Sunday, February 10, 2013

Memorable Moments

Memorable Moments

This is a trick I learned from an “old timer” while fishing Strawberry Reservoir, Utah some twenty years ago, also my first time in a float tube. It is one 4th of July weekend I will never forget.  We crawled out of our bunks and rolled our sleeping bags around 5 am [Jerry slept in for my sake, the “young buck”], Mrs. Clemmens stood at the tiny 30” x 42” table, in her light blue-green, almost white, ankle length flannel nightgown with blue roses [most likely ordered straight out of the Sears and Roebuck catalog that lay tucked under the tiny bench seat that doubles as bed when the table is lowered] pouring coffee into black, white speckled camp cups, also from the catalog I suppose. Yesterday’s catch freshly cooked still laid in the well-used frying pan, perfectly breaded, brazed in just a little too much butter [not that fake stuff in a tub either]. Fresh brewed generic coffee and Cutthroats served with a side of the best fried potato patty I have ever tasted; life could not possibly get any better.  I actually found myself just a little jealous of Jerry right then.

Oh yeah, trolling…Jerry and I spent the morning wading Strawberry River, about ¼ mile below the damn, catching and releasing several Browns and Cutt’s on #12 to #16 Light Cahill’s and Grey Wolff’s. By 9:00 AM the “Yuppie, City Slickers” Jerry called them, began showing up with their pale blue plastic containers of store bought dillies and crawlers tied to #6 hooks held to the bottom by pounds of lead split shot, casting whatever direction their wild windup sent the hook flying. Jerry and I decided a control retrograde was in order before we fell victim to the barrage of flying hooks and lead. Jerry, a purple heart recipient, mumbled on his way up the bank that he had seen enough lead coming at him in Korea…I didn’t catch the rest and it was probably best that I hadn’t.

 We headed back to the RV, filled up the float tubes and headed into the water, which in the 80 degree sun was a welcome relief; I just wish I had left my waders on as Jerry had instructed, but of course as a 23 year old Staff Sergeant in the Air Force, had to play tough guy for the retired Marine.  Hypo what, I had said, yeah right.  The remainder of our day was spent maneuvering our kick boats along the edges of steep drops, trailing 80 feet of sinking line behind us. I only know this because, it’s the first time I ever saw the florescent yellow backing leave my reel, with the exception of replacing my fly line once a year. We managed to land over a dozen 16-18” Lakers and Rainbows, Jerry release 3 that were over 20” and I just one, but it might as well have been 100.  It was my first and only Trout over 20”, measuring in at 22 ¾ inches.  I still have that old Fenwick rod with the little scratch I made in the shaft when I had laid the fish alongside my rod, which at that moment was used as a measuring device because, my tape measure was back at the RV in the chest pocket of my waders.

– Leroy “Gibbs” Dickey

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Arm Chair Fishing

Here it is, the 5th day of February and I have yet to step foot in a trout river, instead I'm sitting in my armchair, enjoying the warmth of a slightly too hot living room, recovering from a cold that feels as if it has lasted for an eternity, begging my wife to save some oil and turn the damn thermostat back down to 65.  Although thankful for Gerry's Blog that provides me a much needed break from writing a report only statisticians and quality engineers would appreciate, let alone take the time to try and understand; heck...I'm not sure that I understand the thing.

I should be concentrating on Kruskal-Wallis tests, Chi-square tests and R square values for validation work that is due in two days, when the only clear thoughts in my head are whether I should purchase the 5mm neoprene waders that will help keep my body temperature above freezing in the ice cold New England streams or suck it up and add extra layers.  Now that I have actually seen my thoughts on paper the decision is clear - log in to Cabela's, purchase the damn waders and get back to work.