Lighter Side

What is life if there is not laughter? Welcome to the lighter side of flyfishing! We welcome your stories here!
May 26th, 2003

Opening Day
By Bob Lawless

I was excited about the low-land trout opener in the morning and I couldn't sleep. So I left the house to drive to the lake even though it was dark. Like the fool that I am, I fell over my chain saw and ravaged my leg. My dog, Smolt, started in on the tears, but it didn't help much. Oleander, my pet parrot, was unable to curse because of his sore throat and fever. I've made him wear a gauze mask because I think he may have SARS. Anyway, all three of us cascaded into the weeds and when we came out after much kicking and scuffling, Smolt had the mask on and Oleander looked a bit like a dog. I'm not sure of this last because of the blood on my face from the chain saw.

I forgot to clamp down on the trailer hitch so the boat popped off on the first turn. Not much damage except the motor on my electric motor was gone, the pipe connecting the controls to the lower unit was shredded. I would have to row.

When the truck began to miss, I thought the day was pretty much scrubbed, and I thought about turning around, but since the lake is only 12 miles up the road, I thought I could make it. Silly boy. She gave out about a block from the water.

Now what to do? The boat is only a 12 ft. job and I thought maybe I could just roll her to the lake since I have a wheel on the front jack. I had to pull hard to get the rig to go once I had abandoned the truck. All went well until, because of the dark, I didn't see the ramp at the end of the road approaching in time. Now the boat and trailer were pushing me and I was flung head-long out into the lake trying to escape. A guy was backing down to the water and spotted me next to my sunken boat, the trailer having drug the boat to the bottom but not in very deep water.

"Where's your truck? " he asks.

I explained as best as I could and he got me pulled out, refloated and ready to fish. But my rod tip was snapped about a foot down so now I have to fish with an 8 ft. rod and I guess it was now a 5wt. but it had been a six. It wasn't snapped completely off so I tried to fish with it as is, hoping this would make the eventual repair much easier. I found a band aid in my vest and taped the broken piece to the tip.

My first cast was pretty much a disaster as the hook caught my hat and flung it out far into the lake. I tried to reel it back in but the leader broke a few feet from the boat and the hat sunk. "Hey buddy, says this wiseguy, "whanna borrow my net?"

One thing after another happened to me: I couldn't find my nippers so I had to use my teeth and I chipped a tooth. I apparently failed to properly secure my reel to the rod and it fell off. When, in my haste, I reattached it, I did so backward and now my line wouldn't come off the way I like and the handle was on the wrong side. When I tried to reel in to call it a day, the reel handle in question was gone so I had to wind it in with my finger spinning round and round, a blister formed. My lunch, brunsweiger, baloney, salami and cheese, was so soggy I couldn't eat it. My pickle was good though.

The dog, Smolt, had a big mosquito on his nose and I'm convinced it's a West Nile virus demon from hell. I'm covered with so many ticks from pushing the trailer along, I'm sure I have lyme disease and maybe a touch of retro-virus. I know we all do have fevers.

Since all this stinks, I decide to give it all up and head in. That's when I notice one of the oars is gone. I'm going to have to paddle against a stiff wind to get back to the launch. But where's the trailer? Evidently, I didn't block the wheels properly and it had rolled into a ravine about 50 ft. down. I started to drag the boat home but quickly realized this was just not going to happen.

So I ran from it all.

The hell with the trailer, the boat, my gear and my truck.

I hooked a ride home from a passing neighbor who was too afraid to ask me anything so I said nothing as if all were OK.

Coming through the front door, cut up, covered in blood with a chipped tooth, no hat, soaked, scratching my ass off, hungry, thoroughly pissed, my wife calls out, "Was it as much fun as last year, dear?"

"Yea," I said, "pretty much." ~ Bob Lawless

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