Monday, May 26, 2014

Traditions: Minnie Lake, Marriage, and Fishing and Hunting Buddies.....

Traditions:  Minnie Lake, Marriage, and Fishing and Hunting Buddies.....

I could tell by the voice on the other end of the phone link that it was not good news.  "I can't go to Minnie. My daughter is getting married that week".  There is much less respect for tradition these days and so the annual fishing trip is missed for a once in a lifetime event.  Since I was NOT the father of the bride, Minnie Lake remained a spring tradition for me in 2014.

For many people marriage is a once in the lifetime event.  Unfortunately, though fishing and hunting buddies are almost as important as that "significant other" in life, you tend to go through many more of them in life.

There are many books on marriage and one can even argue that the Bible is really a book about marriage. For some reason, there a far, far fewer books on fishing and hunting buddies.  I suppose the current leading expert on this subject is Patrick McManus. His outdoor stories almost always revolve around the fishing and hunting buddy named Rancid Crabtree. As a role model Rancid leaves something to be desired as a fishing and hunting buddy. The good news is that fishing and hunting is NOT about good role models.

Wives and hunting buddies have a lot in common.  A bad wife can make a lifetime seem like eternity, while a bad hunting buddy can turn a short lifetime into eternity with one badly timed shot.  It is just as important to spend time selecting a hunting buddy as it is a partner for life.  Maybe more the dog starts working a pheasant I always keep an ear out for the click of the safety. If I hear that click "early" that is enough to drop the person off the list for a "second" hunting trip.

Finding a partner for life is usually a private matter between two people.Yes, families have some influence, but unless there are children involved from a previous marriage it pretty much is between two people. Not so with a hunting buddy. It is likely that there will be four of you involved since your DOGS will have to get along with each other and you as well.

I ran into a guy that seemed like a pretty good match for a fishing and hunting buddy. My dog even liked him! Actually, I think my dog preferred him to me.  Unfortunately, for her his dog did not care for either me or her. Once, on the boat his dog slowly maneuvered until she with a little ceremony shoved my dog off the boat and into the lake. I knew it was over at that point.

At some point in life your wife will become more concerned about your current fishing and hunting buddy than old girlfriends. You will know when you get that awkward phone call from a girlfriend you have not seen in almost 40 years. The question you get from your wife will be "does she have any grandchildren?". Take a phone call from your fishing and hunting buddy and when you come back into the room the accusations will start flying. "So what are you two cooking up now?  Where and when are you planning on running off to now?? You spend more time with him than me. When are we going to do something together??".

And so it was that I left Wenatchee and drove to Minnie Lake by myself. Next to me was a small gray box.

above photo by Tom Jones.....

I remembered the previous spring when peals of laughter greeted me as he landed another fish fishing a bobber (strike indicator) and a very small chironomid fly. His chortling continued throughout the afternoon until he finally caught his 25th fish.  And then the catching stopped and the lake fell quiet.

above photo by Tom Jones......

I anchored myself in the same spot. Reached into the gray box and pulled out a small black and red chironomid. Under a bright red bobber and ten feet of leader it bobbed up and down in the waves. It went down on a fairly consistent basis. That is until I landed my 25th fish and then the catching stopped once again.

Tradition. It is more than walking down an aisle.