“These bolts aren’t long enough to secure the lean bar…”
“Here, use the ones from the rear section of the frame, they’re long enough, I probably got them mixed up, I don’t remember which ones are supposed to go where sometimes…”
That fateful conversation put events into motion that would later haunt my unfortunate angling partner. You see, instead of using a bolt and nut to secure the leaning bar, I encouraged him to use springer clips instead. That was very poor advice.
We push off to begin our 13 mile float, the weather is 34 degrees and spirits are high. I row us into the current and yell to the front of the boat, “If you don’t start fishing, I’m going to kick you out of this boat.”
As Mr. Nick stands to make his first cast and leans into the bar. What follows was an acrobatic display for the ages. Plunging head first into the stream he luckily avoids a large boulder, while I proceed to run him over with the boat.
Sorry comrade, I didn’t do that on purpose, but things like that happen to me. Fair warning for the future.
We empty his waders as best we can, I offer him my jacket to at least make sure he doesn’t freeze to death. We still have 12.95 miles left on the float after all. He refuses my offerings, afraid that it would result in more “mishaps” downriver.
6 hours later, the day is coming to a close, conditions are tough with snow and rain beating us throughout the day. I only have a few casts left in my arm and Mr. Nick has one more set of obstacles to maneuver through.
Just as he commits to his line, a scream from behind alerts me to trouble. I turn around and a finger is pointing back towards the front of the boat, “BAG! BAG! YOUR F*CKING BAG!”
Sure enough, my gear bag is floating 15 yards off our stern, and taking on water fast. I instinctively throw the only accurate cast all day, landing the Barr’s Bouface a foot past the sinking bag that represents my lifetime collection of flies.
A hard strip set and I have the largest catch of the day. I revert to my training, attempting to keep the bag above water, forcing it to the surface while testing the limits of the rod. Eventually the bag is retrieved, minus a few incidental items.
We will never know for certain if my partner did it on purpose, he swears he did not. Then again, I swore to him that I didn’t throw him overboard on purpose…