Friday, April 24, 2009
For those of you that are new to my work, you may not know that my first foray into angling art was in the sculpting realm. For about two years I focused on doing traditional 1/2 body clay sculptings...and I also did a good number of vignette pieces like the Cutthroat shown above. I still do them, but not as often as before.
My website shows a few more styles and examples, if you are interested.
Crazy People in Rubber Pants
It began as a very unexpected invite. Unexpected, but greatly appreciated. I was to join a group of highly educated professionals on a famous Pennsylvania trout stream for two days of camaraderie, wine, beef tenderloin and hopefully a trout or two. For the most part, my soon to be friends were known to me only by their expensive professional pedigrees. Don’t get me wrong...I’m not against pedigrees. I had a Brittany once that had a good one. Fine dog, indeed. But back to my story.
Upon arrival at the famous but unnamed cabin, I climbed the steps to a front porch decked out like an Orvis shop. Many company stores would have been envious of the display. The latest hi-tech rods, vests, waders, boots, fly boxes, landing nets, fly assortments, leaders, tippets, hats...you name it, they had it, and the guys standing around admiring and comparing their well designed display and personal accoutrements were talking about bugs...I think.
I hadn’t heard Latin to that extent since I mistakenly entered the wrong, very wrong, classroom back in my high school days. I’m certain that they were talking about the bugs in the famous unnamed stream, because I’d occasionally hear the word “trout” or “fish” interspersed in their conversations. I should add that this famous unnamed stream was not an inexpensive place to go. It was private water of the highest quality, so I was certain that it must contain some very special bugs, and my comrades were obviously fascinated with them.
It started raining that afternoon. Rained all night...not hard really, but enough rain to give the stream some color. This didn’t go over well with my new pals, but it excited me. For you see, I have never been into matching the hatch. I’m into throwing big ugly things at big pretty things, and the water that was suddenly not gin clear, suited me to a T.
The next day, as they trudged along the stream lamenting the lack of bugs, I was in a literal hog heaven. It was a day that I’ll remember for a long, long time...but it was going to get better towards sundown.
Around 6PM the sun broke out just as I was fishing my way back to the cabin. I could see my forlorn friends standing on the porch, sipping their Chablis when what looked like a fog rose from the water. I heard the hollering and saw each of them frantically rummaging through their vests looking for what turned out to be....would you believe, butterfly nets!
What followed was a site to behold. Five grown men, decked out in their rubber pants (as my wife calls them) giggling and shouting like school-girls as they scampered across the yard to the stream swatting the air with delight as they captured, compared and commented on their marvelous bugs.
I must say that the mood of that bunch improved considerably, as they spent the remaining few hours of sunlight catching up to my total for the day. I was worn out by then anyway, allowing me to sit comfortably on a handy park bench and witness the spectacle. Crazy people in rubber pants. Yes we are.