PW: The narrator in “Three Fishermen” said, “How the world works is that whales kill people.” Is nature the “Great Outdoors” or the “Unforgiving Wild?”
CP: Sturgeon fishing over the weekend, the guy I was fishing with told me about another man who used to be a regular in the place where we were fishing. There are fewer than a dozen of us who fish for sturgeon in this particular spot with any sort of regularity – it’s sort of a secret – so we get to know each other. So this guy tells me that one of the old guys who used to fish this spot years ago, he bought some property in Alaska and moved up there intending to build a house. But he had a disease that prevented him from feeling cold, and he died building his house in Alaska. In this case, I think he brought the whale to him. Not like Jerry. Jerry didn’t ask for that whale.
There are some places where the best piece of advice is to get the hell out. I don’t kayak fish but I know people who do. They go out on the rivers here and fish for sturgeon from kayaks. The big oversize fish, we’re talking seven to eleven foot fish, pull them so far downriver, it’s like a sturgeon-drawn carriage. But these kayak fishermen, they mostly know better than to test the Columbia, where the currents are faster and more unforgiving. Fish for dinosaurs from a kayak and you’re fine, but fish the wrong river or the wrong tide, and you might find yourself in trouble.