Lake Fausse Point, Louisiana

May 10th, 2003

There Ought To Be A Law
By Roger Emile Stouff

There ought to be a law.

A constituional provision. An amendment. Something to keep bad weather restricted from weekends.

I mean, come on! Last month and a half have been murder for me in terms of work. Finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel, I was so looking forward to a weekend of relaxation with a fly rod, chasing bream and bass out in the basin.

But the weatherman had a sad story to tell. A huge band of thunderstorms and associated cold front was on its way, don't you know, and there was an eighty percent chance of rain on Saturday and Sunday, with winds in the fifteen mile per hour range.

This put me in severely bad humor. To make myself feel better, I went and bought a bunch of tackle. I put all this in my bags and immediately realized I didn't have enough money left to pay the electrical bill. This is not uncommon for me. A man's got to have his priorities.

Between rainstorms on Saturday, I worked a bit on my boat and sulked. I kept checking the radar on The Weather Channel, and the storm front was just getting bigger instead of diminishing. Later in the day, the forecast began calling for twenty-five mile per hour winds Sunday! Completely disgusted at this point, I just gave up the ghost.

I spent Sunday morning puttering around the shop and yard, but suddenly something occurred to me. There was hardly any breeze at all. In fact, the sky was overcast, and though temperatures had dropped a few degrees, not at all a bad day for fishing. I waited until early afternoon, decided the weather man was a complete idiot, and headed out in the boat.

I arrived at a small canal off an industrial waterway, dodging huge, long barges and tug boats along the way. The water looked cleaner than I expected it to, but no sooner had a No. 6 Clouser hit the surface than a ripping gale of northwest wind pushed the entire boat into an overhanging clump of tree limbs. It took me five minutes to work myself out of the grasping branches, fighting the wind, and by the time I freed myself, I narrowly managed to capture my rod, which was still tangled in clutching limbs, before it went overboard. But I also noticed the boat was full of caterpillars after the incident, and promptly found a San Juan worm to let the wind place any spot possible except one that was wet.

Thus began a stubborn two hours of fishing in the wind. Trying to cast, light a cigarette, sip Diet Coke, mend line, keep the boat on course and out of the trees, set hooks on strikes, all this amounted to an exercise in futility which knows no comparison. I ended up resorting to spin tackle, which offered little improvement in strategic advantage. I did manage a few fish, though, and my girlfriend caught a few more than I did.

On the way out, the game warden stopped me to check for a fire extinguisher in the boat, and my fishing license. I offered up my license and showed him the extinguisher, noting that a fire didn't have a snowball's chance in hell in this wind. He also wanted to check the livewell. He probably didn't understand why I was laughing so hard when I opened it up for his perusal.

It was late evening by then, and the temperature was dropping. The ride home was invigorating, which is a macho way of saying it was cold as tarnation. It was one of those times when you just don't know if you want to cruise at low speed to cut down on the biting cold, or just open her up and get it over with. By the time I got the boat trailered, home, cleaned and stored away, I felt like I had been fishing all day, though it had only been a few hours. I collapsed to the sofa, exhausted, and turned on the tube, which was still on The Weather Channel, and the weather man was promising, "It'll be a great weekend next time, sunny skies and no rain!"

I threw the remote at him and told him where he could tie his hackle.

There ought to be a law. No bad weather on weekends, and no predictions of great weather a week in advance after a weekend of torture. Don't think there's someone up there controlling the weather? Ha. There is, and he plays indoor sports. ~ Roger

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