Most of the guys out at the skeet club
know I'm a fly fisherman so when I show up I'm often asked “how's
the fishing?” Sometimes I have something to say and sometimes not.
There's one fellow out there named Red who is a fine outdoorsman and
shows up with a collection of expensive Italian and Spanish
side-by-side shotguns to shoot clay pigeons with. Fine bird guns for
sure – some would call them fowling pieces – though the serious
skeet shooters are more impressed with their florescent sighted,
adjustable stocked over-unders and auto loaders.
Red is also reputed
to be intimately acquainted with every trout stream in the
entire Arrowhead region. However, like so many folks around here, Red
believes the primary purpose of angling is to secure a meal. Meat.
Red is 70-some years old and in fine physical shape but told me he'd quit trout fishing back when the daily limit was lowered to five fish.
Bringing home a measly five trout was hardly worth the effort.
Red knows I enjoy tying big bass bugs
and streamers and will travel for hours to float rivers and cast for
smallmouth bass – “Why? I wouldn't eat one!” They're fun to
catch, Red, and we don't eat 'em, we release them, you know, catch
and release. And good times with good friends. Red shakes his head. It's kinda' like skeet shooting,
you'll shoot six boxes of shells out here today but take nothing home
to eat. He just ignores me.
“How about trout?” Yeah, Red, I
caught a couple little browns on a small streamer last week. “You'd do
better with worms.” But that little fly stuck in the corner of
their mouth makes it easy to release them.
Red walks away. You know, a ham
sandwich tastes good, too. He's gone.