Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Hobo Camp? What hobo camp?

Last night a friend (who has asked to remain anonymous for reasons of national security) and I decided to hit the river and see what we could find swimming in the waters.  Before we hit the river with our rods, we needed to get bait, so I remembered what my good friend Dan mentioned about getting bait down at Anncarrows Landing.  Lets see, he said, park to the right of the boat ramp, follow the path around to the right, pass the hobo camp, a little further down you will pass their piss bucket, then you will come up on a clearing where you can net lots of fish by the discharge.  Now, I have known Dan for a few years and I knew that he has a dry wit about him and he likes to flavor a story a bit with bouts of hyperbole and various other verbal spices.  So my friend, we will call him Agent X, and I began to walk down the path.  As we turn a bend and round the corner of a thicket of trees, no shit, there it stood.  In all it's splendor, was the hobo camp.  Now I didn't want to disturb it's inhabitants because having not run into this species of mammal before, I was unsure how it would react to us nosing around the camp.  At the same time, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to document this species in it's natural environment.  Alas, the illusive hobo would not exit it's shelter, however, I was able to document it's nest.

Many apologies for the blurry nature of the image, but I was moving quickly as to not alarm the hobo(s) as I had come unprepared to present an offering.  Next time I will prepare with a quick stop to the ABC store.

Anyway, after throwing my net many times to little success by the discharge, we returned to the ramp.  My arm was beginning to tire from multiple throws from the cast net and unfortunately threw the first couple throws rather poorly.  It was at that time that I heard the voice of an Anncarrows siren.  It was a voice that beckoned from above in an accent and cadence that confused me as it was not accompanied by banjos as I was so used to.  The voice said, "Hey man, you aint gonna get no fish like dat.  Gimme that there net and I'll get some of them der fish."  So I figured, what the hell, and let him have the net to do his best.  The first throw was about as atrocious as the two that I had.  He said, "Damn man, I gotta get down there, I'll be right der and Imma gonna get some of dem der fish."  I figured, whats the harm.  So he came down.  Now this is where it was interesting, he really wasn't that good at throwing the net but he had an ego that told him that damnit, he was the man.  Also, if he was able to throw one good one every four or so throws, I was more than willing to let him tire out to feed his ego.......and my bait bucket.  So after a while, we had several bluegill, perch, river minnows, and a gizzard shad.  We were ready.  We thanked the lad and were on our way.

We headed down to the Mayo bridge.  Now when we got there, the bridge smelled like a turd.  Not like when people say "Oh it smells like shit here", but it really smells like old food or some other not really fecal matter smelling item.  No this actually smelled like a log of fecal matter.  I don't know what is wrong with this city, but damn it was nasty.  We set up to fish anyway.  After a bit of a wait, Agent X had his rod go off.  He fought for a bit and then brought in a nice 20"ish blue cat.

After catching it, he asked what he should do with it, and I advised him to present it as an offering to the overseers of the bridge and pointed to the fella with a 5 gallon bucket to our right.  Agent X made the offering and the overseer was pleased and allowed us to stay.  Within a few minutes of catching that fish, Agent X was bowed up again.  And like before, Agent X lands another blue cat.  

Unfortunately, that would be the last of the fish for the night.  Before leaving, Agent X hooked up again, and this time it was something huge.  However, in and effort to bring him to the surface, Agent X tightened the drag a bit too much and the river monster broke free, taking a nice piece of jewelry dangling from it's lip.  

All in all it was a great night on the water.  I caught nothing, but was pleased to spend such a great night with my friend Agent X.  It was great seeing the joy in his face with each strike he got.  

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