Lake Fausse Point, Louisiana

March 7th, 2005

The Things I Do

The devotion and loyalty I extend to my FAOL readers goes above and beyond all sense of reason, you know.

Yes, I think you should all praise my name. Having pontificated here for far too long over the last few months regarding subjects only vaguely related to fly fishing, I decided this week that you, Loyal Readers, deserve better, and I felt like a reprobate for letting you all down so sadly.

So Tuesday I had about an hour and a half to kill between work and a meeting I had to cover that night. I rushed on home to the Rez, picked up my tackle and rushed back to town. There's a couple of ponds off the highway that are usually pretty good in the spring, but I was unsure if it was time for them to "turn on."

I arrived and set up my gear, noting with dismay a stiff northwest wind. Now, since FAOL is based in Washington, due northwest of me, I decided this had to be an omen of good will, a strong show of support for my Loyal Readers. Gleefully, I tied on a Jitterbee under an indicator and marched to the first pond.

The wind was chill against the nape of my neck, and casting was a chore with a light bamboo rod. I managed to get enough line out at last to gain a little distance, but kept wondering what that snapping sound was on my backcast. I realized that, even though I had lined myself up with a clear area behind me, the wind was pushing my line to the southeast, and I was clipping a cast iron lamppost with the beadhead of the Jitterbee. At first this disturbed me, but then I figured tungsten could handle it.

There I am, flailing water in a small pond that is close to developing whitecaps, hoping for a bite to show my Loyal Readers that I am their humble servant, their chronicler of my native waters, their friend and ally in this great, wonderful world of fly fishing. My ponytail is wrapping around under my chin with the wind, I am trembling because I forgot my jacket in the truck over in the parking lot of the government building in front of these two ponds, and the lamppost behind me is developing a decidedly southeast slant. But I fished anyway.

No interest in the Jitterbee was apparent, so I switched to a small concoction I had tied of mostly crystal chenille, flashabou and a beadhead. Looks like a disco globe under two dozen spotlights while rotating. This not only failed to receive any hits, but started tapping the lamppost behind me a little lower than the Jitterbee did, further augmenting the slant of it into a sort of disjointed angle.

When finally, near dusk and time to go to my meeting, the wind calmed down enough to let the surface of the pond mellow a bit, I saw a few rises. Excited, I switched to a small popper with rubber legs. Rises continued, often within inches of my popper, but no cigar. I switched to a little scud, no luck. I switched to a No. 6 Clouser, zilch.

By now I am thinking that I will be needing to submit my resignation to Jim and Deanna on grounds that I am no longer competent to write fishing columns since I am apparently incapable of catching a fish. The easy way to end this column right now would be to lie my pants off and say:

"On the very last cast, an enormous upswell of water erupted, and a bass long as my forearm danced on the pond's surface, popper firmly lodged in his lower jaw" and describe the valiant, courageous battle the followed to bring him to hand.

However, none of that happened. It was time to go to my meeting, and I had received not a single strike. I'm cold as the dickens, my feet are wet and my shoes muddy, a condition I will have to retain during the meeting of the port commission in ten minutes. At port commission meetings we members of the press do not have tables to sit at, so we sit with the audience, our legs and feet clearly visible. Meaning my wet and muddy shoes are clearly visible, while my shirt is neatly pressed and my pants nearly immaculate. The shame I put myself through for you guys!

So I'm taking down my rod and putting it away, when a voice says, "Hey, you just having fun or keeping?"

I look around, and there's a young fellow walking over from the second pond, holding a bass of about three pounds. "You want him?" he asks.

"Naw," I say, through clenched teeth. "I was just playing, like you said."

"Man, I knew he was right in that spot!" he said, letting the bass go again - into the pond I was just fishing. "I threw a spinnerbait at him several times and he wouldn't take it, so I tried a plastic worm and he wouldn't take that either. Finally got him on a chrome and blue Rat'l Trap!"

As I said goodbye, my tackle bag full of hundreds of dollars worth of flies, reels, lines, leaders and a pretty nice bamboo fly rod, I just shook my head to myself sadly.

Next time I have some time to spare, I'm going back to that pond. I know there's at least one bass in it now. Who knows? I may be able to write about that single pond and it's sole occupant for the next six or eight weeks, at least.

The things I do for you know I gotta love you. ~ Roger

It's out! And available now! You can be one of the first to own a copy of Roger's book. Native Waters: A Few Moments in a Small Wooden Boat

Order it now from,, or Barnes & Roger will also be giving away three autographed copies to readers. Stay tuned, for an announcement on the Bulletin Board on that soon.

Previous Native Waters Columns

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