(Knowing which day of the week it is has a different significance to me than it does to most other working stiffs. I must keep track, somewhere in the back of my tiny mind, but other than to check which camps need to be made ready by 4:00 p.m. I don’t really need to know. As far as most members of the Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society are concerned, my work week begins the moment of their arrival, no matter the day, so I labor while they recreate and what everyone else knows as Friday has become just another day of making beds.)
That is just my way of saying that, with the season underway at Fish in a Barrel Pond, Flashbacks can occur at any time.)
I must point out, now and then, that the Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society and Fish in a Barrel Pond are figments of Quill Gordon’s imagination. I should further point out that Quill Gordon is also a figment. In other words, with the exception of gear reviews and nature writing, most of what appears in this blog is (mostly) fiction. The thing about fiction is that it must be believable and, with the good folks I associate with as an ever-flowing source of material and inspiration, if I were to share the stories of what I really see and hear you would think I was just making stuff up.
There are elements to certain stories we all can relate to. True or not, tales of young boys and large fish are near universal.
Even the goofiest anglers among us get lucky sometimes.
And who knows how many times someone was making breakfast when his buddy tied into a good one, causing him to drop the eggs in the water?
In someone’s defense, he was probably worn out from lugging the coffee pot, heavy cast iron pan and double-bit axe all the way down to the river.
Of course, slippery rocks and inattention have caused their share of spills and the stories are still told, buffed and polished over time.
These stories have a familiar feel no matter who is telling them. We can relate to them, or at least imagine them as true, and many fishing-related stories are simply variations on a theme. So, what does a writer of fiction do when confronted with something entirely new, previously unimagined and difficult to believe?
He tells the truth as best he can:
The aluminum boats at Fish in a Barrel Pond are pulled up onto a ramp when not in use. After mounting their electric trolling motor on the transom, with the stern in the water, for most anglers it is a simple matter to push their boat part-way down the ramp and climb in as it floats free. For three anglers this week, getting launched took a bit more effort.
I watched as one man mounted the motor while man number two threw rods, nets and other miscellaneous gear into the boat. Man number three stood by, waving his arms at a swarm of black flies. When all was in order, they climbed in with man number one astern at the tiller, man number two amidship among the gear and man number three in the bow, eating a sandwich. Man number one gave the control a turn to reverse and said, “Here we go!” but nothing happened. He turned the control to the next highest speed with the same result so he cranked it up to the next and still got nowhere fast.
The men seemed baffled but they are new here so I gave them a chance to figure it out for themselves. They all three tried shifting their weight by rocking back and forth and when that didn’t work they rocked harder. With two thirds of the boat held down on the ramp by the weight of the men the little electric motor didn’t stand a chance of pulling them off, no matter how hard they rocked — which got to be pretty hard.
They were still rocking and had begun to curse at one another when I arrived and gave them the extra push they needed to get afloat. Off they went, happy fishing buddies again, and there I stood, wishing I had made it up so I could have at least put those dummies in the drink.
The truth may make me free but fiction is a lot more fun.