FISHING WITH FROG II
I decided to join Frog and Catfish on this year’s annual fly fishing trip to Western Maryland. If you read my blog on “Fishing with Frog” you know why I had trepidations about this trip. It turns out my fears of a tortuous excursion were well founded. As difficult as the trip was, the rewards were greater than my expectations. Netting it all out, my participation in next year’s trip is again in doubt.
This year we were joined by another old fraternity friend, Marty to most, Fruitboots to his special education students, Mr. Kurtyka to neighborhood six year olds. Marty is relatively new to fly fishing, but is a serious hunter-outdoorsman.
Also joining the group was Al Guy, the previously unseen benefactor of the cabin on the lake where we have stayed for free these many years. Al is an artist by profession, but he is equally passionate about hunting and fishing.
Marty, Catfish and I all met up at Frog’s house in central Maryland Wednesday evening. We feasted on medallions of freshly shot venison which got us in the hunter/fisherman mode, and then piled into Marty’s minivan and headed for the streams of Western Maryland. We would meet up with Al at the cabin the next night.
Traveling with outdoorsmen is very interesting. There is something in their genes which causes them to gravitate to maps. Frog, Catfish and Marty analyzed the map at every turn. We had a Garmin GPS with us, but Miss Garmin was not to be trusted, and her “turn left one hundred yards” instructions were often ignored. “Recalculating” was a common Miss Garmin exclamation.
Keep in mind, Frog and Catfish have made this same trip every year for the past ten years; still they needed the map and fought over which route would be the fastest.
Frog would start the discussion. “We should take 68 west, and turn off at Chicken Lick Road, hook a left at Old Gut Rot Drive, cross over Wadenobbi Gulch and then catch 68 west again to 219 south.”
Catfish was not so sure. “Chicken Lick Road might be a bit rough given all the rain we’ve had this year. I think we could take Gullivers Trail to Hog Nuts Pike, and then turn right at Wadenobbi Gulch to 68 west.
Marty studied the map for about ten minutes and then said “I know where we are; where are we going?”
During all this, we passed Chicken Lick Road and Gullivers Trail. After about ten minutes of deliberating it was decided that rather then turning back to either Chicken Lick or Gullivers, we should just stay on 68 west to 219 south. “Chicken Lick would have been faster though” Frog had to say. “I’m not so sure” said Catfish. “Where are we going?” Marty wanted to know.
This went on all the way to the cabin at Deep Creek. It happened every morning going to Little Sandy’s Diner for breakfast, to Uno’s every night for dinner, to every stream we fished, and to the trip back to Frog’s house when the fishing was done.
Another trait of the outdoorsman is their need to point out every sign of any wild life, and then turn it into a story.
“Look a chipmunk!” Frog would point out. “I was hunting big horn sheep in Montana once, and just as I was about to bag a three hundred pound male a chipmunk ran up my leg and dropped an acorn on my sights. I missed the big horn. I did however, bash that freaking chipmunk with my gun barrel.” Catfish had to point out that chipmunks were eatable, but not too tasty and only good for a bite or two. Marty disagreed. “You know, if you skin them, marinate them in milk for a day, season them well with salt and pepper, shove a garlic clove up its ass, and cook them slowly over a low flame for two hours they make a nice snack.”
Before the trip was over, I learned different ways to prepare chipmunk, groundhog, blue fish, rabbit, moose, pickerel etc.
I prefer to think that anything I eat was developed and prepared in a sanitary laboratory.Part 2 on Wednesday, Part 3 on Friday
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