The last 2 weeks have been brutal. Our four bordering states (Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, and Minnesota) have been rained out and all rivers are swollen. It’s bad enough to live in Illinois, but to be forced to be here, quarantined from the passion, is even worse. It has been a painful wait to fish the bloated waters that haunt our daydreams. The fix to our uncontrollable addiction remains allusive. My father becomes increasingly obnoxious as we are both forced to spend our days with the none fishing human population. With land dwellers that use words and phrases like internet, spreadsheets, or “would you like ketchup on that hot dog?”
Man, are we sick of people asking us, “Do you fish with worms?” Dad’s common answer, “No, my ex-wife doesn’t fish.”
I know it’s really bad when Dad starts to look at women. My fear is he has traded his mattressed field and stream, Bassin, American Angler, and Southwest Fly Fishing for Playboy, penthouse, and hustler. Dad, put down the boobies and pick up your rod. Nope that’s the wrong rod…
On my current hunt for a job I woke up sharply at 5am and found myself putting on my wader boots for a job interview. It wasn’t until I finished my second cup of coffee halfway there that I realized how my black suit clashed with my khaki field green and brown lace-up felt-bottoms. Orvis and Brooks Brothers never look good together. Note to self, less alcohol the night before an interview.
Caught my dad at a shopping center retention pond catching bluegills. I had to drag him away as two Polish ladies carrying sales bags watched horrified. Surprisingly, they were intrigued and studied the pond hoping to find a sale there too. Sorry ladies, this shop has been cleaned out. Dad screamed, “NO, Ac wait, leave me, bluegills love beetlespins, just one more yellow beetlespin… BEETLESPIN, BEETLESPIN, BEETLESPIN! A slap to the face sobered him, “Dad, get a hold of yourself, you were sloppy, think roll cast, think man think.” He responds, “Thanks Ac, I needed that.”
On our way back from the center, we reminisce how we missed the 3 days we hated (2 years back), trapped in the boundary waters by white caps where each row of the paddle took us waves back. Oh how we wished to be there now.
One advantage to swollen rivers is we have had the chance to re-line our reels. Yes folks, 1 of our 30 reels has been re-lined after a matter of 5 minutes. Thats about as much time as a post-college grad job seeker and 50 hours per week rent a car VP has.
But, you will be pleased to know that we are planning on visiting our favortite spot ******** this Sunday (Sorry people, if we tell you we’d have to kill you) The rain has ceased and the river level is at a current 8.85, we are hoping for clear skies and a level of 8.50. Yes, while you all are gorging on July 3rd festivities and watching your kids light firecrackers up the dog’s ass, We, the RiverBums, will be in paradise.
“Paradise is seldom recognized as such until it is considered from the outside.” (Herman Hesse)
Oh and we have been outsiders for far too long people. 2 weeks and we are practically out casts. Speaking of casts, we are ready to get wet… until next time, we’ll see ya on the other side of the river.
Ac and Dad