There was an uncomfortable moment at a recent Princeton council meeting when one member around the table cast a suggestion about tourism.
The councillor asked since we have so many lakes, can’t we produce some kind of map to direct visitors to our best fishing locations.
Papers were shuffled, some mention was made of a fishing guide that used to exist, and it was noted that lakes are obviously included on a map of the area in our tourism guide.
Finally, the mayor addressed the whale in the room.
You see, no one wants to let outsiders know where the fish live.
Sometimes that’s classified information, even when you are an insider.
It would present an awkward marketing strategy. Imagine the brochure that says, “Come For the Fishing – You Are on Your Own.”
None of this was a surprise as I’ve raised two of the most secretive fishers in the history of angling.
Press their feet to a fire, yank our their fingernails, threaten to chop their beloved mother into little pieces and use her as bait – nothing would make them give up a good fishing spot.
Seven summers ago, just after the DeMeers moved to the Similkameen and were temporarily residing at a local resort, we had a very successful day on (redacted) Lake.
We all maxed out on rainbow trout and as we admired our catch a couple of trucks pulled up and a driver waived me over.
We chatted and when I returned to my sons they asked what the men wanted.
Well, of course, they wondered where we got all the fish.
This was met with indignation, outrage even.
You didn’t tell them anything, right?
Feet were shuffled.
I didn’t tell them anything except it was (redacted) Lake. Oh, and how to get there.
For days the boys pretended I didn’t exist. They eventually made me swear on their father’s life that I would never, ever, again reveal fishing secrets.
It was the same way in Ontario.
They’d lie convincingly into the face of any fellow sportsman with the audacity to ask, “Hey are you guys having luck there?”
On one memorable occasion, at the banks of (redacted) River outside an eastern city which cannot be named, my 11-year-old stuffed an entire walleye down the front of his pants to buttress his claim that there were just no fish in that spot.
Fishing with the boys in spring and summer is one of my favourite pastimes. We even ice fish in winter, but I can’t tell you where.
They are quite good about taking me along and seem to have gotten over most of their mistrust.
We load the gear, stop for snacks and worms, and I settle comfortably in the back seat.
“That blindfold isn’t too tight for you, is it Ma? Just relax and we’ll be there in about 30 minutes.”
Andrea DeMeer is the publisher and editor of the Similkameen Spotlight.