Saturday, July 3, 2010

The greatest fish story I have ever told…thus far.

There are a handful of stories that I have kept shelved in my mind for fear of ridicule and distain. As I grow older it is clear to me that ridicule and distain are irrelevant when it comes to a good fish story.

On a brisk summer morning I rolled up to the scrap of dirt used as a parking lot of sorts by Don and myself. Don was already there and nearly done with his gearing up. For fishaholics the gear up routine is a true test of patience and self-reserve. Don is the least tolerant angler I know in many aspects and offers no mercy or quarter for late comers and those unprepared to tackle the water. It is rare that I show up earlier to the water than Don, even if I leave the house two days early.

Patience is becoming an endangered species within the realms of my own mind so the next few minutes were a flurry of gear grabbing and mutters of “what am I forgetting?” Just as I am stuffing pliers into my pocket and grabbing the rods, a yellow Honda civic pulls into the school parking lot across the street. Don’s GMC goes “beep-beep” signaling the electronic vehicle lockdown and his heading to the water. My brain fumbles through a last minute checklist as a woman gets out of the Honda Civic and approaches us with the most feared question an innocent bystander can speak during the early morning gear up ritual.

“Where are you guys fishing?” she asks inquisitively. “I didn’t think there was any fishing around here? Me and my husband love to fish.”

Now this may sound a bit selfish and slightly deranged but good fishing spots are more sacred to me than any religious artifact known to man. This spot in particular is not listed in most fishing resources and contains bass in the +18-inch range. I would just as soon cut a finger off than tell this lady (and apparently her husband) where this place was. But her interest was peaked as she started following us from the vehicle to the trail that ran along the ditch a mile or so past the small pond. Without skipping a beat I came up with what may be my most brilliant load of B.S. yet.

“We are fishing for carp in this ditch here.” My brain on only three cups of coffee replied. (Normally a story like this would require 5 cups of coffee and more than a mere four hours of sleep).

“What?” She scoffed in disbelief yet with curious intent. “Are you serious?” She can tell simply by the three or four rods and tackle bags that we mean business. She probably thought we were actually lost.

“I know it sounds crazy.” I said reaching deep down for my best poker face and biting down on my cheek. “Most people don’t give a @#$$%^ about carp.”

“What? This ditch right here?” She still contemplated and questioned with interrogation skills that could only be a result of the constant barrage of CSI episodes on TV. “Do you eat them?”

“Naw…just for sport.” I reply casually. “Sometimes it’s fun just hooking into something big. Did you know that carp are the second most popular freshwater sport fish in the world?”

As she follows us over the bridge that spans the ditch (that now sports only an inch or two of water) I realize my story could quickly fall apart depending how far she follows us along the trail. If she realizes my deception, she will become even more intent on ferreting the truth for her and her husband’s future fishing adventures. Visions of bass after bass being strung up for freezer storage assaulted my sanity. I have lost so many good fishing spots already. Not this one. Not now and not to this no-name dame and her husband. She was still following us down the trail as I talked.

“So what brings you down this way?” I asked starting to gauge her original reason she was there for. This one item could be crucial to the next stage of my story.

“Oh me and a girlfriend are going up to Central City. We are taking her car and meeting here.” Her words were music to my ears. Don and I stopped walking and puzzle pieces of subsequent chapters of my story fell together in my mind.

“Ok, I am going to tell you a secret but please don’t share this with anyone else.” I spoke looking one way and then the other like some stolen watch salesman. “You see every year they flood this canal with irrigation water and carp get pooled up at this large hole a few miles down the trail.” This is actually a true occurrence but not why we were there. Yet I was fully prepared to lead her to a pool of water and feign interest as we cast for no reason other than supporting our ruse.

“You catch them with that?” the woman said pointing to Don’s tied on Mepps and my 6” senko rig.

“Oh this is just what I have tied on right now. But what Don has on here is pure money!” I nonchalantly wiped away more of her inquisition. “Really it is like shooting fish in a barrel but some of these fish can get up to 5 and 10-pounds.” (The art of the ruse is not to oversell it with 15 and 20-pound fish…they may explore the area for carp if they are truly monstrous or at least that was my fear.)

“Wow. I have never heard of anyone fishing here. That is crazy.” Her curiosity pacified she reached for one least question. “Is that all you guys get in there? Any trout? My husband and I fish 11-Mile for trout…good eating.”

“Oh no…and I would not eat anything out of here. You know with all the cow poop, fertilizer and all…it would make anyone sick as a dog.” This was my piece of de resistance. The line of questioning ended. If she could not table the fish, there was no point whatsoever to all of the effort.

“Oh…(short pause while the images of eating carp soaked in cow poop soaked in)…well good luck to you both.” And she turned back to her vehicle of waiting.

Don and I looked at each other breathing a huge sigh of relief.
“Dude…” Don muttered in the few words he spoke on rare moments when fishing. “That was amazing.”

“How the @#$%%^ did I pull that story off?” I exclaimed in disbelief myself. “When she started following us…I thought this pond was done for.”

My name is Matt and I’m a fishaholic. Coloradocasters 2010


Shoreman said...

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive”
William Shakespeare and Matt, the fishaholic.

Nicely done, though.


Bigerrfish said...

you know your serious about this &@#$% when you can think that quickly just to save a fish for your own line.. now dont go questioning my motives again.. I think that rocks.. quick story...

On a walk back from a winter afternoon on the river with my head held high for the pictures in my pocket I came accross a couple of bait and waiter's.. they had a stringer full of brown trout and were quick to pull them out of the water so the passer bys could see em,, (me) I stoped dead in my steps and asked them if the fish were desease free yet.. the look of amazement almost made me loose the poker face.. but I kept it clean a told them all about how the fish and wildlife are working real hard to save the fish in this section and a couple of cows were found dead from drinking the water, contaminated by the fish... They bought every bit and I tunred away and said I wouldn't eat sick fish..
Happy hookin up!!

Anonymous said...

Well, Matt, you know what they say about anyone who fishes regularly. A "reel" fisherman or fisherwoman these days have a knack of spreading a little B.S.!

I would say you done well!

Bill said...

Great story and quick thinking! It's rare that I give out any location info for hunting or fishing. That being said, I'm always taking mental notes of what others don't mind sharing. LOL

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jodie Kash said...

Carp poo ;).

We used to catch carp out of Beaver Lake in NE (for reals, not being cheeky) and Dad called them "Crappies."

We never ate them. Or the crawdaddies we fished out.

Coloradocasters said...

Thank you for the comments folks. Really…you folks are awesome! This was one of my favorite posts to write and I am really glad to get the feedback.

I have quite a few of these tales tucked away inside my fishing consumed brain and will eventually get them in typed form. These are the kind of stories that I would sell to Field and Stream or other outdoor magazines…a Mattsabasser can dream, right?

DynaFish said...

Great story Matt! Given your usual mattitude, I'm frankly surprised you were so civil. I would have expected something more like, "Lady. If I wanted to be followed around out here, I would have brought my dog. Do you mind?" This tack was sooo much more rewarding.. I hope she doesn't read the blog!

The lady that you lied to said...

Hello Mr. fishaholic, lead some poor sweet girl to a bumb ditch, guy. We went fishing at your secret little ditch and didn't catch a thing my husband thinks I'm a lousy guide now.

Thanks alot! Now that we read your blog, and found out we were the butt of your joke, we thought it might be fun to buy a vudu doll, placing a fishing rod in its hands with a skunk on the line... I hope this doesn't effect the fishing too much. good luck ditch fishing.

bigerrfish over in the pond... Bait rules!

Coloradocasters said...

(sigh) This comment reminds me of those kids I went to grade school with that thought they were soooo funny. But it was only in their own minds and everyone else thought they were complete tools as well.

Some peoople talk trash. I pick it up. And then they wonder why I question their motives.

troutrageous1 said...

Glad to see you did what you had to do. I was almost expecting you to toss in your line to pacify her and pull out a monster carp or something. Us fisherfolk are an odd breed, aren't we?

spbug101 said...

Hahaha! That will learn them

cindy said...

You have a serious gift for bullshit when it comes to protecting your waters. Story is hilarious.