I’m a half pot of coffee in and I’m looking at pictures I took this past weekend. If you saw them they’d show you that the fishing was okay but there’s more dog photos than fish so it must have slowed down at some point. I know exactly when it slowed on one river. It was about 8:30am Saturday when the aluminum river boats running jets across the rock gardens at 30mph started showing up in their usual droves. We were floating a very productive section when we’re passed by multiple boats in rapid succession, all heading towards the dam. Now, for the folks who don’t fish my local haunts, this is not a wide body of water in the least. In some places barely a few hundred feet across. It’s shallow, it’s rocky, and in the minds of some folks it’s a NASCAR track.
When you run up and down a small river at high speeds you are bound to create wakes. Those wakes smash the banks of the river. After a day of this, the water looks like chocolate milk 5 feet out from the shore. I’m no scientist but I’m guessing it doesn’t help erosion in most cases. I know sure as hell that it turns the fish off until the water clears. This brings me to common courtesy and river etiquette. What happened to it? Did it ever exist or have people always been assholes? When I was a kid my grandfather would take me out fishing and he’d slow down when passing a boat that was moving slow or anchored. He said, “respect their space.” and “treat other people on the water like you want to be treated.” He’s a smart man.
From my grandfather I learned never to fly past a person who is anchored, who is floating, or hell even bank fishing. Slowing down your boat takes seconds and it’s the courteous thing to do. I’ve seen fights on the river, I’ve been involved in yelling matches, and it’s solved nothing. I’ll ask an inconsiderate asshole to slow down and most times they’ll look the other way as they continue on their way. Sometimes they flip me off. Sometimes we exchange words. I keep a running count of people who do slow down and don’t pass at full throttle within 30 feet of my boat and it’s 1. 1 single guy passed me last summer and slowed down. His son asked, “Daddy why did you slow down?” and he responded, “Because it’s the nice thing to do for people on the water.” I thanked him and he smiled and waved. It was a nice encounter that is almost non existent these days.
In this day and age where entitlement runs high it’s an easy thing to forget about other people’s feelings. I’m a really easy going guy, especially on the river where I try to find some balance in life. I hate leaving the river hating humanity more than when I launched my boat.We seem to live in a me-me-me world and think nothing of our fellow humans. If you’re guilty of flying past fisherman on a float just think about how you’d feel in their shoes. You’re slowly working that section of river and suddenly a boat roars past causing wakes and scares the fish for hundreds of feet. That turns the bite off. I hear people say, “Oh the fish are used to the sounds of the motor.” No. No they’re not. If they were fishing would not shut off at sun up as the Dale Jr’s of the river start their engines. Next time you’re flying down the river enjoying your time on the water make sure you’re not wrecking someone else’s time on the water. It’s not new math and it’ll make you a better person at the end of the day. I’ll give you a thumbs up and hell, might even buy you a beer if I see you off the water.
Don’t be a dick should be everyone’s mantra. It would go a long way in solving a lot of problems we face in this world.
Went up to Michigan this past weekend with a buddy to see about some smallmouth. The fish had better plans so we took Finn over to meet Maddie, a 5 month old yellow lab, owned by my friend Dave. Good times with two awesome dogs.
Bob White will be hosting 3 trips to lodges in Argentina and Chile in February and March of 2016. Each trip includes a combination of two or more venues; extended legs for those who’d like to see a bit more of Patagonia and experience a wider variety of fishing. Bob and crew can customize your trip to suit your needs so if this sounds like something you want to do you need to contact him and get on that list.
To see more information about the trip, click this link and review the PDF that is full of details Patagonia 2016 Details
February 3 to 14 – Limay River Lodge and Hosteria San Huberto
February 14 to 23 – Hosteria San Huberto, Tres Rios Lodge, Collon Cura Lodge
February 23 to March 5 – Limay River Lodge and Martin Pescador Lodge
As soon as I win the lottery I plan on putting my name on the list of happy folks catching monster fish in one of the most beautiful places on the planet. I’m not sure I’d come back..
What’d you do on the 4th? Get up at 5am, get on the lake at 7am. Did you fish a few hours, lose a big fish, and then leave when the pleasure boating assholes show up? Did your friend cook enough for an army? Did folks show up and have an awesome day with friends? If you answered yes to all of this, you’re me. Or you have cool friends and hate pleasure boaters as much as I do.
Lately Finn has become quite enamored with jumping off a dock into water. It didn’t take long at all to get the jumping down and now he gets after his bumper with gusto. Nothing beats a lab on a mission.
I don’t have children. I never will. I’m okay with that though sometimes I feel like our culture isn’t. I’ve received the lectures on the benefits of having kids, the supposed glue it forms inside marriages, all while the person laments their lost life pre-children. Like many people, I’m the product of a divorce but I’ve always been okay with my parents divorcing. Even as a kid I was cool with it. I watched divorce ruin some friends and I watched it make some friends tougher. Sometimes relationships don’t work out. Some do. Having kids together will not guarantee a strong relationship, a fact lost on many people. Relationships, like life are a gamble that take hard work. I’m sure kids are hard work – hell it’s a full time job as I’ve seen with friends raising them. I was lucky enough to have two really cool parents who did the best they could for my brother and I. I don’t remember them fighting like I’d seen with friend’s parents who hated each other. My folks divorced and seemed to move on with their lives. As an adult with some life experience now I’m sure there was drama but they did a damned good job at keeping my brother and I from it.
Back to Father’s Day and being a childless adult in America. It is odd how folks will give you unsolicited advice on some life you’re supposedly missing out on by not having kids. Being an observer to some people’s lives I’m not so sure I am missing out. I’m sure parenthood sometimes returns its time invested back in dividends, that’s if your kid isn’t a piece of shit. Even good parents can have shitty kids, some of ya’ll need to admit that to yourselves. A few weeks ago I was cornered in a conversation and asked about why I don’t have children. My initial response was to scream, “MOTHERFUCKER IT AIN’T YOUR DAMNED BUSINESS YOU NOSY ASSHOLE!” but I didn’t. I explained why and I thought that was sufficient until I got The Lecture. As always, I smiled, nodded, and listened. After it was over I went back to my childless life just as happy as I was before twenty minutes of listening about a life I’ll never experience. I went back to being able to drop everything and bug out for a weekend to wherever my wife and I damn well please. I went back to a life of not having to save for a college education that most likely won’t guarantee a great job for Junior. I went back to my life. The life I am lucky enough to live with a woman who, after 17 years, makes my heart skip when I see her smile. I went back to going home to my dogs and my cats and sleeping through the night. I went back to making my way through life with beautiful woman next to me, content without kids.
On Father’s Day I went fishing with my wife and Finn. I called my dad, my step-dad, and my grandfather afterwards. All three men have helped me become who I am today and for that, I am eternally grateful.
Couple pictures from before the rivers decided to blow out their banks and shut river fishing off for a bit. Mike Sepelak did a write up from his visit to Hoosierville last weekend.
Cold fronts suck. Heavy rains suck. Fishing with friends does not suck.
(oh that rappers name was Lupe Fiasco)
When Finn came to live with us about a year and a half ago I was determined to have a dog that could go fish with me. At 8 months, he was a holy terror on the water. That’s not hyperbole. He sucked in the boat. He sucked while I was wading. He just plain and simply sucked at listening. He saw action and had to get to it. I was at my wits end with him but then something happened and now he’s actually pretty cool to be around. It’s fun to watch his giant dog body and his still a puppy brain fight it out daily and friends even sometimes comment on his awesomeness. He might act like a horse with rollerskates on sometimes, but he’s getting there. If I’m truly honest, that makes me feel pretty damned good. I don’t really want much out of life. I already have an amazing and very understanding wife, a job that allows me to pay my bills, a nice house in a great area, a truck, and two great dogs. One loves water and one feels the same way about water as I do about stubbed toes. If you’re not greedy that’s all it takes. Your mileage may vary but a good dog can make everything great.
So, take a dog fishing. I did that. It was pretty awesome. I’ll let the pictures do that talking.
Let’s go home, dude.