December 7, 2020
A Bucket List Check-Off … Sort of
Did the term “Bucket List” even exist before the Jack Nicholson / Morgan Freeman 2008 movie of that name? If not, what did we used to call “stuff I want to do someday”? … just “stuff I want to do someday”?
Last week I enjoyed a special experience that might not have been on my Top Ten “Do Someday” List … but, upon being invited to do so … was promptly placed there … and summarily “checked off” upon completion.
I was invited by BobLee Buddy Bo to…
Go Fly Fishing in a private trout stream in Western NC.
As you know, I have, over the past 5-6 months, become somewhat of a zealot in my passion for “fishing”. But the fishing I have done locally in ponds and lakes for bass and “panfish” is to “fly fishing” as “playing slow-pitch softball” might be to “playing golf”. While both softball and golf involve swinging a club … the techniques involved are totally different.
Fly fishermen – with the exception of BL Buddy Bo – tend to be “snobbish” when comparing their “elite” avocation to the rest of the fishing community… in the way that a Formula One driver might perceive a NASCAR driver. That has nothing to do with the delightful experience Bo and I had Saturday week. Just thought I would provide a bit of context.
Bo had all the specialized equipment – waders, boots, fly rods/reels, flies – and in-depth knowledge of where we would be fishing … behind two separate locked-gates and several miles down a rambling “two-track” including several “fordings”of the stream / river.
I expect everyone who visits this location makes reference to Deliverance due to its remoteness. Millions of years of water and gravity has carved out a beautiful forested chasm with a portion of the Yadkin River suitable for an Orvis brochure.
Bo gave me a 30-minute “how to” since I had never held a fly rod in my life. Imagine never holding a golf club and being given a 30-minute lesson on the driving range before teeing off at Augusta ???
30-minutes after Bo’s 30-minute “how to” I caught a 10″ rainbow trout. Keeping with the golf analogy … I birdied #1 at Augusta. Damn, this Fly Fishing isn’t so complicated.
If “Did you catch anything” is the only measure of a fishing experience – It Isn’t – then the rest of the day I was playing with house money.
Catching that 10″ “rainbow” was very cool but was NOT among the Top Two Highlights of the day.
In no particular order … those Highlights were … Managing to Not Fall Down in The Stream … and Getting to know Bo better … and see the passion he has for Fly Fishing … and For His Family.
Do not dismiss “… not falling down” unless you have waded mid-thigh-deep down a fast moving stream filled with slippery rocks while wearing the equivalent of a Fishing HazMat suit.
As for “Bo and his passions” … I am at that point in my life where I can be very selective with whom I choose to spend my time. Bo Thomas met every qualifying criteria and then some. We met 15+ years ago on a Fall Saturday in Kenan Stadium back when it was named for “the racist” and not for “son of the racist”.
When I was not concentrating on NOT falling down … Bo and I discussed and concurred on darn near every topic imaginable. He has been a long time BLSays enjoyer so most of my opinions were already on-the-table.
Yes, we share a concern that “America” is a smidgen away from “going Thelma & Louise” and there is not much he or I can do about it… so let’s go fly fishing in a beautiful setting in Western NC. Bo is also addicted to audiobooks and we share many of the same favorite authors.
Bo is also very proud of his wife of 40+ years and their two adult sons. A man talking glowingly – NOT Bragging – there IS a difference! – about his family may seem like “a given” to most of you. It really isn’t. But it oughta be.
You may recall that I gave up golf because 5-6 hours of what passes for “typical guy talk” depresses the hell out of me.
We spent almost 12 hours together – just the two of us and Mother Nature – and yes – “America going down the toilet” – IS a bummer but that aside … we shared life experiences and random thoughts that reaffirmed there ARE enough “good people” left to share a lifeboat with as The Titanic’s orchestra plays Nearer My God To Thee.
Who knows? This may have been my one & only Fly Fishing experience. It was “a good one”.
Now I can concentrate on Running With The Bulls at Pamplona and Climbing The Matterhorn.
I notice that Mack’s Boys had their names back on their jerseys this past Saturday. Was the “Social Justice” Thingie just for the national audience for the Notre Dame game? I wonder if Mack has any criteria for what can / cannot be “said” on the back of a UNC Football jersey? Would “Rich White Rams Are Racist” be allowed? Does Mack have a clue what Black Lives Matter is REALLY about? For sure “Ol Roy” doesn’t have a clue. Can Roy even spell BLM? Oh well … it’s all about blowing smoke up the butts of semi-literate 17 y/os … right Coach?
Am I the only one who thinks this convoluted College FB season is “a Bobby Ewing Shower Scene” or, at best, just a bunch of meaningless exhibition games? Did The NFL Season ever start?
My apology AGAIN for so long between BLSays commentaries. I PROMISE to do better.
A show of hands of everyone having their THIRD Cornea Transplant this Tuesday morning at 7:30. Huh … I must be the only one.
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