Lighter Side
I once heard a couple of elderly bachelors . . .
arguing about whether people spawned in the spring or fall.
They asked several other anglers to help settle the arguement,
but nobody could remember.--- Ed Zern


August 10th, 1998
E Pluribus Unum

By Ed Zern, excerpt from HOW TO CATCH FISHERMEN
Probaby out of print, check your used-booker sellers!


"Several years ago I met Hoyt Holland on the lower part of a large New York trout stream, and complained to him about the heat, which was excessive for early June.

"Would you like a cold bottle of beer?" Hoyt asked, and although it seemed a highly rhetorical question (we were five miles from the nearest bar-and-grill, and a good country mile from the road where are cars were parked), I said yes. Hoyt glanced around to get his bearings, them walked about sixty feet down the bank, waded a few yards out into the river, lifted a large flat rock, and extracted two bottles of beer from beneath it. It was imported Pilsner, chilled to a turn. I hadn't noticed the beer-bottle opener handing from his vest, but is was there, and he handed me an uncapped bottle.

"There's some pretty good domestic beer under there, too," Hoyt said. "I save this stuff for guests."

"It's a high-class trick, I said. "How do you do it?"

Hoyt then explained that for fifteen years this had been one of his favorite stretches of trout water, and that during the first five seasons he fished it, he had several thousand times said to himself, "I wish I had a nice cold bottle of beer right now."

And so, ten years back, he had spend an entire week end locating all the good springholes with a stream thermometer and charting them on a reference map. Then he had spend the better part of a day packing eight cases of bottled beer in from the highway and distributing them under rocks in the cold spots up and down a half mile of the best water. Nowadays, Hoyt said, when he wants a bottle of cold beer there's always one ready and waiting within a hundred yards, and usually much closer. Naturally he had to pack in replacements two or three times a season, but he assured me it was more than worth the trouble.

He said the stream wasn't much good for anything but small fish after the Fourth of July, and that the beer wouldn't winter over on account of the ice tearing up the stream bad. Since there were always a good many bottles still in the springholes when the Fourth came around, Hoyt said he always drove up early that day and started at the lower end of the stretch, fishing his way upstream with a dry fly and lingering at each springhole to polish off the beer still here.

Hoyt said that by a happy coincidence there were exactly thirteen springholes, one for each of the original states, and that although it took him the best part of the day, what with two to five bottles in each cache, he couldn't think of a better way to celebrate the anniversary of our independence.

Neither could I."

~ Ed Zern

Copyright 1951 by Ed Zern


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