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By Average Joe
Back in January Bruiser sent me a PM inviting me to join him for a few days of fishing. This was to be a camping trip, and after putting together a quick mental list of all the gear I'd need to bring (tent, sleeping bag, foldy chair, etc.) I thought, "I'm going to need more luggage than a fucking Austrian if I want to attend this thing."

A few days later I received an email from Ephemeral, who had also been invited to join Bruiser on this trip. I'd met Eph at the 2015 Luau, during which time he witnessed firsthand just how badly I'm capable of behaving. In spite of that, he offered to pick me up at the airport, put me up at his home, and provide me with a tent, sleeping bag, flies, and any other gear I might happen to need. Bruiser offered to let me use any of his camping gear as well. As I've written several times before, the people on this board always amaze me with their generosity.

At this point I thought, "How can I NOT go?" so I put in for the time off and booked a flight.

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Airport fun.
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I arrived in Durango Wednesday afternoon, and as I was walking down the corridor to baggage claim a maintenance worker noticed the fly rods I was carrying and said, "So are you here to do some fishing?"

"Why yes I am," I replied.

He told me that he'd just been out himself, and then rattled off the names of some spots I should try.

"You should definitely fish Yukon Creek. I was there just last week, and man!" He then held up his hands and spread them roughly twenty inches apart and said, "I pulled a bunch of really nice fish out of there. Make sure you fish all the little creeks that feed into it too. You'd be surprised at how many big fish like to hide in those trickles."

He told me about a few more places I might like to try, the names of which I immediately forgot, and as we parted ways he gave me a broad smile and said, "Good luck!"

I continued on my way to baggage claim, and at the end of the corridor I noticed an attractive young woman standing off to the side. As I got closer she started to smile, and I thought, "Fuck yeah. I've still got it."

Then she approached me and said, "Hi AJ. I'm Mrs. Ephemeral. Eph is sorry he couldn't be here to greet you, but he had to work today and asked me to pick you up."

I gently shook her outstretched hand and smiled while thinking, "Well, at least you didn't embarrass yourself, you dumb old fuck."

Once my luggage arrived on the carousel we loaded it into her car, and then she took me out to lunch.
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After lunch we popped into the local fly shop, where I purchased my license and some souvenir ball caps for my brother and Neil.
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After a quick stop for booze and beer, we went back to Eph's place, where I downed a few drinks and washed the taste of modern air travel out of my mouth.

Eph arrived a short time later, and we quickly loaded his rig and hit the road.
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Ephemeral is an exceptional conversationalist. The hours passed like minutes as we made our way across country, and the sun left us well before we reached our final destination.

Bruiser, his buddy Robin, and Carpe Tructa were already at the campsite when we pulled in.

We all shook hands and had a beer or two, and then Eph lit a fire so we'd have more light while we set up the tents. Or rather, while he set up the tents.

Bruiser then handed me a giant Paco Pad and said, "Put your sleeping bag on top of this, and I guarantee you'll sleep like the dead."

I spread it out in the bottom of my tent, and after a few more drinks around the fire, I made my way back to my luxurious shelter and slept until well after dawn.
Last edited by Average Joe on Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:10 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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By Average Joe
Come morning I crawled out of my tent and saw that everyone else was already up and getting ready to start the day.

I yawned, stretched a bit, scratched my ass and then thought, "Nobody told me that we were all supposed to get up wearing matching beanies."
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Bruiser poured me a cup of coffee and then went back to work making an incredible breakfast.
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Once he'd finished he made me a plate, and I went and sat across from Carpe, who was already tucking in with his plastic spork.

"You need to get yourself one of these," he said, holding up the utensil in his hand so I could see it.

"Actually, I already have one," I replied.

Earlier in the trip, Ephemeral had given me two very cool gifts.
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I held up my new spork and said, "It's almost exactly like yours, only it's made out of titanium."

Carpe looked it over without saying a word and then went back to eating his breakfast.

After sulking for a few moments he said, "Well does yours have a serrated edge?"

"Are you referring to this?" I replied.
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Just then Eph came and joined us, and as he was sitting down Carpe turned to him and said, "You know the best way to eat this..."

Eph cut him off without looking up from his plate and stated, "... is with a spork. Got one. Titanium. Just like the one I gave to AJ."

Upon hearing this Carpe's demeanor darkened still further, and I thought, "Is he really upset because our sporks are titanium and his is plastic?"

I decided to try and find out.

"Bruce!" I yelled. "This breakfast you cooked is excellent!"

Then I turned to Eph and said, "This titanium spork really makes the flavors pop. Wouldn't you agree?"

Before Eph could answer I heard Carpe growl, and I watched as he rose from his chair and left us.

"All sporks matter" I said as he stormed off towards his truck.

Once we'd finished breakfast, Bruiser, Robin, Eph and myself started rigging up our rods, while Carpe made us all mayonnaise and mustard sandwiches.
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Thankfully he then garnished the sandwiches with some additional odds and ends.
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I hadn't brought any flies with me (because I'm an idiot), so Eph gave me some of his.
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Bruiser gave Carpe and Robin directions to some creek, and then he took Eph and I on a fantastic float. We had a great time, and Eph caught some beautiful fish.
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I caught nothing.

It was still early when we got back, so we hit another creek near camp.

Bruiser and Eph both did pretty good, and I managed to keep my record intact, which is another way of saying that I caught nothing.

That evening Bruiser cooked up some awesome burgers.
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After dinner we sat around the fire for awhile, had a few more drinks, and then wandered off to bed.
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User avatar
By austrotard
I love these fucking things!

time to put the kettle on.
be right back.
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By Average Joe
The next day Bruiser took Carpe & Robin on a float, so Eph and I went exploring and somehow ended up at Yukon Creek - the place the guy at the airport had told me about.
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It was another beautiful day in another beautiful part of the country. If my lunch had been better, it would have been perfect.
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We worked our way upstream, and when I wasn't busy admiring the scenery I watched Eph catch some really nice fish.
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A couple of hours after we'd started we came across the nicest, deepest run we'd seen all day.

Eph decided to fish it while I went about doing what I do.
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He was fishing a dry, and when nothing came up he decided to take a break and join me for a beer.

I pulled a can from the river and handed it to him.

He then sat down on the bank, popped the top, and started toying with a big, white, articulated streamer that had somehow ended up attached to the back of his hat.

"You should fish that through this run," I said.

"I plan to," he replied.

He cut off the dry fly he'd been fishing, shortened his leader, tied on the streamer, and started swimming it through the pool. On his fifth cast we both saw a flash, and a monster rocketed up from the depths of the pool and hammered the fly.
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I think it surprised Eph and I as much as the sting of the hook surprised the fish.

Unfortunately the fight was brief, and the fish disappeared as quickly as it came.

I knew exactly how he felt.
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Eph worked the pool for several minutes after that, trying to lure the big fish back, but it was not meant to be, so we moved on and did some more exploring.
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For reasons unknown I felt compelled to look at my watch once we reached the edge of the canyon, and I was shocked at how late it was. I mentioned the time to Eph, and we both agreed that we should start heading back.

We decided to take a cross-country shortcut back to the parking area and came across a small feeder creek we hadn't seen on the way in.

I noticed a deep pool just above where we planned to cross, so I turned to Eph and said, "You should fish that."

He'd switched back to a dry fly, and he cast it above the pool and let the current take it through. As he did so he said, "I can see a really nice fish at the bottom of this pool." He tried to get him to rise, but the fish wouldn't move.

I had a nymph rig on, so he said, "You give it a try." I did, but no luck.

Then I said, "Why don't you try a streamer?"

He pulled out one of his fly boxes and after glancing over his choices said, "I know that it's no longer the year of the muddler but...."

He tied it on and crimped three split shot above the knot and then swam it down in front of the fish.
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On the way back we picked up some more beer, and once we were in camp, I did what I do.
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Bruiser asked how we did, and I said, "Ephemeral picked up some nice ones."

"What about you?"

I looked at him and said, "I caught nothing."

"That's it," he replied. "Tomorrow you're fishing with me. All day. Early start."

That evening Eph grilled up some steaks and served them with fettuchine, garden salad, and bread.
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Bruiser and Robin went to bed early, so Carpe, Eph and I threw some more wood on the fire and settled in.

By the time we went to bed, a handle of Johnny Red was dead, and a second handle had a couple of inches missing from it.
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Somewhere in between that, several beers and an entire fifth of 'livet somehow ended up on the empty pile as well.

It's been my experience that when drinking of this magnitude takes place around a late-night campfire, great stories are told while mirth and laughter fill the air.

This time, it was nothing like that.

Think the basement, only worse.

Think flared tempers, coarse language, and argumentative shout-downs: an angry, loud, vitriolic mess of alcohol-induced, emotionally charged language that carried on until 4:00 AM.
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There were no winners and plenty of losers, including Bruiser, Robin, and everyone else in the campground who tried to sleep that night, and we all woke the next morning burdened with varying degrees of regret.
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By Bears Fan
[report]"Is he still writing?"

"He must be."

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By fly-chucker
Well...... :bow
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By Ginseng Sullivan
you actually fished?

I figured you really didn't know anything about fly fishing but just liked the scenery and amazing company.

Looks like some great country and creeks. I may get out there in Sept. Hope it's not on fire.
By Wholetmygoatsout
For a guy that decided to stay on at work for one more year you sure are doing an impressive job of catching nothing.
User avatar
By pxatim
That spork really pulled the dish together. Now everyone at the rustbelt will have one.

Keep it coming Joe!
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