Sunday, June 28, 2015

ep:2 Perfect Fishing Buddies

This blog entry is about a guy that's been my best friend, fishing and hunting buddy for almost 20yrs. He is one of the hardest working men I know, a loyal husband and father. He is also a student of the game of life...same as me. I wish we had some of our conversations recorded from the many road trips we've taken on our fishing, hiking and hunting trips; not for the public but for my own personal use. I think we've helped each other to understand things we question in our daily lives and have opened each other's minds to alternative views. He is also the one I call when I have a question about deer hunting and he calls me about fishing. It's a great relationship and he's a perfect fishing buddy. Two of the greatest days I've had hunting and fishing was with him. The first was on 13 January 1999, it was 13 degrees when we arrived at "the slough". (The slough was on my old hunting club and it was an acre of water off the Coosa river that in winter, when they draw down lake Weiss, becomes landlocked.) This particular morning another buddy who attended school in Montana and was home for Christmas was with us and after refreshing the blind with river cane we settled in to wait on sunrise. We were duck hunting and to be honest ducks tend to be scarce in our part of the country so I wasn't expecting much. It was great catching up with our student friend and at daylight a couple of woodduck flocks buzzed us but we didn't fire a shot. By O730 the sky was dead and we were joking about shooting some crows when a couple of ducks appeared. We blew our duck calls and the ducks turned to check us out. Ducks normally circle an area before they land and as they circled 4 became 8 and 8 became 15...they landed out of range but there were more in the air. We waited patiently and when we decided to shoot there were probably 50 on the water and another two dozen cupped up coming in directly in front of us. When the shooting was over we gathered up 8 mallards. This played out the same way until we had our limit at 0900. For Georgia, 3 limits of ducks consisting of 10 mallards, teal and a few gadwall by 9am is world class...it doesn't get better than that in our neck of the woods. Every time I climbed into that blind after that morning I was hoping for another morning like that and "thankfully" it never happened thus solidifying the magic that happened that bitter cold January morning. The second was 18 December 2014...we had went to my favorite trout river the week before kayak fishing and had a morning we thought was epic. We had caught 8 rainbow trout between 18 and 20". On our way up on our second trip we talked about how great the fishing was and that it couldn't get better...We were about to experience a morning of fishing that only angels can deliver. It was a cloudy morning with temps touching the thirties when we launched our kayaks for the 7 mile float. The first mile was fishless but as we approached a feeder stream both of us hooked up with rainbows in the 18" range. After the fish were landed we took turns taking pictures and talked that humble fisherman talk where you say,"if I don't catch another fish I'll still be happy, yada yada yada" just so the fish gods don't get angry. Well, it payed off because at the end of mile 2 I told my buddy that we needed to start keeping count...we had 12 rainbow trout ranging in size from 18"-20". We were in total disbelief and when we reached our takeout shortly after dark, tired, cold and hungry we had caught 21... yes 21 rainbow trout ranging from 18-21". This river isn't under any sort of trophy management, its a public flow that gets a fair share of fishing pressure and most of those fish were caught on artificial lures. I think I may have hugged my friend that evening. It had been 15 years since something that epic had happened and I'm positive that in 15 more years, if that's the time frame that "Ms. Epic" uses to show her face, my buddy and I will still be going to the outdoors together and we'll be more than ready to see her beautiful face.