The pick-up truck leaped along the two-track at a conservative 50 miles an hour. A half-smoked pack of cigars bounced across the dashboard sprinkling tobacco into small pools of spilt coffee. Drake, the driver of the truck, stared straight ahead and puffed on a Backwoods cigar as he steered his contraption down the road. I did my imitation of a flying duck lawn ornament as I juggled my cup from one hand to another as each was successively burned by spilling coffee.
“So, Drake, (Ow!) do you (Ow!) think the bluegills will be (Ouch!) bedding up?”
Drake was a cloud of smoke behind the wheel.
“Yup (puff) they should (puff) be getting’ close (puff, puff) to it now”.
Ah, The bluegills on the pads. Drake had picked me up early that morning and taken me to his place where we put some new shocks on his truck. He had only had the truck for a year and it had already seen two sets of shocks. I asked Drake about that once while we were driving vertically up the side of a mountain but he just shrugged his shoulders and put his cigar out in an eagle’s nest. “Bad Luck” was all he offered.
Once we had installed the new shocks (shock being the operative word) we beat a path to The Tackle Shop and ordered the usual.
“Four dozen Crawlers, please”
“ I told you guys before, we don’t sell bait here. This is a football equipment store!”
“Oh yeah, sorry”
After stopping by Jake’s Live Bait for coffee, cigars, and worms we were headed down a seasonal road (mostly seasoned by pieces of Drake’s trucks underbody) and talking happily about the prospects of catching some monster bluegills for supper. Some people get nervous when riding with Drake but I have found that when I become agitated and worried I just hum a simple little tune to calm me down.
As we careened along I calmly pointed out obstacles in the road to Drake.
“OH MY GOD, WATCH OUT”
“I (puff) see (puff) it!
“Whew, I thought we were going to hit that pine tree. It’s funny how you can’t see things until they’re right in front of you with all that mud built up on the windshield three inches thick. Ha, Ha, I bet you thought I was really scared didn’t ya Drake? Ha, Ha.
“Yeah these roads are awfully muddy, say, stop that annoying humming will ya?”
After putting several laws of Physics to the test we arrived at the lake.
We carried our gear to the shore and began rigging up our poles. Drake walked down shore to his favorite spot, where some old tree stumps stuck out of about four feet of water. He was visible as a cloud of smoke wearing flannel about 100 yards away. Having moved to my own favorite section of water I began to cast a small spider to some feeding fish about 40 feet in front of me. My line picking up a good rhythm as I cast. One, two, three, snag. One, two, three, snag.
Finally I was able to present a decent fly to the feeding fish. They rudely refused it. I reeled in and stared at the spider loitering at the end of my line. It seemed completely disinterested. What do you expect from a rubber fly? I glanced across the lake to look at Drake. He was casting a worm and bobber combo to some pads a few yards out. His bobber disappeared and Drake set the hook.
Now a few times in my life I have been accused of being the jealous type. A title I feel is unfairly bestowed upon me. I mean, I really didn’t hear Drake calling for a net. And as far as the incident with the cigar and the burned through fishing line – well, I won’t even mention the theory Drake proposed for that.
Several hours and several fish later we were driving back down the road in Drakes truck to the tune of a cold rain drenching everything in it’s path.
“Well Drake, that was some fine fishing”
“Yeah (puff) it sure was”
“Wasn’t it funny how I burned your line like that?”
“Yeah (puff) funny”
“And when I didn’t hear you calling for the net”
“And that business with the spilled whisky”
“So is there any chance of you pullin’ over so I can hop back into the cab with you?”