I know what people think when I tell them I live in Idaho. Visions of potato farms and cow tipping swirl in a cloud of presumption above their heads. Outsider minds will probably throw in a four door diesel truck with a large rifle duct tapped to the back window along with a ‘I heart Pres. Bush’ bumper sticker plus his and her name emblems on each side window. Is that about right? Be honest beyond Idaho border dwellers…..
Today I thought I’d enhance the vision and give you dinosaurs as well. Recently I discovered free time on my hands and the Hubs and I opted to go fishing. We flipped a coin which means if I win, we go flyfishing, if he wins, we go bait (ack) fishing.
Cue the Snake River and the all mighty Sturgeon fish. There’s a huge difference between flyfishing in a softly moving river for trout, size 12 to 20 inches vs. taking on the black swirling vortex of potential death called the Snake River and all that lives out in those evil waters. Hooking a 9 foot monster sturgeon that becomes instantly and irrationally pissed is on a level that does not coincide with the tranquility of say…..”A River Runs through It” ……
When you catch one it’s instant buckle down and hold on for your life. You strap on a hip belt so the end of the pole doesn’t, in a females case, crush an ovary or puncture a uterus and in the case of men, they strap on the belt so they can still claim fully intact Male after the ordeal.
I’ll admit……It isn’t even a pleasant time, not in a ‘I derived pure joy’ sort of way. Sure we have the first 5 minutes of excitement, the initial call out, “Fish On” usually followed by an impressive set of sturgeon aerial stunt work, but after a few minutes it becomes a test of strength and mental will power. Fighting a 200 lb fish that is using the current to it’s advantage makes for numb hands and jello arms. It’s pure pain actually.
After 15, 20, 30 minutes of that sort of fun, the experience (and back pain) reminds me of childbirth. I have no idea what men compare the experience to…..a 40 minute episode on the throne in the bathroom?? Anyway, I become silent and focused. I can hear people encouraging me along, but all I really want is a safe cozy blanket and some apple juice. It becomes, she who talks first, loses all sense of sanity and cries Uncle. But, the last thing I would ever, ever, do, is admit defeat to the male egos around me who constantly ask if I’m doing ok…. No freakin way. I’d let the pole and fish rip my arms out and sacrifice them both to the river Gods before I asked for relief or help. No stubborn pride in me, nope, none…….
The finale, and fisherman are stubborn about this, is once the fish is at the bank and wore out, the exhausted fisherman is forced to relinquish their pole to another and slide their hand inside the Dinosaurs mouth for a quick picture and release. If you don’t do this official rite of passage your entire torture experience is null and void. You’ll get zero credit for pain and suffering. Fisherman’s rules.(Men must come up with these notions)
So after giving birth to this monster (actually getting it to the bank) I climbed down the rocks and attempted to perform the obligatory tasks. Well, let me tell ya, I put my hand in that vile toothless mouth (task and credit complete, yay me), started to flip it over and that fish had the audacity to beat the crap out of me before a good picture could be taken. Instantly soaked through and through.
Good times, good times………