I am a known whiner and slayer of Rose Bushes

I figure the Fishing Gods ignore whiners even when they’ve paid their earlier dues without complaint. I suppose lucky and unlucky have a minor role, as does Karma, but there must be more than simply the number of times you go fishless that turns their gaze benevolent, rather it’s in the degree of suffering endured and having made amends for being so full of yourself on your last successful foray.

… then again The Gods could simply grow weary of your constant swearing.

I swore my mightiest oath in the face of a pending three day weekend. If by mid morning the fish corpses weren’t piled deeply at my feet, then I’d put that mighty arm to work clearing brush from the backyard, turn that wrist flaccid in the face of a quarter acre of lawn mowing, trimming rose bushes, and the sweaty eternity that is stump removal.

And as each dawn broke I was waist deep in the American throwing heavy and monotone, extra heavy and gaudy, tiny and bright, big and drab, or beaded and eye searing.

… and each noon found me with a pitchfork and a growing pile of organic debris by the curb.

I endured the catcalls from the bankside revelers, stalled traffic from the hordes fleeing civilization, the mounds of sweltering garbage stacked around stuffed trash receptacles, and the stick throwing dog walkers, each intent on exercising “Cujo” – the wet and overtly hostile quadruped ignoring his stick and intent on taking a bite out of my ass.

I managed to land one pair of medium purple thong underwear and a brace of Orange soda, whose misfortune it was to tangle plastic holder with my weighted shad fly.

As I made the lonely walk back to the car each morning I resolved to try it again in a different spot, knowing that eventually my suffering would begat some form of divine intervention …

… which I gratefully used up when that drunk careened out of the ditch and across a couple lanes of traffic attempting to knock me into the center divider. Suddenly it was okay that I hadn’t been bit and my afternoon would be a symphony of pitchforks and dry grass. The welcome boost of acceleration squeezing me between guard rail and  oncoming SUV, just prior to his impacting the rail before caroming back into the ditch from whence he came.

I watched the thick dust cloud from his end over end grow smaller in my rear view, knowing that the Holy Blessed Mother of Acceleration had not failed me in my moment of need, and the matched pair of Orange Soda was the opening benediction of whatever grace was my fate.

I pulled out of the driveway the following morning not sure whether to simply admire the big pile of debris, rub all the aching body parts involved and opt for a donut, instead of making the pilgrimage to the river.

I opted for more piscatorial pummeling, enduring the clammy waders and pin prick hole on the right arse cheek at mid-wallet. Yesterday’s leak now a chill reminder that eventually my luck would meet Karma, and both arrows might eventually point skyward …


… which occurred about 90 seconds after wading in at the new spot, and the initial tangle of chilled Amnesia was undone in time to set hook on a shad intent on surveyor’s tape …

It’s that rare moment when a strip of brightly marked tape fluttering on a surveyor’s stake makes a light bulb flash in the mind of the onlooker, which isn’t genius by any stretch given his propensities for fly tying and hoarding.

… but the shellback on a Czech nymph tied for Shad?

Divine Intervention making anyone look good, no matter how weak of mind, or strained of idea …


This is tied on a blued 3XS (short), 2XS (strong), kirbed hook, giving the impression of a smaller fly but with a bit of extra hooking ability given the offset point. It certainly proved to be effective as even the spin fishermen on the far side started to mutter at my good fortune.

It’ll be their turn next week and I’ll pay for any immediate successes in Spades …


I spent the morning swearing off all forms of tool usage as the blisters they raised interfered with my double haul, especially so given the corpses of “dried grass” accumulated at my feet.

A couple of four pound hens will do that to you.

5 thoughts on “I am a known whiner and slayer of Rose Bushes”

  1. Thank God you didn’t get raker’s shoulder before the success! 35 years have passed since I last tangled with the shad. Great times, thanks for rebooting that floppy.

  2. It’s 108 miles to the river, we got a full tank of gas, half a box of weighted flies, it’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses. Hit it…

  3. That….fly…looks like it should be jiggling on stage at a Lodi gentleman’s club. But since shad have the same tawdry tastes as drunk CPAs and grape buyers apparently it works….
    (excellent idea, by the way, I’ll steal it but give you the blame/credit)

  4. The Czech nymph floats upside down which is exactly what’s needed for the soft mouthed shad. You want that hook to get solid purchase in the upper jaw (which has some cartilage to hold the hook securely).

    Shad would eat greased Cat shit if it was available, there’s no accounting for their tastes. Nor mine after a day spent on the water ..

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