The next morning I slept in while Harry and fsb ran the shuttle.
After they’d left I paid a visit to the outhouse, cleaned up camp, and made myself a sandwich for lunch.
When I’m home, my wife does most of the cooking, and as a result we tend to eat pretty healthy. No takeout, lots of salads, fruit, vegetables, etc. In the past, whenever I went on a fishing trip, healthy eating went right out the window, and my gut would always pay the price. I wouldn’t say I ate healthy on this trip, but I did make sure to have some salad every night, and it made a big difference.
Across the river at the put in we saw a cow moose eating the leaves off a tree. She looked at us as we floated by, as if to say, “What are you looking at? I’m a motherfucking moose, and I’ll stomp your asses if you come any closer.” Then she went back to eating.
The previous day’s storm had left us, and it was a beautiful morning.
Harry wanted to row, so fsb took the front of the boat and did what he loves to do: throw streamers.
Successfully, I might add.
This river reminded me of some that I fish in NorCal, so I tied on two of my go to flies: an orange stimulator and a royal wulff. They proved to be more successful than the chernobyl ants, but I still had to work for every fish I brought to the boat.
The highlight of my day was when a raft with a couple of fishermen passed us and I hooked a nice brown right in front of them. I immediately thought of Lando, because he loves it when that kind of thing happens.
It was still early when we finished our float, so we ran another shuttle and floated a different stretch of the same river.
Fsb found some swinging water, which always makes him happy.
While he was doing his spray pole thing, I shared some of my sandwich with Sheldon.
At the end of the day we headed back to camp.
We were running low on water, so fsb and I jumped in the truck and headed to the fly shop. The shop was closed but there was a hose outside, and next to the spigot we found an electrical outlet. Fsb used that to briefly charge his phone while we filled up the water jugs. After that we stopped at a bar for cigarettes and ice, and then headed back to camp.
For dinner that night I served sausages, onions, applesauce, mashed potatoes, gravy, and my colon’s best friend.
After dinner fsb cleaned out his boat, while Harry watched me do the dishes.
There was definitely something about Harry.
He claimed to be terrified of catching the virus, so much so that he’d recently quit his job and taken early retirement. He told me it would be a couple of months before his pension kicked in, and that since he’d quit work he’d been living off of his credit cards. Whenever we ran shuttle, he’d put on not one but two masks, and always insisted on riding in the front seat with the window down, yet he never wore a mask when we were in the drift boat or sitting around camp. He wouldn’t use my dishes and silverware, presumably because they might be infected. Instead he’d heap whatever food I’d prepared in my apparently sterile and virus-free cookware into his personal pot and eat out of that. I called it Harry’s dog bowl. Once the evening meal was through he’d sit in his chair at a safe distance from everyone else and tell stories about Lewis and Clark and Sacagawea: anything to avoid washing the dishes. I wondered more than once why someone who was flat broke and that fucking frightened wasn’t hunkered down at home hiding under his bed, but the answer always eluded me.
Once I’d finished the dishes I sat down next to the fire and spent an hour or so sipping on some brown water, then kicked Sheldon out of my tent and went to bed.