As I made mention last week, I got an invite for a special upcoming fly-fishing camping trip.
This eminent annual Fish Camp event is held at a beautiful high sierra mountain lake, which—as is the common practice—continues to remain unnamed. Since I am driving up by myself, I hope they are not requiring me to remain blindfolded during the entire trip up.
I felt flattered just for the opportunity to witness how these esteemed gentlemen practice this time-honored tradition of using superior wits, knowledge of aquatic biology, and mostly natural materials to capture a wily—if not slimy—adversary, and after hours of mostly non-activity and thousands of dollars expense, just to immediately gently release the Salmo trutta back into its native habitat.
That, and drink plenty of beer, eat greasy food, smoke cigars of questionable origin, and tell lies well into the night over cups of fine Scotch.
Yes, I was flattered just until the emails started coming in:
“Frank, could you please bring two whole barbequed rotisserie chickens for dinner,”
“and could you please bring a case of cold beer, and enough ice to keep it cold for the entire campout,”
“and could you please bring camp chairs for everyone,”
“and could you please bring a propane stove and lantern, with fuel for both, and some pots and pans,”
Well, the emails and lists go on and on.
So, maybe they aren’t actually inviting me for my rapier wit and sensational sense of humor to be appreciated during our evenings of campfire discourse.
I just may have to let these fellows know that their highfalutin fish camp is not the only offer around.
I just learned of something called Beer Camp, which sounds like it might be better than Fish Camp in oh, so many ways.
Let’s see: no hanging out in tick-infested woods, with huge bears behind almost every tree, or having to get up before the sun to go out into freezing cold water, and with the full expectation that neither nothing happens or even if it does, you have nothing to show—and more importantly, nothing to eat—for all your efforts.
(Recall that this is a catch-and-release lake.)
On the other hand, what does Beer Camp involve? Beer. Making it. Drinking it. Period.
The campus for this upcoming Beer Camp is nothing short than the hallowed halls of the well respected, long-standing Sierra Nevada Brewery in Chico, California.
I hesitate to describe this wonderful facility as a microbrewery that it once was, as last year they produced a reported three-quarters of a million barrels of beer!
Sierra Nevada brewing has a colorful website devoted to this upcoming event, replete with fancy flash video graphics.
(Sorry to all you iPad owners).
But, maybe I better stay with the invitation I already have, as you have to apply to the Beer Camp and who in their right mind would invite me to anything?
Well, there is the promise of cold beer, a cooler full of ice, various necessary camping implements, and a bottle of Scotland’s finest single malt elixir.
There is that.