Jose; On Fishing for Peacock Bass
“Pescado fresco?” Jose brings his fingers to his mouth in the age old sign of eating. “A comer?” He keeps his canoe steady in the current with a one-handed swirl of his paddle, easy as breathing.
He wants to know if we keep the fish we catch today or throw them back. He does not understand catch and release or the crazy gringo who hired him to guide his boat to good fishing on the Nanay River. To come all this way, to expend this energy for nothing is foolish decadence.
“Si,” I say. “Fresco.” Fresh fish to eat will be nice.
Jose smiles. He is happy. This is what a man does. He catches fish. Eats his fill and salts and dries the rest. Then works his yuca patch.