More Fungus-Headed Things
By Ol' Red, Aurora, Colorado, USA
Considering all the gnarking and yapping and name-calling (which I really liked by
the way!), I think the time is ripe to speak of things dark and harrowing and
My less favorite type of Fungus-Head: The Bait Fisherman.
This species of Fungus-Head is oft-times referred to as "spin-fisherman" (due to the fact
that they use reels that have little silver line holders and go round and round) and
"worm-inflators." Why anyone would want to syringe air into a worm is beyond me,
but what do I know? You might recall I'm the one who dives in with a knife and
spears the nearest fish. And, while I have fished for years with worms (and proudly
done so, thank you very much) I have never had the occasion to pump one up. Hell,
I never really had the inclination. Or the idea, for that matter. I think it's gross. I think
it's sick. I think it's just too weird for words, and anyone practicing this should be
open for some sort of lawsuit and/or stoning from S.A.L.M.O.N. - the Society
Against Ludicrous Maltreatment of Nightcrawlers (and all lesser wormkind).
Damn. No wonder no one wants to fish around people like this!
Know ye your enemy by the fact that a great portion of their off time is spent staring
gape-mouthed and utterly entranced by late night tv ads for rubber worms that
"look better than the real thing!" You may also know thine enemy by the fact that
this fungushead heartily splashes through water without the slightest concern for
other fishermen, decorum, or his life. They also seem to really like anything shiny.
Like "bait" painted to almost look like some kind of mythological fish festooned
with hundreds of hooks hanging off this so-called work of art.
It isn't really that hard, as a purely unjudgemental observer, to spot a bait fisherman.
Even when he isn't carrying. Find a fly fisherman. Keep your distance. Keep looking.
The bait fisherman will be the guy that crashes out of the woods, jumps over rocks
until gaining footing on the rock right behind the fly fisherman, and yeah, verily, you
have spotted your bait fishing fungushead. Or, alternately, look for the guy with
about 18 kids and a really pissed off old lady. If everyone is fighting loudly, half
the kids are crying about the bugs biting them while the other half are tromping
through the water throwing rocks in (not to mention at the "funny old man in the
weird pants") and causing a great and heaving sigh from everyone really attempting
to fish, that guy is about to pull a spin rod from the back of his Pinto, look around
to find the exact spot where he can push his way between fisher people and
"demand" his "right" to be there.
They have the manners of motherless curs most of the time. They throw dirty
diapers in the river. Or their family members do. They make a lot of noise.
They're obnoxious. They're pushy . . .
And, they're actually very easy to get rid of.
Instead of getting mad and storming away from your sweet spot, dear fly person,
use those hunter instincts. Track your prey. Find its weakness. Use that weakness
against it. If the prey is not doing his part and giving you any hints, use your herding
instinct. After all, you aren't the only one ticked off on the river now are you?
Gather your fellow flypersons! (We should come up with some sort of secret
"gather round people" signal. Something subtle. Like reaching for the sunscreen
and plastering the backs of our ears. Or taking our nips and yanking on the zinger
line three times down, once up.) At the signal, all flypersons are to head to the
designated pack leader's side. The designated pack leader will be the first person
that's had it and gives the signal. A conversation will therefore ensue. Something
dark and foreboding - and loud enough for the offender of all to hear. Something
along the lines of:
Pack Leader: "Hey, you guys hear what happened last weekend?"
By the time you and "The Crew" look around, your enemy has packed his Pinto and
taken himself and all his little fungusheads with him far, far away.
Others: "No! What?"
Pack Leader: "That new Game Warden they got? He was tooling around
in that jeep of his, saw a bunch of people fishing and busted 'em for not having their licenses!"
Others: "Good for him!" (Everyone knows fly fishing people follow one Law: Thou shalt
have thy fishing license in goode order. Also, it's scary to see a whole pack of
people agreeing on "no good law-breaking offenders" getting busted en masse.)
Pack Leader: "Yeah, it was a good move on his part having the jeep camouflaged."
1 of Others: "Man, it's better that that! I hear he's running around disguised as a fly
Pack Leader: "Check your licenses, people!" (This is a critical call. Fumbling and cursing about
not knowing where it is can only sturdy your stand. Panicked looks are not only
good, but really up your believability.)
Pretty easy, huh? Quit looking at me that way. Have you EVER seen a bait fisherman
with a license? They stop in at K-Mart or Wal Mart, get their gear, blow off the advice
of the guy behind the counter when he suggests they get one, and they're out the door
and up the creek to do some damage.
The cool part about this whole strategy is, you don't need backup. If you're a good enough
b-s'r (and let's face it, if you fish, you are) you can get along with this scenario all on your
own. Just wait for the guy to siddle up to you, then act like you suddenly have an idea about
looking for something very, very important on your person and utterly panic when you can't "it."
Be sure to say real loud, "Oh NO! My license! I gotta find it! I get caught by that
(insert official title and some realistic sounding name here - Sheriff Grady will do)
without it and this time he'll send my truck to be police auctioned! Aw MAN! I'm
too old to do another 6 months of time!" (Hint: Never extend the jail time too
unrealistically. Months are very scary when talking to a fungushead because it
sounds too real not to be true. Weeks work well too.)
Or, you can use the "I'm only being your friend here" strategy and point to some
obscure tree in the distance and whisper "I guess you didn't see the posted 'Fly
Fishing Only' sign. It's okay, the Game Warden only makes his rounds every 20
minutes or so, so if you haul yourself downstream about a mile, you'll be outta
here before he gets back."
It sometimes pays to be kind. But the pay's better when you up the ante.
~ Ol' Red
Lighter Side Archive