A Fashion Statement Run Through It!
Adventures with a fly rod.
Some sports that appear completely harmless can be hazardous to your health.
A good example would be flyfishing. To the casual observer, flyfishing looks
peaceful and serene, not a chance for injury. In reality, flyfishing can be dangerous,
especially if you're just beginning to learn the sport. A fine example of hazardous
flyfishing would be my friend Tom. Not that Tom was the hazard, but one of his
early encounters with a fly rod was seriously hazardous.
Tom is a great guy who pursues any new sport with a passion. He's also as
stubborn as a Kentucky mule. After a few short casting lessons, he was able
to handle casting to Black Hills trout with ease. Considering flyfishing to be
a conquered sport, he decided to take a trip to the Bighorn River in Montana
for a chance at some real big fish. A great idea, but he wasn't quite prepared
for the hazards that awaited him on the 'big river'.
It was rather windy the day Tom arrived on the river. The fact that most of the
normal fishermen had retreated to the local watering hole to wait out the weather
didn't seem to bother him at all. He wasn't even concerned when the fly shop
owner where he rented a river boat cautioned him about the wind. After all,
he was a master fly fisherman with at least several days experience under his
belt. A quick lesson in tandem fly rigging, and Tom was off to the river to
tame the monster trout that were waiting for him.
The first hard lesson Tom had to learn was how to duck. On every cast, the
wind pushed his fly line and extremely sharp flies back into his face. By the
time he had completed five casts, he had four flies firmly embedded in the
skin of his face and ears. Most fishermen would have quit by this time, but
not Tom. Like I said, he's very stubborn.
Another lesson he learned the hard way was the need to crimp the barb
down on his flies. The first four flies to penetrate his skin had plenty of barb
on them, enough to require the assistance of another person. Since no other
person was dedicated enough to be fishing in that much wind, Tom clipped
the line, crimped the barbs down on his remaining flies, and kept on fishing.
See, I told you he was stubborn.
In the next few hours, Tom learned to duck enough that the line passed over
his head. Now, instead of impaling his skin with flies, the flies and leader were
getting tangled in his hair, leaving tightly wrapped curls of hair with flies sticking
out of the ends of each tangle. Tom was beginning to look pretty strange.
He was also running out of flies.
After about four hours, Tom was down to one fly and he still hadn't caught a fish.
By then he was seriously discouraged, but determined to catch something besides
himself before the day was done. And, that's exactly what he did! His final cast,
or back cast in this case, managed to snag a big Angus bull in the nose. The
resulting chase looked something like a Mexican bull fight with the bull winning
every round. Finally, Tom managed to escape with a broken fly rod and clothes
that were shredded beyond recognition. It seemed like a good time to give up
and get some help with the task of removing flies from his skin.
As Tom walked into the fly shop, where he knew he would find someone with
hook removal skills, he met a couple of young gentlemen with gold ornaments
intentionally poking through their skin. One of the young men looked at the
other and remarked, "Now, that's cool." There was a silver lining to the dark
cloud that had been raining on Tom all day. Tom didn't know it but he was
making a fashion statement. The two young men followed him into the shop
and asked him where he'd obtained those outstanding piercings of angler design.
Then one of them paid him two hundred bucks for the "awesome" clothes he
was wearing and the other one offered him a hundred and fifty if he would
show them how to create those great dreadlocks with the flies sticking out of them. ~ Al
Lighter Side Archive