Friday, August 12, 2016
60℉ at 5am and 77℉ during the day
It was still raining when we got up, so we enjoyed a leisurely morning. Martha is into a good book on her iPad while I caught up on a few things. By 10:30 it stopped although we weren’t sure it was really done. There is a hike that starts just one campsite over, and it goes to a small stream you can fish for free, so we decided to take it. We were dressed for cool and rainy and a stroll, but we were soon hot and since we had taken the wrong direction, it was going to be a hike, but man was it beautiful – such a gorgeous forrest floor as I have ever seen. It looks like elves should live there. Blueberries lined the entire hike. I’m sure I ate a pint. I don’t know what the red berries are, or the lichens or the plants. If we knew anything about mushrooms, we could have had a feast as they were growing everywhere – on the ground, on the sides of trees, on dead trees. An hour later we found the small stream, which was very pretty, but it would be difficult to fish and it like every other stream here, it runs into a little lake, then becomes a stream, then a lake. We wound our way back to the campground, now hot and ready to change into shorts and short sleeve shirts.
After lunch we went to the office to get some firewood and ask again about fishing. I had perused the fishing regulation book, which is written in French, but hard enough to comprehend even if written in English. The very nice, young girl in the “accueil” (welcome center) tried desperately to help us understand how fishing works. Of course it is very difficult for her to speak in English, but she does very well. What we have seen is that it is so difficult for them that they are mentally tired after 20 minutes. Although I can read French somewhat, I cannot carry on a conversation. Then of course there are others coming into the office to ask questions or to buy things. After a while we had studied a large board on the wall that lists all the “lacs”. I must go back and get a picture. Columns show the size of the “lac”, how far away it is, how many are fishing it today, how many fish have been caught and how many kg’s of fish were caught. “So can I fish this little lake right here?” I asked. “No, you can only fish the ones in dark green.” OK, so I studied some more to find something small enough that I could reasonably cover it fishing from our kayak. “OK, so can I put our kayak on this lake this afternoon?” “No, the only lake you can put your kayak on is Lake Norman. There are two boats on each of the smaller lacs, and you can use those.” I can’t remember exactly what she said, since I am still trying to digest the last statement, but I think she said $40 to rent the boat for half a day and $80 for the whole day. So let me see if I have this right. Martha would like some nice trout for dinner, but to have a nice, quiet day of fishing on a “small” lake 42km up a gravel road, I will have to pay $20 for the “permit de pesche” and $80 for the boat rental. I can’t believe anyone fishes, but they do! To add to the confusion, I have no idea what the fish are, as I am totally unfamiliar with the names or the appearance, much less what I should use to catch them. Buying a couple of salmon steaks at the grocery seems a better idea. I will take pictures of the forrest.
Kelly and I took a four-month fishing trip across Canada in 2013, so I have some experience with fishing in Canada. It will no doubt drive you crazy, but to argue the other side, they are protecting their resources as well as funding the parks and managing the parks and paying the salaries of people like this nice young lady. Canadians love to hunt and fish. This country was founded on it, so it could easily be “fished and hunted out”.
We went back to camp and Martha happily read her book while I worked on the back-up camera for the trailer. Laying it all out, I found I still don’t have the right connections. I tried to maintain my composure while cursing under my breath. I will put that project away until I get home.