Many of the nearby restaurants were shut down for the winter, so in the morning we went in search of a place that was open.
It took awhile, but we succeeded.
Hagen met us at the restaurant soon after we arrived, and we all ordered breakfast.
Hagen picked up the tab.
From there we went back to the fly shop.
Hagen didn’t want to waste any time running shuttles, so he paid for a shuttle at the fly shop. Lando and the Young Lass then towed their watercraft to the put in.
I jumped into my borrowed waders and stepped into the river to help with the boats, and within seconds my right foot and sock were drenched with a bracing quantity of spring runoff.
I tied on a streamer and settled into the front of the Young Lass’ raft.
Hagen said, “I just want to catch fish,” so Lando set him up with a bobber and some nymphs.
Then we pushed off and were on our way.
I’d made a few casts and was letting the streamer hang in the current off the front of the raft while I searched for a beer, when a fish took it.
It was a small rainbow, nearly black, and the streamer had most likely drifted into its redd and pissed it off.
It was the first fish of my trip, and would be my only fish of the day.
Hagen did quite well nymphing.
Hagen brought a bunch of food for lunch: fried chicken, deviled eggs, and a wide variety of sweet and salty snacks.
After lunch Hagen wanted to row.
That didn’t last long.
When Lando took over, he leaned back in the seat and pushed hard on the oars, and the welds that held the seat to the bar gave way and broke.
Lando strapped the seat to the heaviest thing in the boat - Hagen’s cooler full of beer and ice - and rowed the rest of the trip as if nothing had happened.
Near the takeout we came upon a big pod of rising fish.
I threw a tiny dry at them, but they ignored it.
There was a can crusher at the takeout. I brought the empty beer cans from our boat over to it and started crushing them, one by one. The crushed cans were supposed to drop into a hole that had been drilled into the lid of the recycling barrel, but the hole was too small and the cans would often get stuck.
I was pushing on one of the cans with the palm of my hand, trying to force it into the barrel, when Hagen passed me with a boat net full of his empty cans. He went straight to the dumpster, lifted the lid, and emptied the net. Then he tuned to me and said, "Come on! We need to get going before the restaurant closes!"
That night we had dinner at the same place where we had breakfast.
When we got back to the rooms, Hagen said, “Fuck! I forgot my toothbrush!”
Lando looked at him and said, “You know what that means….”
Hagen believes that if he doesn’t brush his teeth at night, he’ll wake up with a hangover.
He looked desperately around the room and said, “I guess I’ll just have to gargle with some of this and hope for the best.”
Hagen then picked up my brandy bottle, poured some into a paper cup, swished it around in his mouth, and then spit it out.
He then looked at me and said, “Almost tastes like Listerine," followed by, "Dude, I am freezing! Where’s the thermostat?”
I pointed to the wall, and he walked over and turned it up.
Then he looked at all of my clothes and gear scattered across the floor and said, “It looks like a goddamn yardsale in here.”
I told him I was going to take a shower, and he said, “OK. I’m going to watch some TV.”
When I got out of the shower, he was fast asleep.
I turned off the TV and spent the next several hours tossing about in bed, trying to sleep in a room that reminded me of the Sahara.
At three-thirty I heard him get up and yell, “Fuck it’s hot!”
Then he ripped off his undergarments and stumbled across the room.
He swore again when he stepped on one of my reels, then he opened the door to the cabin and walked outside.
He came back with some water bottles from his truck and then turned down the thermostat.
Then he started playing with his phone.
Eventually the sun rose.
There was no sleep for Jose in Cabin 6 that night.