Getting skunked on Christmas eve.
For 10 years now, nolan and I have fished on Christmas Eve together. For the first 8 years it was always the morning of Christmas Eve and we’d hike in several miles for our skunking while always trying to make it back home in time for our family ‘eve dinners.
With time comes more and different responsibilities. Nolan has been living out in Salt Lake City for the past two years working on his masters in fine art while teaching at the University. We haven’t been able to get out on Christmas Eve itself, but still get out once together during the holidays to get skunked. And this year it would be in the shoe.
Nolan showed up in a full camo suit with no intentions of getting in the water, his 5 gal zip lock bag full of all his fishing gear with muddy boat water from the day before still in the bottom left corner, and a half rack of Bell’s two hearteds.
Nolan, who once unknowingly fished without a fly down the entirety of the miracle mile on the deschutes one morning rigged his gear and made sure all his knots were tight
He told me a story of how him and his buddy lost an oar the other day and had to bum a net off another fisherman to ratchet strap somehow to the other oar to get it off the bottom of the 12 foot deep pool. “Can’t believe that guy thought his net was was a long handled one” he remarked.
He forced two hearteds down me and made me feel ashamed of not keeping up.
He pointed out flaws in the shoe, and if I intentionally did them or if it was on purpose.
He suggested that maybe the fish weren’t biting because we hadn’t shotgunned any two hearteds yet.
And we got skunked; together. Like we have for 10 straight years for Christmas.
And here I am the morning after with a pulsating headache and looking forward to our next outing together.