My Pop was a keen fisherman. I'm posting this very special picture of him fishing at the mouth of the Kaiapoi River where it feeds into the Waimakariri River, Canterbury, New Zealand. His name was Grant but everyone called him Jack instead for some strange reason. He was a watersider, so took loads off ships. He did his back in hooking great big loads and carrying them on his poor back. He was also a Kiwi joker - pranks, nicknames for people and general craziness.
On the day of this photo in 1947, he was trying to catch salmon whilst standing on a Waimak Flattie, a kind of flat boat which was commonly used on this large braided river to get around. He is using an old fashioned cane fishing rod. Did he have success that day? No, not according to my Grandma.
My Grandma was sitting on the bank embroidering. She was with her parents. Grant was her boyfriend. I'm guessing my photographic great grandfather Arthur Cyril Pearce took this photo. My Grandma carried this photo around with her, showing everyone her new boyfriend. The photo became creased and worn out. We found it in one of her old albums and she was surprised to find it. I had never seen it before and instantly loved it. I took it home and took out the creases with photoshop.
As I was doing the repair work on the photo, I noticed how young my Pop was. He still had the lankiness of youth, but quite muscley arms from all the labouring type work he did. He also had a baby face. His tongue is hanging out in concentration as he casts out.
In the distance you can see other boats, other anglers trying their luck in the Waimakariri. Grant is casting towards Stewart's Gully which is a little bunch of cottages and holiday homes where my Grandma used to go for holidays and where she first met Grant.
My grandparents fished all their lives, catching many fish and having many adventures and lovely experiences in nature. My Pop died very young, in his 50s. I knew him until I was about five years old, so can't remember him very well. At his funeral everyone laughed when they saw a sticker on the back of his car which read, "Old fishermen don't die, they just smell bad."