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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Fishing With a "Redneck"

On Friday I connected with Travis for a great day of Carp fishing.  We went out on the river in his boat.  I have fished from a small Zodiac quite a number of times.  I would never take my Zodiac in the Columbia.  Only twice have I been in a larger boat where we could get out in the river and fish areas that you can't wade to.  The Columbia is a big river.  Water levels vary suddenly and dramatically during a single day.  The wind can come up quickly and blow dang hard; it is no place for a small inflatable.  In fact when the wind comes up hard it is no place for even an 18 foot boat with a 120 horse motor.  It can be dangerous.  Travis has a 16.5 foot boat with a 25 horse motor.  It is enough to get out in the river but only when conditions allow it.  

Just as soon as you talk with Travis you can tell he was not born here.  He is from Alabama and based on this picture you might get the impression that he is a redneck.  From what he told me most folks are rednecks in Alabama.  He taught me about the "three g's".  Now the "three g's" ain't his homies; nope not at all.  What he explained is that if  political candidates want to get elected in Alabama they have to get it right on the "three g's".  That would be "God, Guns, and Gays."  I think you can guess what "right" is.  

I met Travis at his home and we headed to the river.  When we got to the Columbia the wind was blowing too hard and the waves were too high for us to go out in his boat.  We walked the bank for a couple hours.  The water was very high and somewhat cloudy.  I don't even remember if we saw a tailing fish.  I don't think we did.  I know we didn't catch anything.  

After those couple hours had passed the wind had calmed down and Travis felt it was safe to venture out in the river.  That doesn't mean there was no wind and it doesn't mean there were no waves; just not as much wind and smaller waves.  As we traveled out to the middle of the river I sat in the bow and felt every bloody wave bounce what little brains I have right out of my head.  I thought a couple of my teeth had been jarred lose by the time we stopped.  I said something to Travis about losing teeth and he said, "I wondered when you would start with the toothless redneck jokes."  For the record, let me just say right now, "Travis is definitely not a toothless redneck."  (He has all his teeth.)  

I think of the Columbia as my home river; I would say I know it intimately.  And yet, it is such a big river that there is all kinds of water I haven't even seen let alone fished.  Going out in the boat and stopping on an island makes fishing the river an entirely different experience.  Actually it was a remarkably different experience and one that I thoroughly enjoyed.  

I started a blog post awhile back titled, "Carp fishin' ain't easy. And neither is pimpin'".  On the day I fished with Travis we saw fish but it was still difficult.  It was difficult because it seemed that the same cloud followed the sun all day and blocked the light.  I have said for a long time that when I am Carp fishing, "Clouds are the devil."  Well, the devil followed the sun all day.  Add to that the water being somewhat cloudy and it made spotting fish tough.  We saw good numbers but virtually all of them were sunbathing.  

When we got out of the boat at the first island I was immediately taken with the setting.  The water was shallow, the bottom was firm, and the setting was just plain cool.  We each made a few casts.  I know I put the fly near some slow cruisers but I don't believe I had a shot at a true tailing fish.  I had two fish follow the fly for awhile but not pick it up.  I guess they just followed it to spit on it; I don't know.  

We left that island and headed to another one.  The second island was quite little.  A person could walk around it in minutes.  Travis kept saying that we were going to get a double soon.  A double?  Neither one of us had a fish yet.  I was starting to think that this may be a day when we both got blanked.  At right about 2:30 I got a hookup.  I don't know what that crazy fish was thinking.  Travis and I were within sight and speaking distance of each other.  Within seconds, and I do mean seconds, Travis connected too.  Go figure--all those hours on the water with no fish and just like that we had a double.  I really can't explain how it happened.  

We left that island and headed to the Sea Gull capitol of the world.  I have seen Gulls swarm around landfills and transfer stations in great numbers but I didn't know that the Sea Gull capitol of the world was on an island between Washington and Oregon.  Who knew?  The raucous squawking was loud and relentless.  We spent a good deal of time fishing right under the swarming birds; I was sure we were going to get crapped on.  I just figured, well, we are wearing hats and we can just wash it off.  They dive bombed us and dropped their payloads near us but never hit the mark.  Amazing.    

Here is Travis gritting his teeth, not his gums, and walking under the bombardiers.  (Remember, he has all his teeth.)

Another shot of the bombardiers circling.  They weren't flying by; they were flying around and around.  They did this the entire time we were there.

Okay, Travis is brave.  Here he is changing out his fly at the Sea Gull capitol of the world.  These Alabama boys got nerves of steel!  

Carp fishin' ain't easy.  And neither is pimpin.  The double at 2:30 was a lot of fun.  Travis kept saying we were going to get another double.  It seemed unlikely.  Just before 4:00 we both hooked up within seconds of each other.  Again, I have no idea how it happened.  Another double.  

Here is Travis bringing a fish to the net.  

Nicely done Travis!

Just before the end of the day we each had another fish though it wasn't at the same time.  I thoroughly enjoyed fishing with Travis.  It was such a different experience to see the river from the center instead of the edges.  More importantly I really enjoyed Travis's company.  He was polite and enthusiastic.  He was a good sport when we weren't catching fish and I would add he is pretty darn good at fly fishing for Carp.  I'm looking forward to getting out on the river with him again.  What a great day!  Thanks Travis.  

PS  Travis isn't a hard core redneck either.  


  1. Great day with a friend! Boats level the playing field I would say.


  2. Goo good stuff. Travis is a classy dude.

  3. Gotta keep an eye on those Southern boys, Mr. P.

    Sounds like a great trip!

    1. Near as I can tell Ty, Southern boys are alright. I agree with John, Travis is a classy guy.

  4. I had a blast! I should get some new leaf springs for the boat though! That'll help us keep more of our teeth in rough water!