Put On Your Big Boy Pants, There’s a Storm a Brewin’

30 Jul

In my mind, this post was supposed to be a gear review for the new Simms/Vibram soles.  My boss gave me a new pair of Vibram G4’s because they didn’t fit him (new G4’s for free, shooot).  I am a size 11 and the new boots are a 13, but free boots are free boots and now I can authoritatively state that I will shove my size 13 up your ass if you low hole me (not to mention the manhood implications of telling the ladies I wear a size 13 G4).  Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to try them out yet due to my unending shop monkey duties.  This is not to say I haven’t been on the rivers lately.  The Watauga is finally starting to fish like the river I have come to know and love with our little wiggly friends eating all kinds of mayfly dries and emergers.  

Bugs are icky

Bugs are icky...and my arm is hairy

The Davidson has been well…the Davidson: too many folks, tiny flies, tiny tippet, and huge fish.  With my day off yesterday (first one in almost two weeks) I joined my neighbor for a Gilligan-like French Broad float.  A three-hour tour would have been a welcome reprieve when compared to the five-hour beating we took from the biblical storm that followed us all the way down the river.  At this point I will interject that the weatherman is either a complete douche that can’t read a radar or needs to seriously revisit his elementary school math book in order to figure out what a 30% chance means.  The day started off nice enough.  The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and a moderate bikini hatch was just intense enough to take my mind off the slow fishing in stained water.   A few clouds were on the horizon, but it seemed like we might just stay ahead of the monsoon.  This thinking was in no way rational, but completely based on a Scientology-like belief in the karmic nature of good weather on a guide’s day off. This belief has been proven wrong time and time again and the next time I suggest it please feel free to set me straight by kicking me square in the junk.  The few inevitable moments before a couple of guys get hit by a storm on the river serves as an interesting sociological exercise in what I like to call “dude thinking.”  I have found through my years on the river that no matter who the guys in the boat are, the stages of dude thinking are the same and remarkably similar to the stages of grief.


First comes denial.  This stage usually involves us looking at the sky and stating, “I think it just might miss us.”  This statement is not based on reality, reliable information, or anything else besides the childlike hope that everything will work out all the time.  I heard myself in the denial stage for most of the first hour yesterday.  I convinced myself that we were somehow going to beat the northern edge of the storm downriver and that it would probably skirt to the south of us.  After an hour, this rationale was proven emphatically wrong and I was proven to be an idiot.

Not too far behind denial, anger rears its ugly head.  Once I have fully crossed into the anger stage, the hate is officially flying.  I hate the weatherman (as stated above I really hate that guy), I hate getting rained on, I hate thinking that a death by lightning is right around the corner, and I especially hate the fact that I am still four miles from the takeout with no end in sight no matter how hard I row.  Oh yeah, did mention I hate rowing constantly?  The pinnacle of my anger usually manifests itself with rigorous fist shaking, a barbaric yop, followed by the speaking of tongues in what sounds like a three-pack-a-day smoker’s whisper.

Bargaining…oh…bargaining.  Bargaining during a storm is not unlike the crackhead who promises to go to rehab right after he smokes that last rock.  You, me, and Pooky know that there’s gonna be another rock, and another, and maybe even one more just for old time’s sake.  The cruel mistress I call weather knows it, too, and no matter how much I beg and plead like a child for a puppy, the storm never lets up and I never get a puppy. NEVER.

Melancholy is knocking and he brought his friend depression with him.  Once the skies have opened, the radar has been checked and all hope has been lost, it gets to be a little like an afternoon in Debbie Downer’s basement doing craft projects.  The rain hoods are up, silence abounds, and everyone is wondering if there is any way to end this madness.  The answer is no, because the great thing about floating rivers is that once you put in you are committed and the only way out is onward and upward. 

Well shit, we might as well keep fishing.  This really is the conclusion that I always reach.  It’s gonna rain whether we fish or not.  We’re on a  boat, on a river, with fish in it. Not to fish seems kind of like going to Vegas and not catching the clap from a Laotian lady of the night.  The weird thing is that more often than not this pissing into the wind mentality is rewarded with something spectacular.  Yesterday was no different as the smile on my neighbor Lloyd’s face and the bronze baby’s arm he’s hoisting clearly demonstrates.


Basstacular ain't she

That is just plain Basstacular

 Next time I explore the wild wonderful world of rubber, and maybe lambskin,


2 Responses to “Put On Your Big Boy Pants, There’s a Storm a Brewin’”

  1. Wookie July 30, 2009 at 4:04 AM #


    • Nymph-o July 30, 2009 at 11:39 AM #

      Thanks wook, if I remember correctly you have a pretty mouth?

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