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.