My thoughts on everything from albacore tuna to zebras
My good WDC friend, sultry, in a comment to my last blog entry, wondered if we ever took along any women on our fishing trips. I felt that the best way to address this query was with another blog. The answer to Valâs question is quite simply, âNo, not if we can help it.â
Next question please.
Okay, Okay, Iâm sure there is at least one or two of you out of theâŚone or two that actually read my blog that would like further explanation.
It started with Pop. The male members of my family have been, for generations, avid outdoorsmen. If one were to delve back into the origins of this, one would find that that was mostly because the women folk wouldnât let the men folk inside, and they much preferred that if they were going to be outside, that they would be in close proximity to water in the hopes that once in a while theyâd fall in and get âcleaned upâ.
In his single days Pop did not lack for fishing partners. He had friends, brothers, nephews and the occasional undercover warden all anxious to accompany him on his piscatorial forays. And then he met my Mom. Mom never saw a fish in her life, except in her Momâs frying pan, let alone actually catching one, until she met my Dad. Iâm not saying she was from some hoighty-toighty, high society family. Quite the contrary, she was first generation American. Both of her parents emigrated from Eastern EuropeâŚback when we natives let foreigners in mostly uncontested.
One of the first fishing trips that my parents took together, while dating, was to the Delaware River for smallmouth bass. My grandfather (Pappy) went along for moral support, and I suspect, to get a good laugh. Once the dust all settled, Mom caught the biggest fish, Pop fell in (He got âcleaned upâ for the month) and PappyâŚgot a good laugh.
Mom was no wilting flower. One time she had waded up pretty far in the river to be able to fish a particular hole. Just as she got settled in and was about to make her first cast, a warden hollered from shore. âMiss, can you come back in here so I can check your license?â Mom, figuring he really wanted to check out her in her bathing suit shot back, âIf you want to see it, youâll have to come out here!â The warden waited a few minutes and upon realizing Mom wasnât going to budge, headed down river to investigate Pop. Pop was busy trying to wade to the New York side of the river out of the Pennsylvania wardenâs grasp.
For some reason, Pop decided to marry Mom. Iâm thinking mostly so she couldnât testify against him in a court of law, but there couldâve been other reasons. After all theyâll celebrate 60 years of marriage this coming July 2nd. And by the way today is Momâs 84th birthday. Now, living in the Poconos, there was no lack, even back then, of places to honeymoon. If that didnât do, there was always Niagara Falls. But Pop had other plans. He had a friend who knew a guy that had a cousin that knew of a great place to go fishingâŚin Canada. You had to fly in.
The marriage ceremony went off smoothly. You might say they got hitched without a hitch. Never mind, I just did. Pop pointed the car northâŚtowards Canada. They made it as far as Watertown, NY the first day and checked into a hotel. Pop walked down the street to the local bar to purchase some liquid libation. Mom waited in the hotel room. Pop went in the bar and met an Army buddy of his from WW II. What are the odds? Mom waited in the hotel room. Pop and the Army buddy relived old times. Mom waited in the hotel room. Pop told the Army buddy he just got married. A round on the house was delivered. Mom waited in the hotel room. (Really, Iâm not making this up.) Pop finally leaves and walks erratically back to the hotel room. Mom, thinking he had left her, was somewhat peeved. Itâs generally thought that itâs not a good idea to tick of a woman of Eastern European extraction, and from what I know that is one-hundred percent correct. No one should ever, ever ask what goes on behind closed doors on a honeymoon and no one, in this case, ever has, but suffice it to say, from that time forward, Pop never left Mom sitting in a hotel room and Mom never worried about Pop leaving her sitting in a hotel room. Iâm not sure who paid for the damages to the furniture.
The next day they arrived in Canada at the little general store where they were to meet the pilot that was to fly them to their fishing paradise. The store clerk informed them that the pilot was in the back but theyâd have to wait for him to sober up first. Mom looked at Pop. Pop was already conditioned to âthe lookâ from the night before. They got in the car and left. To this day there is some dispute as to where they ended up, but as the day grew long, they stumbled upon a place by a lake that had cabins for rent. They inquired within. Yep, a cabin for the week was available. Not only that, but the people that owned the cabins were from Pennsylvania. It was old home week.
They went fishing. Pop hired a Native American guide. Mom caught the biggest fish. The guide hit a rock and sheared the pin on the outboard motor. A storm blew up. Pop fixed the motor with a nail from his tackle box. They went out fishing again. Mom caught the biggest fish. Pop accidentally broke his fishing rod. All too soon the honeymoon was over.
And thatâs how it all started. Fishin with women folk can be a problem, to say the least. Out of respect to my parents I must clarify a few things. While the stories above are for the most part true, Pop was and is a stickler for following the law so no warden ever tried to track him down. I donât believe Mom ever broke any furniture over Pop, but Iâm sure he got a severe talking to. As I said above, Mom is no wilting flower. My next blog Iâll update you on my experiences fishing with women folk.