Welcome to Panfish

Part Fifteen


"Just One Of Those Days"
By Randy Fratzke

We've all had them. We all dread them. After they're over, we usually can laugh about them (crying really doesn't do any good). I'm talking about one of those "Murphy Days". You know, Murphy, the poor guy that got named for the laws: Murphy's Law, "If anything can go wrong, it will!" I guess it was my turn, although there are times when I think Murphy is stalking me, just sitting there waiting for me to plan something so he can spoil it.

I decided that it was time I took a little time for myself today and do a little fishing early in the morning. I figure that if you don't treat yourself once in a while you start to forget to enjoy life. The alarm went off at 5:00 A.M., right on time. Of course, Murphy being at my bedside already, I turned it off instead of just hitting the "snooze" button. So at 7:15 when I finally woke up I was already over 2 hours behind my planned "schedule". Apparently, Murphy did not sleep during those 2 hours. I looked out the window to see where the sun was, rubbed the glass, rubbed my eyes, rubbed the glass again. Totally gray out there. Fog, big time! So much for a 2 hour drive to the trout stream as planned....

Okay, so I still have the river full of smallies and crappies. They're not what I had planned on, but what the hey! Fishing is fishing, right? I opened my tackle locker only to find that Murphy had helped my wife "organize things". They (Murphy and my wife) had decided that my vest was getting too full and heavy so they had emptied it all out. All of my fly boxes were neatly stacked on shelves, leaders organized by weight hung on hooks, tools next to them. My vest hung neatly on a coat hanger on the left side of the locker, newly washed, even the wool on the drying tab was brushed out! Each rod case was stacked neatly in the back and all of the reels were sitting on a shelf. Gosh, you have no idea how much I appreciated all this attention to detail! For some reason appreciation was not the emotion I was feeling, and for once I was glad that she wasn't present to hear my appreciation!

So, after an hour of reloading my vest, finding which rod was in which case, and getting a reel and line on it, I headed for the river, a mere 100 feet. By now the fog was burning out and the sun was starting to break through. At least that would be a little helpful. But Murphy was still around. I could tell. Hiding somewhere just out of sight, but watching. Picking his time with care and calculation. After all, it was quickly becoming his day, not mine. About half way to the river I managed to step in one of the neighbors dogs "gifts". Not to worry, it's only "natural". Wipe it off on the wet grass, no problemo...make a mental note to thank the neighbor for the natural fertilizer later... luckily I didn't slip and fall in it! Thought too soon, Murphy heard. Landed on my butt, right next to it....hey, maybe Murphy is also slipping up. Nope, Murphy never slips up, my vest, that I had in my hand instead of on my back is full of "it". Make a mental note to rewash the vest.

Finally, I'm at the river. I carefully open one of the pockets of the vest, steering clear of the "fertilizer", and promptly get a familiar "stinging sensation". Seems when I fell Murphy tactfully opened a flybox and the contents were spilled inside the vest pocket. Another mental note, buy better flyboxes. I said another "gosh" or something similar. Okay, now I have doggy do on my shoe and vest, I'm almost 3 hours behind "schedule" and I have a #8 bunny tail streamer attached to my finger inside the vest pocket. Fortunately, the barb went all of the way through, unfortunately it also went through to the outside of the vest, pinning my finger inside. Am I having a good time yet? Another mental note: Next time tie with barbless hooks!

So with my left hand carefully extruding my forceps out of the vest, and Murphy watching over my shoulder, I come to the end of the tether on the forceps, pulling on the vest, in turn pulling the hook attached to the finger. Another "gosh" and another mental note: find a longer tether for the forceps. Okay, Murphy, you win. I walked back up to the house, "vest in hand", set the rod by the door, and went inside. Like a signal from Murphy, the phone immediately starts ringing. I pick it up, my wife asks how fishing went......

All I could think of at that moment was "Gosh!" I paused, looked at my vest, finger still in the pocket, a small red stain was now showing through, took a deep breath and said "Great, honey! I should do it a little more often and thanks for organizing my tackle locker!" She said she knew I'd appreciate it and asked if I'd noticed that she'd washed my vest? "Yes, I noticed, thank you very much for everything!" We hung up and I went to find a wire cutter.

~ Randy Fratzke

Panfish Part 1 | Panfish Part 2 | Panfish Part 3 | Panfish Part 4 | Panfish Part 5 | Panfish Part 6 | Panfish Part 7 | Panfish Part 8 | Panfish Part 9 | Panfish Part10| Panfish Part 11 | Panfish Part 12| Panfish Part 13| Panfish Part 14|

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