption Advisory, we can basically eat Ottawa fish twice a week (plus as much carp-under-two-feet-long as we want), or there-abouts, after-which we’ll be kind of pushing things, contaminants-wise.
The contaminants thing, I have to admit, is a little worrying. Partly just from a personal health perspective. I mean, E.coli doesn’t effect cold-blooded people like fish. However. You can’t really cook mercury out of a body, right? Of course, the other reason is: Dammit! Why are our fish so damn full of crap?? Which, between Chalk River, pesticide runoff, and the fact that the Ottawa Waist Treatment Plant can’t actually handle the volume of waist that goes through it, is actually an unpleasantly easy question to answer. 😦
But then there’s the next part of the question. Beyond worrying about getting a license, fish-born contaminants, and seasonal/catch regulations… Am I really sure I could kill my own fish? Because, when I went fishing with my dad as a kid, I didn’t do that part. I’d wait for them to bite, and I’d pull them in, and I definitely held the belief that, if you’re going to fish, you’re going to eat what you catch. Even if it’s a bony-assed sunfish that’s utterly tiny. Because you don’t go killing people for fun. But I never did the actual killing. Part of me, the part that knows I have no problem with blood and causing physical harm, at least in a BDSM context (I will direct you to Syrens for that side of my personality), suspects that I’d be fine with it, at least once I’d done it once or twice. But another part of me – the part that hasn’t done this before and is very afraid of messing it up (and, for example, only badly injuring fish that are already gasping for breath and probably terrified, instead of killing them outright on the first go), isn’t entirely sure that I can. Trick is, I’m not sure how you “practice” something like that. :-\
So, yeah. For the moment, this is still very much in the “discussion” category of our lives, rather than the “making it a reality” part. But… it’s rapidly moving towards a “reality”. Next year, I suspect, I will be trying my hand at fishing. 🙂