|African Fish Sticks Anyone?|
Last March I was on the verge of having one of those boring fly fishing days. The water I was fishing had recently turned silty with spring runoff and not a creature was stirring above or below it. Fly fishing seemed hopeless after a time, so I did what almost any boy does when there's nothing to do, I started chucking rocks, kicking dirt clods and generally poking my nose where it shouldn't be. The day was in shambles and acting like a child was cheering me up. Soon I felt the impish boy of my youth urging me to walk just a little farther up stream, daring me to jump that fence, enticing my curiosity with "what's that noise, and where's that terrible smell coming from?" Boys will be boys and once I gave into that idea I had a grand old time.
First came snapping branches, then dust and stickers and finally a hulking black shape lumbered into the clearing in front of me. The massive bull was all slobber and snot and muscle and pissed or worse... horny. I channeled and presented my best impromptu interpretation of a log. Time passed slowly as I pondered if running or standing still would keep me from getting trampled. Either my log pose worked or I wasn't the bulls type and after a few snorts he let me back away into the bushes and then across the river with my life. I moved quickly on.
|Spring Break! Let's party as soon as I warm up.|
Merrily entrenched in exploration, I soon lost track of time and suddenly found that I was very far from my truck and with fading day light. It was like I was 8 years old all over again, running to get home, sure that my mom was calling out for me and possibly getting worried. I am a lot taller now than I was then and I made great time back to the truck and even had time to poke this dead thing with a stick. You haven't had a truly good day of roaming around until you have poked a dead critter with a stick. I jabbed at it twice for good measure and took a photo to capture the childish moment. I think it was a badger that dug his home too close to the bank and the decision cost him his life. I made it back to the truck but drove home in the dark and it was my wife who was worried this time. I applied another boyhood trick and apologized feverishly and promised to never return so late again. That night I showered to get the chill out of my bones and felt the hot water burn my chapped lips and the tiny scratches covering my arms. It was a great day of fishing if I could even call it that. Maybe it was more of a muck-about or a wanderlust but a great day nonetheless.