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What a Catch!: The ‘Big Bang Theory’

Kathryn Maroun is back, and describes recent events in her “Big Bang Theory” below.

Every winter there is a mass exodus from Canada as the snow geese (aka older Canadians) pack up and fly to warmer shores.  It is a necessary part of the culture because a great percent of Canadians suffer from vitamin D deficiency. Canooks are easy to pick out at international departure gates. They tend to be pasty white and wear vacation attire on the way out of hockey country. Don’t be fooled, they can also sport a dewy glow of scarlet heat upon return, after overdosing on vitamin D in the tropical sun.

Kathryn-Maroun_Mexico

I’m sure we have all said out loud, when on vacation, “I wished I lived here!”

But few people actually follow through on a tipsy vacation exclamation by expatriating — especially Canadians who are enticed to stay in Canada with the lore of free healthcare.

In my opinion, the Canadian health system is floundering and Bermuda has a world-class fishery… so after vacationing in Bermuda, my wish came true and I made a gutsy life change by moving offshore. I thought it would be a “blast” to live in Bermuda, also referred to as the Somers Isles. Hemingway and others have written about what a great fishing destination Bermuda is. It is as wonderful as it sounds.

So yes, I do consider myself lucky, but not for the reasons you may think.

I’m lucky because I survived a gas explosion.

In mid-October, my Bermuda dream home blew up with me in it.

Bermuda-home-blast

 

I’ve survived to fish another day.

I haven’t seen the bill from the hospital yet, but it will arrive, as sure as the fallen snow on Nova Scotia.

 

It was painful and traumatizing. But, with many signs, of something greater at play, I feel that a miracle happened that day.

Leaky gas lines caused the explosion that destroyed my concrete-fortified home. I call it the “Big Bang.” The blast was so strong that it blew me off my feet and hurled me across the room, knocking me unconscious. I thought that my lungs had collapsed.

Our neighbors’ toilet blew clean off the wall and flooded their house with filthy water. All of the houses on the block had doors and windows blown in and the neighbors had to go stay in hotels until it was safe to return. Concrete flew for a city block and conjecture of what was going on, was also flying about. Everyone on the island felt the blast. Some people wondered if it was Al Qaeda, a drone strike perhaps or attempted murder.

Amazingly, no one was killed.

Most significantly, everything that had to do with fishing survived the blast. 

This is my theory for why the Big Bang happened: “I guess someone is trying to tell me something. “Time to go fishing?”

Kathryn-Maroun-phone

Photo courtesy of Lou Maroun

So I’ve moved into a temporary residence for the next few years while my house is being rebuilt. I’ve bought new stuff, but some things just can’t be replaced, like my grandmother’s china and crystal. Some things that were saved, I will treasure even more, like my fishing library.

All week I’ve been sorting out my fishing books and getting lost in their pages.

 

fishing books

 

“How to” books by the likes of Joan Wulff, Lefty Kreh, Mel Krieger line the shelves. I took time to revisit my antique and modern fly-tying books by master tiers. As well, I have books on saltwater, freshwater, still water and even frozen water fishing. Rod building books by master craftsman stand next to autobiographies and biographies of fishing legends from days past.

 

book-fishing

 

My library is as varied as the sport itself.

Having a near-death experience has got me thinking about all the things that still need doing.

“Fish are, of course, indispensable to the angler. They give him an excuse for fishing and justify the fly rod without which he would be a mere vagrant. And it is these memories of days a-stream that lead the angler to find in the literature of the art, those records and comments, that philosophizing of other anglers, that he will delight to compare with his own.”

I found this quote in the forward to the book, The Pleasures of Fly Fishing, by V.S Hidy. This book, and others, sat on my shelf for years. I was so busy fishing that I didn’t have time to read all the books in my library nor did I make time to do a long list of other things that I had planned on getting to someday: joining the rose society in Bermuda, getting a dog and writing a book of my own, for example. The explosion and living with Chronic Lyme disease have changed all that and I have been forced to slow down and live more consciously.

One thing that hasn’t changed is that as a city person, I need to connect with the wilderness and with the magic and mystery of ever-flowing water. Fishing is a great excuse to do exactly that.

I must admit, there is nothing like the pleasure I get from casting a fly …

BraziKathrynMaroun

And you know? Some good did come from the “big bang.”

 The ‘Big Boat’ theory

boat-Evolution

 

She is named after my last film “Evolution of an Angler”.

Have a Bermuda-ful day because if you aren’t ready to die, than you better live. Or, hey … life’s a blast!!!!
maroun-evolution-featured

Photo courtesy of Lou Maroun

  • About Kathryn Maroun

    Kathryn Maroun is one of a handful of Canadian women to be certified as an FFF casting instructor. She is the award winning executive producer of What A Catch Productions. The 52 show series highlights Kathryn's fishing adventures from around the world. Kathryn exposes never talked about hazards of the sport, conservation, culture, as well as showcasing exotic game fish in her series. Her show first aired in the US before being internationally distributed. Kathryn is featured in the collection of two prominent museums for her significant contribution to the sport of fly fishing. Kathryn Maroun is the president and founder of Casting for Recovery Canada, past director of Trout Unlimited Canada and past member of the Canadian World Fly Fishing team. Along with creating a line of clothing for women at work in the outdoors, Kathryn has fished around the world and has a number of world record fish to her name. Today she dedicates her time to writing about her miss-adventures and enjoys telling her stories through keynote speaking opportunities. Kathryn is campaigning to create a more balanced playing field for women in the sport.

     

The Conversation

25 Comments
  • fergie graham says: March 3, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    Once again Kathryn ,a beautiful piece of writing . It is a pleasure to read all of your works , it gives inspiration ,a warming of the soul ,and fills my heart with pride that I can call you a friend . You are looking fantastic and I wish you good luck with the boat ,talk soon .

  • Don Domingp says: February 25, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    Kathryn!

    How long will you be in California? Curious minds!

    Don

  • Teresa deuzeman says: February 22, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    met you a couple of years ago at the Pine Ridge Fly fishing club in Orono ON. You provided the boys and I with an inspiring discussion about some of your experiences that involved the challenges you were overcoming. Shortly after, I had surgery for cancer and you remained an inspiration to me. Every few months, we mention you at our meetings as if you are one of our regular members. Al has been sending lures to your organization and he himself has overcome some health concerns. I was curious to see what you are up to and was shocked at the explosion. Will tell the boys what has happened. We send our warmest wishes to you. Stay strong and good luck!

    • kathryn Maroun says: February 25, 2014 at 6:37 pm

      My Dear Teresa,
      Thank you for your lovely note. I hate to think that life has challenged you in this way. I love that you are a fighter and that you march on. Better times ahead for you and Al. We are well overdue for a visit. I loved my time with you. Your group is so warm and welcoming that I felt like I was returning home. Sending good energy your way. Love and light. Kathryn

  • Don Domingp says: February 9, 2014 at 3:56 am

    Wow!

    I forgot to comment on your new vessel ” Evolution ” I love the name! Your new vessel is ” you ” Where you started years ago to now! Eventhough your last film was titled ” Evolution of an Angler I believe the word ” Evolution ” is better defined as how you have evolved into not only the angler but a person that is sharper and more sensitive to greater forces of our world. Adversity breeds greater knowledge. Just maybe that person you were searching for has arrived stronger, happier and tougher. The evolution has a great ” Captain ” Tight Lines Forever Your Fan Don

  • Amber Maroun says: February 4, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    I am so unbelievably glad your safe and made it through this, and to have such a positive outlook after everything you’ve gone through is completely mind-blowing. So glad you could return to fishing Kath, you really are an inspiration to a lot of people, that I know personally.

    • kathryn Maroun says: February 25, 2014 at 6:27 pm

      Dear Amber
      Such a lovely note from a lovely young lady. Life is a series of learning experiences strung together. We are always learning and when we don’t catch on the first time , well then….life has a way of trying to tell us by turning up the volume. I guess you and I like loud music. xo

  • Of Interest: The โ€˜Big Bang Theory' | Fly Life Magazine says: February 3, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    […] To read complete story, click here […] […]

  • Maroun’s Big Bang Theory | MidCurrent says: February 2, 2014 at 4:44 am

    […] disease have changed all that and I have been forced to slow down and live more consciously.โ€ Read more on Womenโ€™s Outdoor […]

  • Shannon says: February 1, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    Kathryn — thanks for the FB note. So sorry to hear about this misadventure. Thank goodness you weren’t injured! That boat is sure lovely — say hi to the bonefish for me.

  • Peter von Tiesenhausen says: January 30, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    I enjoyed reading your latest update as it get’s me to the same thought; “I’d Rather Be Fishing”. Glad you are working through the equation of The Big Bang Theory and that you are able to enjoy some of the good that life has to offer.

    I remember seeing a news piece on a couple from central British Columbia, who lost their beautiful old log home in a fire. The interview with the woman, standing in front of the charred remains, where she spoke about having lost everything. She said; “Use your finest china every day”.

    Thanks for sending me the link, wishing you all the best. Feel good, big smiles!

    Peter
    Vancouver, BC

  • Don Domingo says: January 30, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Sunny Don Domingo? You always come up with the coolest labels! Sandy and I are very glad you and Lou are doing well. I am excited for what your future . I can`t wait for you to start fishing again soon. I am sure the ” Big Bang ” applies to positive things that lay just over the horizon. I am always wishing both of you the best and keep all of us updated on your progress.

  • Trevor Jones says: January 29, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Hi Kathryn, What an unbelievable thing to happen, I remember seeing the photo, I thought I must have read it wrongly at first, THEN I read it a second time, for anyone to survive such a blast was beyond a miracle, whoever was looking over you that day, they did the business.
    We are all so pleased to know you and Lou are still in one piece.
    Evolution, what an inspired name Kathryn, i viewed the evolution film a little while ago now, was I moved? I was, quite simply tearful after watching evolution, one of the most moving films I have EVER seen, superb Kathryn.
    How is your fishing going?, the Lady Kathryn is now on my blog, I hope you don’t mind me putting the fly on there.
    Please stay safe my friend, and tight lines, Trev

  • Pete Tilton says: January 28, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    This stupid song popped into my head as I was reading of your latest escape from bad Mojo: ” Just what makes that little old ant….”
    I’m detecting a feisty spirit in your words that was gone for a while, and we are all better for it. Forward!

    Incidentally, I know you’ve tried a lot of cutting edge stuff to chase away the Lyme, but whoever told you getting blown up would scare it out of you probably is not the best authority ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • kathryn Maroun says: January 29, 2014 at 9:40 am

      Well Peter
      That song may still be in your head from when I posted it in my last blog…..
      Interesting….
      Yes,I have tried so many things to try and rid myself of the green plague. I won’t even talk about some of it. After the blast my condition did a dive. Not a surprise.
      I was in California in treatment for 9 months. My treatment was sidelined because I kept going into shock so I decided to fly back to Bermuda for a few weeks rather than sitting in a hotel room in California. That is when the house blew up. So I flew back to California. On the way to get my bags I had a major elevator accident. I ended up with a spinal injury, the second concussion that month and a broken foot. I’m still working my way back from that. My smile still works

  • Mike Nedza says: January 28, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Near death experiences can really make you think what is truly important.

    It is a miracle you are in one piece! I was glad to hear that nobody was maimed or killed!

    I hope the bite helps heal the wounds you have taken to your body and spirit.

    Tight Lines ๐Ÿ™‚ Mike Nedza

    • kathryn Maroun says: January 29, 2014 at 9:22 am

      Well Mike
      You took the words out of my mouth. It is a modern day miracle that we are alive. The blast investigation team from Miami said so. Honest to God I’m like a cat with 9 lives. Odd things about the blast…..The pool heater would not start so we did something else. This prevented us from being decapitated. All 4 walls of our fortified dining room ended up in the pool. (I’m talking stone block). Glass and projectiles hit us and yet we were not cut. I should be on Oprah….I walked across the length of the house without shoes on glass and did not get cut. My grandfather’s clock hung unscathed at ground zero. I could go on……. The point is that I don’t understand any of it.

  • Don Domingp says: January 28, 2014 at 12:11 am

    Kathryn!

    You are always my inspiration!!!!!!!!!! The terrible situations you have been placed in and you have weathered each of them and prevailed! You are amazing. When I mention ” You are my inspiration ” That describes ” Life ” A greater scope of things. When I meet you my life changed in a very positive way. I found out your not just beautiful on the outside but your amazing on the inside. Your story is beyond comprehension. That is a compliment. Please keep fishing because you are a great teacher. I do appreciate this update and I hope to hear much more. Your Fan Don

    • kathryn Maroun says: January 29, 2014 at 9:02 am

      oh my sunny Don Domingo
      Thank you for taking time to drop me a note. It is true that as you spend time with someone that you begin to see beyond the wrapping. Your light also shines brightly.
      Enough time has passed that I’m able to poke fun (although nervously) about the Big Bang as so it was time talk about how things since the dust has begun to settle.
      We can’t read the future but I think everything is going to be ok. Or at least it will be what it may.

  • Jon Beardsley says: January 27, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    In one word “INSPIRING”. Very glad to see you back fishing. The last couple of years have been tough for me. There has been many changes and upsets in my life. I often stop and think if Kathryn can survive and keep going after what she has been through, I definitely can continue on. You show us the importance of continuing on and furthermore lead by example. I have always thought, as much as you (Kathryn) need fishing; Fishing needs you Kathryn. Your work with and for the sport of fishing have greatly benefited it. I really miss your fishing show. I have never enjoyed another like it.

    • kathryn Maroun says: January 29, 2014 at 8:50 am

      Dear Jon
      Thank you for your wonderful note. It touched me. I saw a report on the news last night of a woman who is up for a major award. She sang the theme song for a new film. Nothing newsworthy about that in itself necessarily. The thing is that the woman is a quadriplegic and her husband has to push on her diaphragm in order for her to hit the high notes. People have unimaginable challenges in life. If we are not ready to die than we had better live. I see that you get this and that you keep driving forward. That inspires everyone around you. You inspired me today to keep making shows. It is a wonderful gift to tell someone that the work is worth doing. Thank you for supporting my journey.

  • Bill Bryden says: January 27, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Hi Kathryn;

    I perhaps know how the shock might have sets in for you afterward…mine happened about 14 hours latter and I couldn’t stop shaking. Thankfully it only lasted a minute or two while my psyche recovered from what really took place. My propane explosion (windows still in frames when they landed across the lawn) happened about 2 weeks after, and 8 miles away from, a fellow on the same watershed that also “exploded” via propane in a DFO warden shack and was burned over 90% of his body. Unlike me or you he had to have major reconstruction surgery and endured a year of searing pain…enjoy life and be thankful for “easy” reminders to do so. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Glad you are still with us cause….

    Your a Gas;
    Bill Bryden

    • kathryn Maroun says: January 29, 2014 at 8:32 am

      Dear Bill
      I didn’t have any idea that you also survived the big bang. A life changing event. It is true what they say about not being able to think properly when you are in shock. Time does stand still and getting blown up does hurt.
      We are here for a fishy reason perhaps.
      Blessings