Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wrinkleneck: You Gatta let em' eat it.

The night fog rolled off Cyclone lake as the first trailer pulled in early Thursday morning. Thursday was the day. It would be the start of the great test: Drinking, fishing, horseshoe and poker masters rolled in and slowly assembled their weapons for the battle ahead. Lines and leaders, rods and reels, bottles and chips fell out of vehicles and trailers, strewn about camp sites while weary eyed travelers pounded tent-steaks and bloody marys in preparation for the 19th Annual Great Southwestern Wrinkleneck Invitational.

No babes, no boobs, no whining was the word. Leave the wife and kids at home….. Just as much for their protection as for the relief of the participants involved. This was no place for the innocent.

I arrived early Thursday afternoon just in time to drink a beer and watch 2 inches of hail fall on the poor bastards already out on the lake. Many wrinkleneckers were already set up, and my father and I were joined under his tent, erected in preparation for the poker tournament lurking sometime after sunset.

The hail storm gave way to annoyingly intermittent rainfall as I prepared my gear and met some of the staff members. Around 2pm I put the boat in the water.

The fishing was outstanding and spending hours shaking off 8-11 inch rainbows was fun at first, but after a while it became slightly annoying. Looking for the big fish became a game of luck and patience, waiting through small hits and hookups in hopes of getting deep enough with your fly to find a worthy fish.

The top water action was just as good but again, everything was small. I swear I caught the same god damn 9 inch trout 20 times throughout the weekend.

After dinner the rain let up and the clouds fucked off around dark leaving the night as cold as my father’s cards. Makers Mark helped, the game continued. I took over and made about a hundred, then lost half in one hand and went to bed. 3 hours later it was time for breakfast.

Dinner was chicken fried steak, with Shiner Bock and Makers on the side followed by poker. I lost the rest of my money. Most of Friday afternoon and evening is a little hazy.

Saturday was the tournament day. Our team was my father, Pat and Myself. Pat and I were in the boat, while my father took his pontoon.

On Friday Pat and I had found a pretty good line for bigger fish, and we pounded that pretty hard. Low and slow. I was using the biggest brown and green buggers I had, while Pat used a big grasshopper popper. When lunch hit we were pretty sure we had the lead with two 14 and a 15 inch rainbow. After lunch we hit it again and my father pulled in a 17 incher, and on the last pass Pat clinched the lead with an 18 incher. That’s all it took to place first. That’s right…. 1st place. 51 ounces. We kick ass.

That evening after dinner the raffle and auction started. Nothing for me. Thanks to all the sponsors for the great stuff.

Poker again that night…. Dave almost lit himself on fire, I was accosted by some random guy, my father won $400 in a straight up texas hold-em game to end the night. That’s all I remember.

Sunday we packed up and went home the champions. It was a successful ‘neck.

I would have to say that I have never drank so much, ate so much, fished so much and slept so little in a 3 day period in my life. I have to get Redneck up here next time….. he was missed.

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