Thursday, April 29, 2010

Patience is a virtue...

And it really is NOT attributed to many people. Me, for instance. I'm not too patient. If I want something done, it better be done now and right. Just ask my family.

I had to learn from someone though, so I think I'll blame my parents for this one! :)

david and helen

Patience is not something you usually think of when you're talking about kids either, but let me tell you a story about a wired little boy, who blew our minds on my birthday fishing trip...

dean ifhsh

Gage. He is six years old. A Boy's Boy, hunter, snowmachiner, bike rider, getter-into-trouble'er. He's is very much a typical boy who has an older sister about a year older than him, and sort of wants to jump out of that shadow. (That's my freshman psych diagnosis, I'm accepting appointments now!)

Anyway, Gage, hoooly cow. Patience is not exactly the first word that comes to mind when we think of Gage. Maybe, "hyper" or uh, "wild?!" But, when he is interested in something, ANYTHING, he is 100% attuned to that ONE THING.


So, we went fishing on Sunday, for my Annual "Birthday fishing trip." I told my family and friends, and we had probably 20 or so people out there after fishing all day. The kids had a tent set up so they could play (mess it up) and stay out of the wind. And play they did. Clara was the only kid who decided to actually FISH. So, so stuck with her hole and caught two average, nice sized shii-fish. The other kids would fish for five or ten minutes, and then quit, and go run around in the fish guts and heads that were left over from the night before.

gage sitting

Gage, though, he started hooking (yeah, that's what it's called) about a half hour after we got there, and had a HUGE fish within about fifteen minutes. Right at the top of the ice, he LOST it. We figured he'd get cold, like the other kids and run around, but NOPE. He was HOOKED (no pun intended!). He stayed at that SAME hole for TWO hours. And I'm talking about a 10" hole in 5 feet of ice, with NO chair, No bucket to sit on, and NO bites. Two hours. I mean, I can't even sit there for two hours!

gage bring to cathy

Anyway, he wasn't catching anything, so I wanted him to pull up a fish. I called over to him after I had hooked one, and set the hook pretty good so he could pull it up. He came over, pulled it up and would not leave his fish. He wanted to cut it himself, and drag it everywhere he went. Which wouldn't be too bad except Gage is about 50 lbs and the fish are about 30 lbs!

cathy cutting

Cathy eventually came over and filleted it for him on our table, so he was happy. He ran around a bit more and then asked, "Where's Em?" (His sister) I told him that they had left about an hour ago in the Snow-Coach with ALL the other kids. He sort of nodded his head and said, "oh, OK."

carrying fish

I figured it was time to start getting ready to bring him home, since it was Sunday and he had school the next day, he was the only kid out there with a bunch of die-hard fishers who had caught about ten or so fish altogether. So I asked him if he wanted to go home. "No..."

At about 7 o'clock in the evening, I was tired, my throat was hurting, and I had a sick sunburn on my face, so I told him, we were getting ready and going home. (It takes us about an hour to get home on the ice) But, 7 o'clock is when the fish come'a biting...and BITE they did.

zach and gage

Gage caught and caught and caught, he was so excited that finally at 8:30 p.m. I told him we HAD to go. He was giddy and excited and laughing, running around whacking the heads so the hooks could get pulled out. I loaded up his fish on the back of the 4-wheeler, and while I was putting the required outdoor gear on, he was pulling in MORE fish.

koys fishes

He said to me right before we left, "Maija I don't want YOUR fish, you can have it back, cause I got FIVE to give to my mom!" And promptly fell asleep driving back to town.

When Gage and I left, he had caught five, I caught about fifteen, and with Dean, Zach, Reggie, Liz and Mike's fish, we ended up with a little over a HUNDRED 25-40 lb fish! Seriously. And I told my husband when I left, "what I want for my birthday is to NOT have to cut these fish!!!" So, they had to force themselves to stop, so they could head and gut the fish to fit in our sleds!

gages fish

We've spent the last two days filleting, vacuum packing and freezing fish. I've shipped over 150 lbs to family and friends, and STILL have more. (the Arctic Region of Alaska is the only place you can catch shii-fish. They are MUCH better than halibut!) We eat shii-fish as much as we eat Salmon, Caribou and Moose, so we're pretty much good to go for the year.


Lauren said...

Yum. Surely you must have some kind of cause that needs fundraising - because I would gladly pay for some of that deliciousness. Now THAT would be a kickass school fundraiser, instead of what we do around here with our magazine sales and candle sales and other things that are not edible. What do you think? Might there be a Frozen Fish Fundraiser on the way? :) A girl can dream.

Tari said...

That was awesome. Love catching a glimpse of your life that is oh-so-different from mine.

RockyMtnGirl said...


Wanna trade? I can send you some Jersey blueberries from my front yard when they are ripe (likely in mid-July) in exchange for some shii-fish. I have no idea if we can make it work, but the idea of eating fish that's better than halibut (and I LOVE halibut) is quite appealing.

Anonymous said...

This looks like so much fun!

merinz said...

Such an interesting post!! The little fellow is a real trooper. he shows amazing 'stickability' for his age.

Susan Stevenson said...

I loved this blog entry! Congrats on the bounty. :) We've never tried Shii fish, but now my husband wants to find a place to catch them.

North Pole

Heather said...

Now I am curious to try shiifish - I love halibut and can't believe anything is better! Unfortunately I live no where near the arctic(Chicago). And while Lake Michigan gets pretty darn cold in the winter and you can even ice fish on it, nothing that comes out of there is better than halibut.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Lauren-- fund raiser ???
Anytime, just yell and you have another 'helper' for funds!!!