Lake Fausse Point, Louisiana

January 30th, 2005

Me and the Tube

Those of you kind folks who keep track of this dribble on a regular basis know that back in July I flew to Montana to fish trout on the Blackfeet Reservation with guide and tribal member Joe Kipp for the first of two episodes of Fly Fishing America. Joe then flew down here in November for a less productive but very fun time fishing in Chitimacha country in Louisiana for the second episode.

Part one of the program, which the producers have titled "Native Waters," will air Feb. 3 at 10:00 pm., again Feb. 4 at 2:00 am., and Feb. 6 at 8:30 am on OLN.

The second part will air Feb 10, 10:00 pm., again on Feb. 11 at 2:00 am., and Feb. 13 at 8:30 am. OLN is the Outdoor Life Network. (Check your local schedule for time in your area.)

All this excitement made 2005 quite a roller coaster ride for me. I had published my first book, Native Waters: A Few Moments in a Small Wooden Boat in March and got the call to do the television shoot not long after that. My gosh, can you imagine? I was going to Montana! The Shangri La of fly fishing, that's what Montana is. Where A River Runs Through It was set, where the buffalo and the grizzly bears roam.

Then the crew came down here, and though Hurricanes Rita and Katrina put a bit of a damper on the freshwater fishing during that time, and rapid-fire cold fronts did me in for the marsh, we were able to catch a few bass and tell a good story, I hope. If nothing else comes of it, I'll have at least been to Montana and fished some of the most gorgeous country the Great Spirit ever made, next to Louisiana!

Let me tell you, though, I am a nervous wreck about it. Like many people, I hate the way I look on camera, and we all know the camera adds 10 pounds to you, that in addition to the *mumbley-mumble* I've gained since I quit smoking in May. I am afraid viewers who don't know me will have the following conversation upon seeing the show:

"What's that?"

"I don't know. Looks like a beached whale."

"But it's fly fishing!"

"Yeah. Real smart beached whale, ain't it?"

Or something like that. I was thinking about having a few very close friends over to watch the show with me in a private gathering...okay, to tell the truth, I was thinking of renting the Teche Theatre and inviting all of you...but decided that if I do, indeed, come off looking like the remnants of a shipwreck, I'd rather not be seen sobbing uncontrollably.

The producers of the show found me through the writing I do for FAOL, and they also found Dave Micus through FAOL, who also got his own film segment. See what good company you keep here?

I was watching what I thought were reruns of last season's show last Friday and when I looked up I said, "Hey, that's Dave," and I realized it was the new season I wasn't expecting until April. My heart leaped into my throat and it was all I could do not to sell the house, load up the truck just like the Clampetts, and head for Bever-lee. Hills, that is. I looked on the Internet and found the schedule and just stared at it for long, long moments, thinking, "Well, there's a fatal hemorrhage waiting to happen."

It'll be okay, really. Most of you kind folks reading this will notice how terribly I fished compared to Joe, who was I think born with a fly rod in his hand.

As it was, I fished a little overgunned for the circumstances, since I only brought two rods with me, a 4/5-wt and a 6/7-wt. I was unprepared for Montana's winds (why didn't anybody give me a heads-up on that, eh?) whistling through the ravines like aircraft test tunnels, so I ended up mostly fishing the heavier rod. I'm a bit worried about the people who know a little something about fly fishing, who'll be sending me emails saying things like, "Hey, was that a fly rod you were fishing with or a baseball bat?" and even, "Give it up and get a Zebco, ya bum."

Anyway, if you want to check it out, the show airs the next two Fridays. I'll be catching rainbow and cutthroat trout in Montana, and not catching much in Louisiana, though Joe managed a few bass.

I never expected all this. I just published my book, an autobiography really, and figured that'd be the end of it. It may still be. Nothing about this guarantees fame and fortune, of course. I might sell a few books as a result of it, but I doubt Random House is going to be beating my door down for a Native Waters: The Sequel subtitled How I Got Caught Fishing In A Fiberglass Boat Like the Philistines.

Either way it turns out, as I've mentioned before, stop asking me if I'll "know you when I get rich and famous." The simple answer remains, as stated before, if I like you now, fame and fortune won't change that. If I don't have much use for you at the moment, fame and fortune is not likely to improve my opinion very much. ~ Roger

Previous Native Waters Columns

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