Ran a trip with T-Bird the other day. We were at the boat launch at the wrong time ‘cause everybody else was there, too. Must have been fifteen rigs there gettin’ ready. People everywhere.
The guide next to me in the parking lot was setting up fly rods for his anglers. He was youngish, slim, early twenties, groomed facial hair, stud earring in the left ear. In the right ear, a hoop dangled with a miniature gold fly reel attached. He had the paisley face mask around his neck even though the day was cloudy and gray. Had the bonefish up-downer hat that said “Belize Is For Belizians”and a canary yellow hoodie that had “Baddass” printed in black letters on the back.
I wasn’t sure if he was going fishing or auditioning for “Dancing With the Stars.”
He was yakking it up to his clients, an elderly couple in their seventies; a white-haired gentleman and his attractive wife dressed mainly in khakis and subdued tones.
They were watching their young guide rig their rods standing next to the boat on trailer behind the guide’s brand new black Toyota Land Cruiser SUV with enough rod racks on the roof to outfit a 30 day fishing safari up the Amazon and back.
The entire rear portion of the vehicle was covered with bumper stickers…Tie One On, Got Trout?, Trout Hunter, Trout Stalker, Trout Slayer, Trout Snagger, Fish Whisperer, Fly Guy, Fish On, Strip It, Rip It, Hump It, Twitch It, Tease It, The Best Way To A Man’s Heart Is Through His Fly, A Life Without Fly Fishing Is Not Worth Living and “Bite Me”.
I thought, this dude has a strong desire to be noticed. As he rigged the rods he brought out a large, clear plastic box with rows of compartments, set it out on the tailgate of the truck and laid it open.
Inside were bobbers, lots and lots of bobbers, hundreds of bobbers, bobbers of every color imaginable…red ones, white ones, red and white ones, yellow ones, green ones, orange ones, light blue, turquoise, sky blue, Carolina blue, hot pink, fuchsia, magenta, lavender, chartreuse, blaze orange, lime green, deep purple, candy striped, pin striped, tiger striped…round, egg shaped, quarter inch, half inch, three quarter inch, plastic, cork, balsa and bubinga.
So many bobbers.
The guide was explaining to the couple and to anyone else in earshot in a loud, excitable voice:
“ This red one here, I use it when the fish are really biting, on cloudy days I go to the hot pink, blaze orange or magenta. To get the fish excited I use the lime green and candy stripe…I use deep purple for sunny days, barber pole for foggy days, turquoise for rainy days, and this sparkly one here I use just before a storm rolls in.”
“I will usually start with the half inch and work my way up to the three quarter inch.”
“I have experimented with the fuzzy bobbers made of sheep’s wool, goat wool, mohair, cat hair and cotton candy. I even tried using hair from my pet golden retriever Muffy, but a few of my clients are allergic to fur so I went all synthetic all the time.”
“Because of the extensive research I have done, Fly Fisherman Magazine has asked me to write an article on bobber fishing but I said no way! Don’t want my secrets getting out there.”
“Fly Fishing The Universe” wanted to do an hour TV Special on me and my bobbers but they couldn’t pay me the money I wanted. I have turned down a lot of offers.“
“People ask me all the time if I have ever taken any famous people fishing, you know, celebrities. I am a modest guy and don’t like to brag, but I have taken…well I almost took Lindsey Lohan once but she had to cancel at the last minute. Of course she sent me a nice check. Justin Bieber’s people are talking to my people…next summer is looking REAL good for me and The Beebs. AND Mylie Cyrus is interested.”
The white haired man and his wife’s eyes were beginning to glaze over.
“ The word of mouth is definitely getting around about me and my bobber fishing. There is a loud buzz surrounding me in the fly fishing world. I am so busy, so tired, so popular, so in demand, booked solid…you guys are lucky to have me today.”
I noticed by now the lady angler had gotten back in front seat of the Toyota and was dozing off.
“The thing about this bobber fishing is never give up, stick with it, keep trying…just follow my lead and I will show you the way. Well that’s about it, folks. Enough about me and my bobbers.”
By this time the guide was pretty much talking to himself.
“ Any questions”?
The elderly gentleman cleared his throat,
“Yes, I have a question, can we go fishing now”?