Tuesday, June 7, 2011

"the skinny" - chapter one - making a short story long

so we start at the beginning
a (former) friend and I took a road trip to farmington, new mexico, of all places
to play a five star golf course, of all things, in a highly unlikely place

we enjoyed camping and rather than stay in a motel
we pitched a tent in cottonwood campground
in navajo dam
on the bank of "holy shit, it's the mighty san juan!" phildo exclaimed...
"we need to do this again w/ fly rods"
I shrugged my shoulders and thinking about more golf, "sure"

next time around 
I was armed w/ some spinning rods packed in with my golf clubs
we'd fish in the morning and golf in the afternoon
and eat like kings at night
(think ribs shrimp carnitas etc)

phildo started to show me some fly casting ropes
it was a struggle
I donned his father's old (read shitty) waders
ridiculous outsized rubberized nylon size thirteen boot foot models
you could have fit four of me inside these things
I knew mase and he was kinda big but not this damn big
I didn't bother w/ any socks (big mistake) and wondered how to piss...

I wandered around most clumsily and aimlessly
futilely thrashing the air w/ an awkward long pole
occasionally dropping a ridiculous fly on the water to no avail
usually resulting in a hopeless bird's nest
that I'd have to sit down on the bank and untangle or cut off
I didn't know shit
neither did phildo

I fell of course filled my waders and kept it right the fuck up
now cold and damp my feet being abraded in those stoo-pit oversized boots
I loved it despite being infinitely frustrated and as uncomfortable as I've ever been in warm weather

phildo let me borrow the rod
and religiously I practiced every day in the alley behind my house
until I could move some line
I could cast but I still sucked

nevertheless I was determined to improve
I bought a few books and studied my ass off
I'm a very good student but this shit remained mostly frustrating
I kept at it in the alley
ventured out on my own 
eventually even sticking a few fish

by no means would I call myself proficient
but I could deliver a fly to the water
and somehow or another occasionally stick a trout

it was time to head back to the san juan...
round two it's gonna get ugly

this time I arrived w/ heightened anticipation
I had seen those huge fucking rainbows cruising about
and my mind raced w/ visions of sticking them
them mind you not simply one
I was gonna eat a fat trout filet cooked over my own campfire

I'd come armed w/ a 9ft 3in 5wt orvis pole
I bought spinning gear too just in case
I had knowledge
a little experience I could move line a bit
I understood the concept of dragfree drift

phildo didn't have a clue
he was armed w/ a custom built (by al ellis for his father, mase) bamboo rod
cast beautifully
false casting and dropping his fly everywhere but where it should be
he had a bookcase full of his late father's flyfishing library
and hadn't cracked one of them
he knew nothing but threw a tight loop

I got skunked
and it gets worse...

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