In anticipation of Canada’s sesquicentennial celebrations, the Citizen’s Bruce Deachman has been out in search of Ottawans — 150 of them — to learn their stories of life and death, hope and love, the extraordinary and the everyday. We’ll share one person’s story every day until Canada Day.
“I’ve been in Ottawa for two months. I came from Waterloo for my master’s degree from Carleton, in statistics.
“I was fishing a lot when I was in Waterloo. I only fished sometimes back in China, but I’ve fished a lot here. It’s pretty relaxing — you just get out from work, from studying, and go into nature. I have some friends who fish, so I can bring them.
“I often fish in the Rideau River, near Carleton. There are walleye there, and smallmouth bass. But the weather’s getting cold. I didn’t catch any fish there last week. But the weather is so good today, so I came here to the Ottawa River to try my luck, but I’ve been here for two hours and I’ve caught nothing.
“I usually throw whatever I catch back. Sometimes I keep them. I had lots of friends back in Waterloo and we would cook them. Not often, but sometimes. But not the ones I catch here. I live alone and I’m too lazy to cook.
“The biggest fish I ever caught, my brother and me, was a muskie that probably weighed over 30 pounds. That was near Carleton University, in the Rideau River, in October. About three feet long. It was the biggest fish I’ve ever seen. We caught it with a jighead and a plastic worm. We got it near the shore and I thought, ‘Wow, it looks like a monster.’ I was terrified. It was ridiculous.”
— Ming Zong Cai. Bate Island, Nov. 2, 2016.