Monday, January 11, 2010

When the hatchery man cometh.

Nothing will ruin a good day of lazy-nothing-doing fishing like the damn hatchery truck.

I wanted to kick around the lake. I wanted to drink schnapps out of my plastic flask in the cool breeze and maybe catch a fish or two. No pressure. No cares. No three thousand stupid confused fresh-out-of-elementary-school stockers roaming around by the boat ramp.

The people on the shore, the people on the dock, the people parking cars, and the people thinking about leaving are now running balls-out towards the water, grabbing poles out of children's hands and pushing them crying to the ground as powerbait is slobbed onto treble hooks and bobbers are cast into the swimming mob around my feet.

As I start to back towards the shore the fish bounce into my legs, swimming in all directions and I have to try not to step on the little bastards as the casting and yelling from the nearby dock continues as the truck shakes out the last few stragglers and rumbles off to places unknown.

I want no part of this. I want to get back in the pontoon and row away. I want to pack everything up and drive back to the cabin and drink something strong followed by something stronger. But as I walk to my pontoon something goes wrong. Instead of packing up or pushing off I grab my dry rod.

What going on here? 

I am walking down to the water and pulling line through my guides.

No, we are not doing this.

I am wading out into the throbbing horde, dodging castmasters and skewered worms like rabid flying demons, cutting the lines as they flew to the angry screams and shouts of the bait-chuckers.

Whats happening to me?

I drown the caddis on the end of my leader and throw out about a rods length worth of line, let it sink into the 10-inch-frenzy and give it a twitch and watch it get eaten. I yank the infant out of the water and toss him back. Again and again, I stand knee-deep in some kind of trance while molesting the recently plated population. Dumb confused fish after dumb confused fish I trick into eating my bug to the scowls and under-breathed comments from the peanut gallery planted on the dock. This is wrong, and I know it.

I just wanted to be lazy. I just wanted to have a drink and sunburn myself in a laid back afternoon. But I also wanted to fish, and now I felt dirty and ashamed. But why? Was this not fishing? Was catching fish not the goal? Is it more prestigious to catch this fish tomorrow? Next week? When I don't know where the damn thing went and I have to kick all over the lake looking for his slimy little butt? Is this too easy? Is it because there is something inside my fly fisherman's mind that thinks this process should be hard? Maybe. But there I was, in the middle of it all. I guess at the end of the day a fisherman is a fisherman and just wants to catch fish.

-Alex who drank that night.


  1. When will fish and game learn, You need to get a tank on a boat and release the fish in the middle of the lake. And when will people understand, when the fish just being thrown into the lake they are no fun to catch.

    Damn Bait chuckers going after newly introduced fish.... The lakes should be closed for at least a few days after the Fish tank has arrived.

    Also I am glad I stalked the river myself when we had to put fish in, Oh and did I mention there was no bait allowed.....

  2. You forgot to mention the little bastard kid smashing the trout with the rim of his net, squeezing them like a tooth paste tube and throwing them back in because he had "never seen a fish swim upside down before" and he thought it was neat. all this went unnoticed by his dad who was using his son's spongebob pole and a silver dollar sized chunk of power bait unsuccessfully while he cursed the day Alex was born instead of his own of his own inadequacy as a fisherman. I wanted to push them both off the dock.

  3. Any day you can aggravate a bait-dunker is a good one. Especially by catching a lot of fish on flies in front of them.

    Reminds me, assuming that was Parker Canyon, of two brothers who used to patronize Tightlines - kind of rough characters from Sahuarita - who nearly shook a a loudmouthed yahoo off the dock when he berated one brother for coming on on the boatramp in a floatttube. He neglected to notice the other brother in his floattube who grabbed the dock and pushed it back and forth with vigor, causing a fellow fatman angler to stagger as if drunk, narrowly escaping a dunking.

    I cannot translate cutie's Chinese/Japanese characters, but that is HOT.

  4. I threw cutie's post into google translate and this is what I got:

    "The aim of education should think about what is not, but I taught how to think."

    That's some deep shit, man.

  5. I see it as a complete missionary gig. There you were landing fish after fish with all them little kids pulling on Poppa's sleeve asking how come you're such a bad ass - and can they get an outfit like you had for Xmas.

    It's likely you screwed an entire generation - instead of doctors and lawyers, or hedge fund managers, every one of them kids wants to fly fish.

    ... and we know where that leads.

  6. ....Ruining the work ethic one child at a time.

  7. Hey, If I can raise a younger generation lazier than I am... I see that as job security.

  8. Dude,
    That is the best time to catch bass. We slayed the largemouth on streamers the last time the fish tanker rolled up.

  9. hit the nail on the head


What sayeth you?