Fishing the conservancy

I’m admitting it from the start: I am not a fisherman. I never was. Even if I had any inclination that way, I was cured of it in Canada when Guyanese musician Andy Niccols, a fishing fanatic, took me fishing one afternoon on Rice Lake in Ontario. We were out there for four hours, hardly any other boat in sight, and in that time not only did we catch no fish, we did not get a single bite; not even a jiggle on the line. Niccols was very apologetic, giving me the usual malarky about how much fish he had caught “right here, man” the weekend before, but I didn’t fall for that. I had heard from other Guyanese, accustomed to trench fishing at home, how lean the fishing scene was up there. In addition, although it was summer, I nearly froze. I was huddled up under the bow of the boat sheltering from the wind. That cured me of fishing forever. Niccols kept calling me for a repeat, but that afternoon on Rice Lake stayed with me.

People in Guyana like Patriarch Gomes, the radiator man, and Dale DeNobrega, the mechanic – those guys are fishermen. They will come back from one of their weekend jaunts with 60 lukunani and a bunch of river basha, no problem. That’s not me.

Going back 60 years as well, when I was living at Vreed-en-Hoop, my friend Neville DeRamos tried to rope me into this fishing business. He was pals with the Rayman family in New Road who had a boat and they would go on day trips into the Boerasirie Conservancy, sitting behind West Demerara, to catch fish. …..To continue reading, login or subscribe now.



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