Friday, July 29, 2011

Fishing on the West Walker River

My son and I went fishing on a Friday since thunderstorms are supposed to roll in this weekend. I fed the horses their breakfast and lunch before we left and did a good job of hiding hay in places where they normally wouldn't look for it, in hopes that they wouldn't gorge themselves. I had to leave the dogs indoors, otherwise Scrappy barks non-stop and drives the neighbors crazy. I hoped they would be able to hold their potty needs for most of the day, and if not, I'd be willing to clean up the mess just for one day in which I can commune with nature.

The early morning was nice and quiet, but by 9:00 AM the tourists started rolling in doing that "monkey see -- monkey do" routine that I love so much. Every time I found a nice secluded spot for us to fish, some dufus in a Winnebago would pull off the road and park right behind me. The side door would open up and out would pour all these kids who proceeded to invade our fishing hole in every obnoxious way they could invent.

It's probably time that I offer up one of my etiquette courses for tourists. I know no one reading my blog needs to be educated in this manner, but for now it is my only platform.

1. Most people go fishing because they enjoy being alone, so if you see someone fishing, steer clear and give him his space.
2. If you throw rocks into a river right where someone is fishing, you scare all the fish away.
3. If you go swimming in a river right where someone is fishing, you scare all the fish away.
4. If you stand on the river bank above the river and yell out nosy questions to a fisherman, you just piss him off because your voice and shadow are scaring all the fish away.
5. If there are 30 miles of river alongside a road, it is not necessary to park right next to other people. Spread out.

As usual, Colt wasn't getting any bites, so he asked if he could go swimming instead of fishing. I was done fishing and there were no other fishermen nearby, so I told him to go ahead. Next thing I knew he was caught in a current and being dragged downstream. I freaked. He grabbed onto a rock on the other side of the river bank, climbed up and started fishing from over there. I didn't realize he had his fishing pole with him. He didn't bring swim trunks, so he was out there in wet boxers when another load of tourists drove up. Sigh.

I told him he might want to swim back and get dressed before they start climbing down the hillside toward us. However, we both realized that he was in a bit of a conundrum, because the water was very deep beside the rock and the current was strong enough to sweep him away. I told him to swim hard for my side of the bank and I would run alongside and jump in if he got into trouble. There was one other instruction I meant to give him, but forgot.

He jumped in and was swimming toward my side of the bank, but the current was carrying him swiftly downstream toward the white water. That was when I remembered my other instruction: If you get into trouble, just drop the pole. My son managed to stand up on some rocks in the middle of the river, and then wade across the rest of the way. He emerged in his wet boxers and said, "I'm dropping my pants right here and putting on my dry jeans, so turn around."

I said, "No! People are coming."

He looked up and sure enough all these people were emerging from the bushes. My son hurried off for some distant bushes and changed there. I kind of stood guard to try to stop anyone from heading that way. When I saw he successfully changed and was heading back, I turned around and practically tripped over a lady who set up her chair right next to me and my fishing gear. She just smiled and said, "This place is so beautiful."

I agreed, gathered my stuff and promptly left. This beach we were on was about the length of a football field. There was no need for her to take my space. Perhaps she wanted to socialize, but that's what cities are for. People who go to the mountains to fish want their solitude.

Each time we got chased out of one hole, we got in our car and moved further downstream in search of a new hole with no people around, but usually within a matter of minutes someone would spot our car and decide we must know something they don't, and pull over to take a look at what we are doing. Both my son and I were getting very practiced at puffing ourselves up big and giving people a look that says, "Back off."

The good news is that I probably caught a dozen rainbow trout. The bad news is that all but two got away. I need to use barbed hooks next time. My son didn't believe me when I kept telling him I caught and lost another one, because he wasn't getting any bites. We finally teamed up with him crouching at the bank with a net while I cast my line in, and he helped me net the second one just before it fell off the hook. We ended up with one 14" and one 12" trout. I know I had one on the line that must have been at least 15", but just couldn't grab my net fast enough.

On the way home some Californian in a Mercedes sports car blasted past a long line of cars in the oncoming lane going about 100 MPH in a 55 MPH zone. I was pissed, because I had to drive past the scenes of two fatal accidents caused by people driving in the oncoming lane today. Anyway, we got into a double solid yellow line zone and the guy was still in the oncoming lane passing cars.

I let out whoop when we came over a hill and there was a cop on the side of the road. He immediately put his lights on, and the driver of the Mercedes just automatically pulled over in front of him. The cop didn't even have to drive out into traffic and get behind the guy. He just sat on the side of the road with his lights on and the offender came to him. It was hilarious.

So we got home and weren't even home for five minutes, and I walked out of the house into the garage to find my nosy neighbor idling in her car at the end of my driveway staring into my garage as if trying to figure out where we went. I mouthed, "What the hell do you want?" at her, and she rolled forward behind my trees, but then just sat there in front of my house in her car. So, I ran inside to get my camera, but by the time I got out there to start photographing her doing surveillance on my house, she drove off. What a sad life she must have to be so engrossed in having to know where her neighbors have been.  If she read my blog, she'd know everything and not have to snoop around in my garage.


Mikey said...

Lol, what a crazy day! Your son swam that?! Yikes!
Had to laugh at your rules too. You'd think people would know that. I've never had people get that close to me fishing, ever. Yeah, use barbed hooks and start casting wildly, that ought to clear a circle around you :)
Nice trout too!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Mikey - Ha ha! Perfect advice. I forgot to mention at the end of my post that despite not being able to keep a hook in a fish's mouth, I hooked myself plenty of times.

Leah Fry said...

That's gotta be hard, living in a continuously invaded Paradise. It was like that when I lived in Vegas, but, hey, it's Vegas, and one expects that.

Nice fish!

Cheryl Ann said...

We've come across fishermen(and women) in the Sierra and we just quietly back off and leave them alone! We don't like people around us, either! Oh, and speaking of IDIOT DRIVERS...I drove up the mountain road yesterday to take pics of the thunderheads and SOME IDIOT tailgaited me until I could pull off and let him pass! I yelled at him, he flipped me off...stupid, stupid, stupid...he went off driving 70 mph down the mountain. I'm surprised I didn't see him crashed at some point!

Mary said...

I am scratching my head trying to figure out when it became OK to just set up "shop" right next to you when there are so many other quiet or similar spots they could go. I hate that, Iusually go to places like that for the quiet, not for another mind numbing converstation. Some people just don't get it it. I like Mikey's idea, flailing your rod around irractically, or you could start talking jibberish and have crazy eyes, so the idiots will back off.

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

'If she read my blog, she'd know everything and not have to snoop around in my garage.'

OMG...Too funny!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Great idea. Leave a business card on their front door with your blog addie on it. Love it! Maybe they'll even leave you some comments. lol!

I think you should take a tape player/radio with you...not to play it for yourselves, but to turn it on when nosy people show up and try to crowd you out. Play some loud, obnoxious rap music or some opera until the people leave in disgust. lol!

Love the story of the fish that got away. heheh! And what pretty fish! Did they taste good?


achieve1dream said...

Ha I like Mikey's idea! That should work perfectly. Heck the spot behind your barn would make a nice casting practice spot and the mail box and the garage lol. :D

I'm glad you guys had fun despite the obnoxious tourists. Those are some nice looking trout you caught.