I think the first one went a little like this.
'Honey, it's for you, it's Willy and he's got
Now, Willy was my next-door neighbor, a 'gung-ho,
type A+, Navy kind of guy.' He was always up to
something and I was the one he would come to when
he hit a snag. I was used to Willy having a 'problem.'
'Ya, Willy, what's up," I answered, noticing the
sound on the line as that of his 'cell-phone.'I almost
didn't recognize his voice though, he was very
"Jim, I need your advise...I'm on the side of a hill,
behind a cedar tree and there are six elk in front
of me. There is a big meadow and they just came out
from the right and are starting to graze toward me.
What do I do?"
"Where the hell are you?" I asked, almost in a whisper
"I'm over by Forks, about a mile from my trailer on
top of the hill I showed ya on the map. You were right,
they followed the river and when things got started
this morning, they came up here. I got in ahead of
them real early," he again whispered.
Well, Willy and I chatted (very quietly) and discussed
wind direction, ballistics of a 30/06, what may happen
behind the elk that may affect where they went and how
high to hold when shooting down-hill.
Can you believe that, talking to me from behind a
tree while he was hunting elk? That was the first
time. Unless you have had something like that happen
to you it's hard to explain how I felt right after
I hung up. Weird may come close. Darn weird may
I figured I wouldn't have that feeling of being connected
and then so dis-connected all within such a short time
again. I was wrong. It has happened this morning.
"Jim, can you get the phone, It's Al?" she called
from the kitchen. I was in the office (on the computer
of course) and picked up the extension at my desk.
"Good morning, Al, what's up?"(I always ask that).
"Hey, I like this fluorocarbon stuff ya gave me, do
they make leaders?" I had given him a spool of 5X
fluorocarbon to try on the cutthroat trout he catches,
with way to much regularity I might add, in Puget Sound.
Now, Al is probably one of the most honest guys I know,
even though he is a fisherman and I needed a good test
of the stuff. He uses a size eight or ten fly on a
six weight rod. The fish run from twelve to twenty-six
inches, mostly around sixteen inches though. I figured
the 5X would hold and be strong enough to set a hook.
"Ya, they do, in fact I've got some coming, should
have been here by now. You like it?"
"You bet. It comes off the spool and is straight, it
doesn't have any memory. Good stuff."
We chatted a few minutes, I could tell it was his
cell-phone by the sound, and made arrangements for
him to stop over. I would fix him up with some more.
About then he said, "Hey, I gotta go, I got a fish on!"
"Ya, I got a fish on now, I'll call ya later, thanks."
Yes, he did call back later. No, he didn't have a cutthroat,
it was a trout and he had called me from his float-tube
from the middle of a small lake on the Olympic Peninsula,
Well, there you have it. Another one. This time from
a fellow my buddy fishing with a cell-phone in his pocket.
I suppose there will be more. The 'winds of change,
they are a blowing.' And I am right in the way.
As much as I try to bring back, get back, reestablish
and re-build the old days, the fraternity of fly-fishermen,
this stuff happens to me. Jerks me back to the present
and flings me into the future.
Please don't get me wrong here. I am not against the
things. They do have a place and I really did enjoy
talking to Willy and Al while they were out there.
But, is there something wrong with this picture or
is it just me? Maybe I'm too old, set in my ways,
getting crotchety, resisting the new ways. Perhaps.