I figure if I bring enough beer, maybe they will invite me back next year.
The countdown is on.
In less than two weeks, I am joining some pretty prestigious company on a fly fishing—cabin camping—junk food chowing—cheap cigar smoking—beer drinking—Sierra Nevada mountains high country adventure. (Not necessarily in that order.)
Since this is my first invite to this annual soiree, I am boning up on my fly fishing techniques so I may hold my own with these guys.
(Enough already with the Anthony Weiner references.)
Truth-be-told, I can start “boning up” on fly fishing as soon as I learn how to fly fish, in the first place.
I am starting to wonder if maybe I am not being invited to provide entertainment on the lake when the bite is not on.
Everyone, but me, will be using something known as a float tube, which is basically a fancy inner tube with a seat, in which you wear some short fins and paddle underwater like a duck, freeing up both hands for other tasks.
I would have to assume that a beer holder is an available option on one of these contraptions.
I, on the other hand, will be attempting to utilize a conventional paddle watercraft. Since I will need both hands to paddle on the surface, I am not entirely sure how I will be casting, reeling, untying the inevitable birds-nest tangle of knots, and—with any luck, NOT—having to bring in a fish.
I say the latter as actually catching a slimy, stinky fish requires you to either disembowel and de-bone it for dinner, or given that this un-named body of water is a catch-and-release lake, get the squirming fish off your hook, unhurt and alive.
(The First Rule of Fish Club is, you don’t talk about Fish Club…especially where it is held.)
What this means is that—after a pitched battle of me forcefully yanking against the fish, which is yanking to get free—you are supposed to very gently cradle the fish in one hand while you carefully remove the razor sharp—and quite probably, hopefully maybe, totally painless hook from the fish, which could be anywhere from the fish’s outer lips to deep down in its belly. (I am not sure what the correct fish anatomy term is for fish lips.)
This being California (and that’s the ONLY hint of the location you will get from me) I would expect Fish & Game, PETA, SPCA, Sierra Club, and Green Peace observers watching my every move with high-powered binoculars.
While I may have only a phantom of a chance of catching something, I’m sure I will provide an operatic performance on the water. (You’ll get it in a moment.)
I am sure the group will be providing me helpful hints to ensure my success—or their hilarity, whichever comes first.
I am still not exactly sure how this whole paddling-while-fly-fishing action will play out, but you never know.
Since some of you will undoubtedly question the fishing techniques that I pictured above, they come (more-or-less) directly from a story I found which describes a form of paddling that I have never heard of, this from a recent article on a Midwest sports website.
The video, below, shows just one of manly, sensitive and gentle performances displayed at this sporting (?) event.
I just hope I hear similar crowd reactions with cameras clicking and enthusiastic applause when they see me in action on the lake.