It wasn't supposed to go down the way it did today.
As always, I came home from church today in a good mood, making note of the sunny skies and an afternoon completely divorced from any pressing obligations. It's the way life is meant to be lived, and if I had my druthers, every day would be a Sunday afternoon in late May. I rounded up Doc, interrupting his meticulous landscaping, and with some gentle persuasion, suggested that the afternoon was meant for ignoring yard work. Without so much as a threat of waterboarding or other "enhanced coercion," I soon found myself in the passenger seat of his big Dodge, on my way to my own personal paradise.
We arrived to find the Poudre running both swiftly and murky. [INSERT SOUND OF WIND BEING TAKEN OUT OF MY SAILS HERE]. The realization that runoff season is beginning hit me like a ton of bricks. With grudging acceptance and a healthy dose of futility, we nonetheless hunted for a stretch of water that was both fishable and promising. In retrospect, the search was over, almost before it began. Fighting my own instincts to come up with a plausible and persuasive argument to convince Doc to give it a whirl, I conceded that the water really didn't look too promising. I decided that no immediate harm could come from putting off an experiment with high water fishing for another day.
Sensing my troubled soul [INSERT MELODRAMA HERE], Doc did what any good father would and came up with a counter offer. "We could hit one of the bass ponds." Doc is fortunate enough to have access to a bass pond or two, although he rarely fishes them. Quite honestly, neither of us know the first thing about bass fishing.
Here's where the confession comes into play. I felt a strange sort of deja-vu, although it took me a few minutes to remember why. I'd been in this very situation before. The small boat, the smaller motor, the strange sensation of having a rod in my hand, yet not being entirely certain what to do with it - I'd been here before! Suddenly it hit me. I vaguely remembered an encounter with bait salesman just about this time last year, complete with promises of "bass crack" yielding undeniable success. A vision of a rubber worm came rushing into my mind like the Poudre during runoff. With almost no time to prepare myself either mentally or emotionally, I was fixin' to go bass fishing!
Forgive me father, for I have sinned [INSERT SOLEMN GREGORIAN CHANT HERE]. OK, not really, but sort of. I mean to cause no offense here, and I have nothing against bass fishing. From my limited experience, it's fun. I don't even have anything against worms, rubber or otherwise. I'm just a trout fisherman, that's all, and a stream fisherman even more so. Even fishing for trout in stillwater just doesn't give me the same buzz.
In the end, I put on a brave face and toyed very briefly with a rubber worm. Still not "bass crack" by the way. Being ill-equipped for a bass outing, Doc and I racked our brains for a minute, wondering aloud what we might have on hand that could serve as a tempting offering. I did the best I could, pulling out two hoppers I tied a couple of months ago.
Lo and behold, the hoppers turned out to do the trick...sort of. With all the talk of bass in this post, I should point out that I think only one bass was harmed during the making of this makeshift, comical affair. A whopper it was most certainly not! Doc even refused to pose for a picture with the little guy. Instead, we caught what we believe to be a handful of crappies on my homemade hoppers, which was highly encouraging and ego-boosting by the way. Encouraging because they floated nicely on the surface, and ego-boosting because they actually drew the attention of a number of fish. I have high hopes for late summer, when we'll undoubtedly have a rash of terrestrials on the Poudre.
In the end, Doc and I decided that we might just make a concerted effort to have another go at these "other fish" from time to time. Maybe it's not so sinful after all.
I said a few "hail Mary's" just in case.
From the confession booth...The Flywriter