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It was still dark when we reached the river, yet we were still late.

As we motored upstream to the "good spot," a camo duck boat gradually came into view, and it was anchored up right where we wanted to be.

One of the yahoos in the camo boat hooked up just as dawn began to break. He was wearing an exceptionally large white cowboy hat, and as he lifted the fish out of the water he yelled out a drawl of, "This is what they look like boys!"

I quickly learned that in Ohio this can be interpreted as "Wanna rassle?" and before I knew what was happening we'd lifted anchor and were motoring towards the fellows in "our spot." I'd no idea how this would play out, but as we got closer fallen smiled and said, "That's BM Barrelcooker!"

The previous day there had been a lot of talk about how great the fishing had been, how great it was going to be, big fish, lots of fish, first cast, epic, insane, unbelievable ... all of which ensured a skunk for everyone except BM and Palometa.

Eventually we tired of beating the water and adjourned to an incredible restaurant on the Best Main Street in Ohio, were fallen made fast friends with our waitress. At the end of our meal we parted ways with BM, Palometa, and fallen's friend, and then headed to fallen's place.

Fallen has a beautiful house in a lovely neighborhood, and his kids are fantastic. He's commandeered a third of the house for his own private use: big screen, pool table, lots and lots of booze, etc. so we hung out there before heading to the camp.

The camp was pretty isolated, and if you didn't know where you were going you'd probably never find it. It consisted of a large grassy area ringed with what looked like abandoned trailers. The trailers all had homey names on them: "Meth House," "Rape Shack," "Free Candy," "House of Pain," and some others I can't remember. There was a bathroom in the middle of it all, and next to the bathroom was a pile of pallets, furniture, scrap wood, and construction material twice as big as any of the trailers. Off to one side there was a covered pavilion and some picnic tables, along with a fridge that was only slightly cleaner than the shitter. The doors of the fridge would pop off the hinges every time you opened it, which ensured endless evening entertainment.

One of the owners was there to greet us when we drove in: a big guy with a handlebar mustache wearing a tee-shirt with the sleeves ripped off. He could have passed for a young Paul Teutul Sr. He turned to us and said, "Now I want you boys to enjoy this place, but there is one rule that you absolutely cannot break: no firearms." Then he pointed to the big pile of debris next to the shithouse and said, "You see that? I want you to burn it." He also warned us against drinking the water. Easy enough. We had other stuff to drink.

The place could not have been more perfect.

We unloaded the truck and started drinking.

West Chester made a nine hour drive to join us, and as soon as he got out of his car and introduced himself we said, "We need you to get back in your car and go buy us some beer and ice."

"Sure thing. I passed a store on the way in."

Not long after that RockyMtHigh showed up with some fine scotch and a dozen cigars, including a handful of Cuban Cohibas, and before long we'd converted one of the picnic tables into a bar/humidor that held more high-end booze than any of the dives I tend to patronize.

Later that night Pxatim cooked up some awesome fajitas, and I may or may not have helped out with dinner.

I definitely started a fire.

Before the trip, pxatim sent me an email that read, "I'm bringing you a tent and an air mattress and anything else you need." The tent was huge, and only slightly smaller than some of the trailers. I brought my own sleeping bag - Hogleg knows why - along with my piss bucket.

I don't remember going to bed that night, but I do remember waking up in the tent without my piss bucket and an urge to relieve myself.

I stood up in the tent and started looking for the zipper, but couldn't find it. This is something I've struggled with in the past, and after a moment or two I thought, "I guess I'll be buying another damaged tent." Right about then pxatim woke up, reached over to the fly and unzipped it. I then quickly exited the tent and relieved myself on the lawn, but I'm still baffled as to why every time I need to desperately get out of a tent, the zipper is always a couple of inches off the ground. None of the door handles in my house are at ankle height, and I don't have to get down on my hands and knees to open them, so why tents?

It's a mystery I may never solve.
I would first like to thank the River Militia for putting this thing on and taking us around to fishless water.

2nd.. I had a blast, drank a ton, met some cool people and had many laughs

I didn’t realize I would need brush pants… climbed over a guardrail, tripped over a bum, crawled through the woods, stinging nettle all over my legs, crash through a soybean field, more stinging nettle, more spiders, some nasty ass mud and finally to the water.

Paid off, caught fish out of the gate.

After the first morning it was a drinking trip for me.


And I fished more and kicked some rocks



Some of the militia guys caught some fish to prove there was a bit of life in the river



The fish, if they would have been there, would have eaten these.


Drank more and had some more laughs


And conducted some Courtesy River Safety Inspections to pass the afternoons. Joe, the rape whistle is what gave us the credibility.


Thanks again gentleman… sign me up for next year.
AJ- Good to see you, Seth, Tim, Chris and BGH...and it's always good to see BM. Mas beverages served on Wednesday night, that is all. I'm pretty sure that was part of BGHs plan of making sure I didnt remember how to get back into that skinny water fishing spot again without putting it on the rocks...good times had by all. :cool
so wait... you've bikini clad birds there (that look like arsenal's back four) and not one of you nancies hooked up?

this is why mitch couldn't go.
far too many nancies.

and westchester has let me down. yet again.

This is getting kinda Roshomony.

I forgot about BM Barrelcooker's fish, probably because at that point he was some jerk who was fishing in our spot, and hadn't yet become one of us. Sorry, BM.

I also forgot about the beginning of Average Joe's relationship with the fire: he firewalked a burning beam across the firepit. In bare feet.
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Speybait showed up several times with beer.

Fallen destroyed my foldy chair.

There was no clear liquor, other than some moonshine that was gone quickly.

And so on.

So let me apologise now for everyone and everything else I forget in this retelling. It's all rather hazy.

Friday Evening.

Let's start Friday evening with the chair burning.
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You know, because chair burning. It was the first of the furniture to burn, but not the last. And I appreciated pxatim's intuitive design sense to include the ottoman.

West Chester and I decided to try to fish the stream out back of the campsite in the evening, while others went elsewhere. #rivermilitia Jeremy came along too.

West Chester was totally focused on the fish.
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And Jeremy put on a mini clinic, catching two bass, a carp and a buffalo.
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We ambled back, and Seth decided he didn't like the completely random non-special ordered non-vanity plates he had received at the DMV for his new car.

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Then it was dinner time.
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The appetizer was provided by #rivermilitia boys Greg and Dustin. Locally caught, cleaned, and breaded and fried. I know it must have been a lot of work, but it was worth it.
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It was my first time eating amphibian, and it was really good.

Then pxatim put dinner down. It was amazing.
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And then #rivermilitia Yuki, who plays in the symphony, got out his tuba. Because what's a bake without a tuba?
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And then the sofa went into the fire, and Joe (apparently) needed a seat.
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And at some point, I must have fallen asleep.
There are no stripers in SW Ohio.

I left the Nickel City and headed southwest.
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I passed through the Mistake on the Lake, the Cross Roads of Ohio, and final made it to the City of Seven Hills.
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I arrived a little later than a few of the guys, but I had some duties at home that needed attention before I could leave…
Upon arriving I was warmly greeted by Average Joe, Pxatim, scullion childs, and fallen513. It was really good to see the guys that I met a while back at a different bake. We exchanged some pleasantries and decided that it was time to share a drink. This was to be the first of many, many drinks.
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It wasn’t too long before dinner was being whipped up. AJ and Tim prepared fajitas with fresh guacamole and pico de gallo (which means beak of the rooster… WTF?). I had read a lot about this delicacies in other reports, and am very happy to say that the pictures do not do any of it justice.
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As was reported, Fallen had the plan of attack all laid out. I was to fish with one of the #Rivermilitia and we were to leave at 0430. That did not sound too bad at the time… We finished dinner and continued to drink.
One or two bottles down was the last thing I remembered hearing before stammering off to sleep in the back seat of my truck. Joe was kind enough to give me a whistle incase I ran into trouble somewhere...
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I was awoken by a sharp rap on the window. I sat up and opened the door which caused the truck alarm to go off. It was very loud. I would have normally thought this to be funny, but was too drunk to comprehend what was happening. I got out of the truck, stripped out of my clothes and got changed.
We pulled into a park where we met up with Fellen and Joe. Joe and I decided to share another beverage so that the work we put in last night would not be wasted.
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We fished and I learned that there are no stripers in SW Ohio.
The guy that I fished with was a standup guy. He was concerned that we had not found fish, so we headed to another “secret spot.”
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Still, no stripers in SW Ohio.
The next morning I woke and discovered the reason behind the "No Firearms" rule.

Our camp was located right next to a field owned or leased by a model airplane club, and the sound of those things buzzing around from morning till night made just about every one of us want to go out and buy a shotgun.

I left camp with fallen and we met up with his friend Joey down by the river. Joey had just purchased a new (to him) Mercury for his boat, and he'd kindly agreed to take us upstream to one of the best spots on the river.

We'd barely got underway when the engine started smoking, so Joey dropped anchor and he and fallen inspected the motor. I caught bits and pieces of their conversation: things like, "That's melted," "There's water in the oil," "That's fucked," and other assorted mechanical musings. Then I noticed a rainbow-hued slick emanating from the back of the boat and thought, "Holy shit. I'm about to see an honest-to-God Ohio river fire," but it wasn't meant to be.

Poor Joey now had two fat-asses in his boat along with a dead motor, but that didn't stop him from jumping on the oars and rowing us upstream. He eventually got us up to the choice spot, where we got out of the boat and fished.

We caught nothing.

As we were floating back down to the take out, we passed a big Japanese guy with shoulder-length hair and wearing John Lennon glasses fishing from the bank. He looked at us, raised his middle finger and yelled, "Fook you!"

Fallen stood up and yelled something back in Japanese, then sat back down in the boat and said, "That's 'Crouching Tiger.' He's a professional tuba player."

When we got to the takeout, Joey loaded his boat onto his trailer and then headed off to work.

On our way back to camp, fallen said "Let's stop by Skyline Chili." He ordered a pair of coney dogs, and having never been there, I did the same. I must say they were pretty damn good.

From there we went back to camp and tended to the fire.

I tossed another pallet on the pile and heard someone say, "There's nothing like a raging hot fire on a hot, August afternoon."

And I replied, "Yes."

The burn pile offered an interesting assortment of combustibles, and as the day wore on I took my time picking out items that piqued my curiosity.

The hacked up walls of someone's playhouse were the first to go, followed by some furniture.

Once those childhood dreams had been reduced to ash, a piece of lumber resembling a patriarchal cross that had been fitted with a dozen or so iron S&M rings was then tossed into the fire.

Right about then someone said, "Let's go fishing!" so some of us left camp and headed to the river.

While walking down the bank, we found an old, rusted-out, upside down foldy-chair. Flipping it over revealed an animal bone, so I picked it up, showed it to pxatim and asked, "What the hell is this?"

"Human femur."

Since I'm no osteology expert, I nodded and said, "Fair enough." I then held it up to the sky and said, "Behold! The Femur of Wrath!"

Or something like that.

We viewed these omens as a sign that this would be a good place to fish.

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We caught nothing.

Once back at camp, we went back to eating incredible food, drinking, and burning shit.

Two of fallen's friends fried up a huge batch of frog legs - probably the best I've ever eaten - and pxatim followed that up with what were undoubtedly the-best-porkchops I've ever tasted, accompanied by an amazing medley of bacon and Brussels sprouts.

Speybait came and went; T.J. Brayshaw broke out his banjo; fatman broke out his guitar; and Crouching Tiger serenaded us on his tuba.

It was all going well - just another sedate, convivial Friday night - when someone started yelling, "Burn the couch! Burn the couch!"

It was a request that simply couldn't be denied, so someone helped me carry it over from the burn pile and toss it onto our fire.

Someone then yelled, "Someone needs to sit on that!" and some idiot complied, and then someone else shouted, "Stay there while I get my camera!" The idiot sitting on the couch then yelled, "Hurry up! It's getting fucking hot!" and by the time he jumped off everyone got busy moving shit away from the fire.

The couch burned twice as hot and a helluva lot higher than the chair, and I can remember hearing fallen say, "That roof is going to go any minute now."

The greased ledge of exhilaration suddenly got pretty fucking narrow, and for a moment I thought we'd quickly find ourselves falling into the abyss of disaster, but it wasn't meant to be.

As skullion was heading for bed, he came up to me and touched the tops of my ears.

"What are you doing?"

"I'm thoroughly convinced you're part Vulcan. I'm just not sure why your ears aren't pointed."

Eventually everyone else went to bed as well, with the exception of fallen, Greg, and me.

Greg had been telling me all evening that the next day he was going to take me out and get me into fish. I'd told him repeatedly that it wasn't necessary, but he kept insisting. He now turned to me and said, "OK. I know exactly where I'm going to take you, but we need to be on the river well before sunup."

"Fine. When do we have to leave?"

He looked at his watch and said, "Now. We need to start driving right now."

I threw my gear into the back of Greg's truck while Seth grabbed a bottle of Weller and a cooler full of beer, and then the three of us squeezed into the bench seat and hit the road.
I've got a broken foot and poison ivy on my dick.
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