Oh, To be At Home, Now That April's Here
. . .I . . . havent' missed an Opening Day for a great many years;
but if I keep my wits about me I shall miss quite a few in the future.
By Ed Zern, from How To Catch Fishermen
For example, last year I drove up to Roscoe, on the Beaverkill,
the evening before the trout season opened, intending to get a good
night's rest and be out on the river by eight the next morning. Instead
I fell in with evil companions, and when I woke up the next day at
noon I felt awful.
But I forced down some breakfast and drove downriver, observing that
the Beaverkill was high and discolored and that any trout not already caught
were in danger of being trampled to death. I didn't observe it too well,
because the sleet kept freezing on my windshield and the wipers iced up
badly, but I observed it.
Finally I remembered a pool below Peakville that was inaccessible except
by a mile of hiking and where normally, even on Opening Day, there are
no fishermen. So I parked by the bridge, got into my waders and jacket,
took a rod in sections and walked a mile down the railroad tracks to
the pool. There were five fishermen standing in the pool soaking big gobs
of night crawlers in the water and three other fishermen reviving themselves
around a fire, but I figured I might as well be a good sport about it and
start fishing. I would have too, if I hadn't forgotten to bring a reel with
After I'd walked a mile back up the railroad tracks to the car, I drove
upstream again and parked the car at Painter's Bend. After I'd sloshed
around in the river for half an hour and fot a pint of sleet down my nect
it suddenly dawned on me that nobody was actually forcing me to stay
in the river, so I went up and sat in the car. I felt pretty low until I
remembered the time Ray Camp leaned back against a large display
card of treble-hooked spinning lures in Walt Dette's tackle shop in
Roscoe and spent the better part of an Opening Day morning removing
the lures from his wool shirt, and this cheered me up some but not much.
Finally the sleet let up a bit, and if somebody had come along and offered me
thirty-five dollars an hour to get back in the water and fish some more I'd have
done it, because I could have used the money. But nobody did, so I drove
back to the Antrim Lodge bar and hide behind a boubon and water until
Opening Day was over.
When I got back home the next evening and met a neighbor he
said, "How was fishing?" and I hit him over the head with a rod
case. This was a silly thing to do, of course, but I didn't have
a sashweight handy. ~ Ed Zern
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