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A Real Fish Story · 3 March 2018


Photo courtesy of Margie Miyoshi


Now for a real fish story. One that did not get away.


I put a couple pictures on my last blog post that might have been a bit misleading. I put a picture of my grandpa and me with a bunch of fish. He caught the bigger two. Naturally. And I had a picture of my mom and one of my aunts with a bunch of fish. Needless to say, I have a little ‘splainin’ to do.


The first time I saw that picture of my mom and aunt with the fish, I thought, “Wow! They caught some nice fish.” About as nice as the fish my dad and uncle caught. I even thought it was nice that they posed about the same. I never did think to look at the fish. Apparently, the fish were the ones that Dad and Uncle Don caught, not the ones that Mom and Auntie Judi caught. (Yes, I still say Auntie and Uncle.)



Photo courtesy of Margie Miyoshi


I never realized that they were the same fish until my mom said I could use the picture on my blog. My aunt said that she would be honored to be mentioned in my blog. I am not so sure that is true now that I have uncovered the truth about their picture. The whole world could have thought she and Mom were great fly fisherwomen. Ah well. They will get over the notoriety. After all, not all the fun in fishing is in the catching. Most of it is in the storytelling.


My dad really liked to fish. Not just pose for pictures with fish that somebody else caught. He and at least a few of his siblings learned that love from their father, my grandpa. And my favorite fishing stories revolve around him.


Grandpa was a great fisherman. When he was not farming, he was fishing. Or so it seemed. I remember going fishing with him many times. Most of the time, we would head up from northern Colorado, where he lived, to Wyoming, where he fished. Most of the time, we kids would end up being too loud for him. He would say “Yakamashi!” which means we were being too loud and ought to quiet down because we were scaring the fish. (But that is another story.)


While there are many fishing trips that I remember, there is only one trip and one fish that I will never forget.


Contrary to popular opinion, fishing is not a competitive sport. You just catch fish. And then, you either release them or you eat them. Simple. Not a competition. Unless, of course, you make it one.


Well for some reason on this particular fishing trip, somebody made it a competition. For one day of our trip up to Wyoming, we were going to see who caught the biggest fish. Not the most or the least. Just the biggest. It hardly seemed fair. After all, I was not even a teenager yet. Which meant that my cousins were younger and would not be catching any fish bigger than Grandpa. That left, Grandma, my dad, and whichever other adults were fishing to try and catch a bigger fish than Grandpa. It was obviously a rigged game. Grandpa would surely win.


Even though I knew the outcome was inevitable, I went out to catch fish. I was old enough to go out on my own on the river and so I walked the bank like all the adults did. I found a spot I thought might have some fish and cast in my line. I reeled in and cast out, reeled in and cast out. All the time moving just a little bit downstream. Not much, but enough so that I was not always in the same spot.


All of a sudden I had a bite. It was not just a nibble. It was a huge strike. I set the hook and started reeling in. I even had to adjust the drag to be tighter to bring that fish in. We fought and fought until I finally got the big rainbow trout to the shore. I pulled it up on the grass and was getting ready to pull out the hook and put it on my stringer, when it spit the hook. I was shocked and unprepared, but I did not just watch as the fish flopped itself into the air trying to get back to the water. I threw down my pole and jumped after it.


It only took a couple flops, but the fish used its last bits of strength and gravity to make it back into the water. I did too. I jumped into the knee deep water. There was no way that fish was getting away. Thankfully, the fish was exhausted by our fight and the flipping and flopping it had to do to get back into the water. It was just sitting there in the water catching its breath. Letting the water flow through its gills. I had no mercy. I caught that fish in my hands and took it back out of the water and onto my stringer. I caught that fish fair and square, and it was going to be supper. For more than just me.



Photo courtesy of Margie Miyoshi


I do not have a picture of it, but if I did it would be priceless. The picture would be of Grandpa and me standing side by side like we are in the picture here. But instead of Grandpa having the biggest fish, I did. I won the competition! My fish was longer and rounder. Larger by every measure. And that is no fish story.


I have fond memories of fishing with our family. And even though many of the best fish stories are about the one that got away or the one somebody else caught, my favorite fish story is of the day that I outfished my Grandpa. I love the story of the one that almost got away.

© 2018 Michael T. Miyoshi

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The One that Got Away · 24 February 2018


Photo courtesy of Margie Miyoshi


There are fish stories and then there are fish stories. Inevitably, the best ones are about the one that got away.


I like a good fish story as much as the next person. But this one is not quite like the rest. It is about the one that got away, but not quite in the way you might think. For it is not about fish at all. (Despite the pictures.)


Writing is one of those crazy endeavors. You need to be crazy to do it. Either that or you have so many words in you that you need to get them out. Speaking is not good enough. You just need to sit down and write until they come out, or you will explode. Or maybe you just have so many ideas that if you do not get them down on paper, they will be released into the ether, and somebody else will get them and use them. Or some other cockamamie thought about why writers do what they do.


Personally, I am probably just crazy. To write and write. And writing with no apparent audience (sorry faithful readers), seems crazy to those who look on. They simply wag their heads and wonder. Or they misdirect their pity at the crazy man at the keyboard.


But as crazy as it is to sit here and write day after day after day, it would be crazier not to. After all, I have said for decades that I want to be a writer, and for much of that time I was a liar. I said it, but I never did it. Now at least I can say that I am doing what I always said I wanted to do. At least I can say that I am not as much of a liar as I used to be.


But back to the fish story.



Photo courtesy of Margie Miyoshi


There are times when I am writing that the words just flow. When ideas come fast and furious and there are not enough minutes in the day to get them all written. Jotting the ideas down for later is a great idea, but the original words always sounded better than whatever comes out in the end. Still, there are times when the spigot is wide open, and the ideas and words flow. These are times I relish.


The tough times are when ideas do not come at all. When the well runs dry and there are not even words to tell of those parched times. The drought can be long and dreary indeed when the ideas are long in coming.


Still, there are worse things for writers than the drought of ideas. The worst times are when an idea comes and even wiggles around a bit in the mind, but then flits away. The worst times are right after the one that got away.


I have had many ideas that flirt with my mind. The ones that sit just outside the periphery of my mind are vexing to be sure, but they linger just outside of reach, so I am patient. I know they will be back some day. Maybe even bigger and better than before. They are like the fish that nibble on the line, but never strike. But they stick around and I will get them one day.


The worst ideas are those that strike hard. They pull on the line and bend the pole. I reel and reel to get them in. Then, just when they are in sight, when their heads come above the water and their bodies are visible, they spit the hook. Those are the ones that seem to linger at the surface afterward just to give one last taunt before swimming away with a flick of the tail. Those are the ideas that got away.


I had one of those today. It was visible, but I am not sure how large it was. Then just when I was preparing my word processor. Just when I was ready to write, it spit the hook and was gone. The idea did not even spend one second looking back and I do not know if I will ever see it again. But I am sure it was a doozy.


I like fish stories. I have even told a few in my day. But I really hate it when I have a great idea, and end up writing about the one that got away.

© 2018 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Stupid Stuff · 17 February 2018


Sometimes I write stupid stuff. And then I post it.


Okay, truth be told, I usually post the stupid stuff. (Some of my friends tell me that all my stuff is stupid. But with friends like that…) Then again, who knows if it is stupid unless you post it. Well okay, I usually know. But I post it anyway.


So in reality, I guess that I am not that bright.


Truth be told, I try to write stuff to make people think or at least muse a bit. I try to write stuff that is pertinent to my life, albeit usually my foibles and follies. I try to write about writing. And of course, I try to write about God. Not all at the same time, but I usually touch on all those topics at some point in my musings. Which means that I am not thought of as an expert in anything. Except maybe me. Which means I do not have any real wisdom spewing forth about any topic.


Which is the whole point about my Musings anyway. I just write about me. (I think there is a song about that. Or at least about being me.) Or at least I write about things that interest me or are important to me.


When I started this whole blog thing, I never realized that it would take on a life of its own. I never realized that it would become more than just a place to publish my writing and get out a body of work. I never realized that I could say so much about nothing. I never realized how often I could say “I never realized” in one paragraph. I just thought I was doing what writers do. Write and publish.


Oh sure, writers do need an audience. (If a writer writes in the woods, does he make any sense? And even if he does would it matter if he did not have any internet access to post that silly blog that he wrote on a piece of bark that nobody else can read anyway?) Or at least people think that they do. In reality, writers are like other artists. They practice their art whether they have any readers or not. They post whether anybody follows them or not. They have a social media presence whether anybody retweets or reposts or recycles them or not. It is just part of who we are. Or at least it is part of who I am. I just need to write.


Well, I am not exactly sure where this has gotten me. I know that I write stupid stuff. I know that I post stupid stuff. And I know that usually somebody will read it and tell me I wrote stupid stuff. (Thanks Marc and Mike.) But it does not really matter. I write to write. It is part of who I am. Part of the way God created me. And so even if I only have a few readers (both real and imaginary), I write and post. Even if it is just stupid stuff.

© 2018 Michael T. Miyoshi

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