It’s a given that your coworkers think you’re nuts. While you’re pantomiming heroic deeds at the watercooler – punctuated by scratching Poison Oak, massaging hook holes and the scraped shins of your post-Opening Day Monday, their inquiries as to your success or failure fall on deaf ears, what’s most important and what they cannot understand – is the fun is in participation rather than the body count.
Opening Day has always had overtones of machismo, given our frantic preparations, the rush to clear the city limits, the dash for the creek while you shed clothes and any semblance of morals or decency, and then after a weekend of scrambling through blackberries and gas station coffee, and victimized by hard ground or a harder motel bed, you drag yourself to work – hoping nobody notices you’re wearing the shirt you wore Thursday.
… and only Monday afternoon do you realize your wallet is much lighter, something grew soft in the off season that now really hurts, and you’re proudly passing off your sunburn as a tan.
I know, me and my pals heard you on the bridge above us, Friday afternoon. We scuttled about using hand signals and shadows like Seal Team Six, knowing our only concern was avoiding the empty “Vente” Starbucks you’d flung from the car as you whizzed oblivious towards the Pristine.
Which suited us just fine, so long as you kept that big foot on the gas and our thin chocolate rivulet in your rear view mirror, we had our hands full of voracious and hungry fish.
Above, my beloved Pikeminnow prove that motor oil colored glass beads are brown water catnip, and how a five minute introduction to fly casting is all that’s needed to bring a watershed to its knees.
We likened it to a modern-day expedition; how we’d leave one car many miles distant and after loading up on jerky, water, sunflower seeds, and breakfast bars, fish our way to the distant vehicle hoping we could make the trek before our supplies ran out.
As it was we started at 0700 and arrived muddy, sore, and satiated, about 3PM.
… and by some odd stroke of luck they decided to cork the outflow from the dam which caused the river to drop nearly a foot and a half.
It proved just enough of a water-warming prod to turn the reclusive and shy into aggressive and willing to chase.
Which will only last about seven minutes longer given the volume of tomato seedlings being pressed into the pastures above. They’ll have to turn the faucet back on to handle all the water siphoned off for irrigation.
As in year’s past I stayed clear of the heroics, opting to spend the Opener visiting Ma on her birthday. Mostly I was hoping for a little sympathy, but Ma was smarter than that.
While I no longer grace her table with my big feet, you can never have enough favors or good feeling banked with the womenfolk.
All the heroic deeds and feats of arms being performed on planted fish in them dark woods, and us Old Guys and 4F’s forced to entertain all the gals you fellows abandoned in the Big City …