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Entry #3: 8/13/14 - a chance encounter

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I was getting itchy.

This had nothing to do with spiders or mosquitos, ants, poison ivy, hell not even gambling. Hell, I'm SUPPOSED to be going easy on myself to baby my injured neck, but well, She called. I'll admit, I held out for almost two weeks, but with thoughts of gear to be made, fish to catch, new skills to try....I couldn't stay away for long. I'll start with a lead up!

So as previously posted, I've been looking to solve a gear issue. while I love my tech pack, it doesn't allow me to be mobile on short trips. Over the last two weeks, I've been pouring over the idea of a satchel. Something small I can sling over a shoulder and go with and still have my bare essentials. Gas mask bags, old leather brief cases, messenger bags galore, the idea of adapting something to my needs is tempting. But I'm a leathersmith, and it's never been in me to settle for something I could quite easily make, and make better. Then, I saw it. Right here, on this forum, Craigthor was the first (according to search) to post that lovely bag by Goertzen. Naturally I fell in love, it just looks so awesome and its a design I can see wearing in all the right spots and becoming a family heirloom. But I'm a leathersmith, I quite literally have the materials I'd need to make one. We'll come back to this later...

That kept my subconscious busy for alittle while, then I got jonesin' to try tying a fly. As previously posted, I didn't do all that bad with literally no proper tooling and minimal know-how, but as I sat there last night, my resolve broke.

Weather forecast is calling wet hell down for the next few days, but this morning showed a cloudy window, so I quietly woke up and got dressed and waited for folks to leave for work, and ever so hastily sped out to the lake. Folks, I wont lie, it may be a bit ribald to say, but this was a booty call plain and simple. She called, I came running.

Time was of the essence, so instead of my usual quiet pre-game romp around the lake, I went right for the "fisherman's lot" and set up at the car and hit the side of the lake. It was lust...pure passionate need. The wind was blowing towards the inlet today because of the incoming storms, but I was not phased: I ain't no danged Joe Shmakapop.

I set up with one of my newly tied grub patterns and went to work. I'll admit it, I was thankful for the overcast day. The sun was just behind the clouds and the wind just steady enough to disturb the water surface; it was a nice change from blaring heat and light as I'm bit light-sensitive. While my polarized tinted oakleys do help, its nice to not need them as bad.

The breeze felt like a soft embrace all day. Thanks to Mel, I was roll casting like a boss (as the kids say), and took today to work on presentation, and tried some nymphing techniques I saw on youtube. Wind try to push my fly too far to the left? BAM I switch casting shoulders and roll it back out where I wanted it. I wasn't getting cocky, I learned that lesson believe me, but I was feeling confident today. yeah, confident. Pot and kettle, buddy.

Then, it happened. I was messing around with casting angles, when I changed the arc from the usual 10-2 to 9-12, and plopped the grub down with a little splash. 1 strip, 3 fast strips, then let it sink...

It was if time itself slowed, the sun came out of the clouds, and the choir of old salty fisherman burst into song all at once. In slow motion, I felt the Tug. One, solid bite; I was so surprised I didn't even bother reacting. You know that Feeling, with a capital Eff.

I then returned to my physical body, and found it was softly raining. I slowly reeled in my line, still lost in the moment and stepped out of the water and backed away slowly to my pack, my eyes still locked on the little circle of water where my fly was only moments ago. Then as I went to turn around, I heard an audible cough and whipped around the rest of the way to see a rather shapely runner was hiding under a tree on the path aside the lake not far from my bag, and judging by the bottle, got some water down the wrong pipe.

I'm a fisherman, I'm superstitious; you are too, so don't you start. On my honor as a fisherman, this was what the girl looked like, and the following exactly what happened. It was so odd, I wrote it down once I got to my car so I wouldn't forget anything while I typed it this evening. She had green eyes, normal summer tan, auburn hair with blended-in green tips, covered head to toe in green running wear with a tree of life tattoo on her arm. I asked if she was ok, she nodded, I said that unless she said something to prove it was clear, I was going to prepare for a emergency tracheotomy, to which she laughed and croaked "something". I nodded and picked up my pack off the bank and joined her under the tree as the rain was picking up, grabbing my own water bottle and quickly drained half of it because I hadn't drank anything all morning.

We both stood there for a moment, staring at the now gray lake as the light rain poured down. She broke the silence, "Nice weather, right?" I'm sorry guys, I couldn't resist, I have a confession to make: yeah, I've seen braveheart way too many times. In my best Scottish accent, I said "It's a soft day; fine Scottish weather we're having! The rain is falling straight down and kind of to the side like." She laughed and gave me that "you're a dork" look. She peered out from under the tree to check the rainfall, and in a more noticeable change in vocal tone said, "good day on the water?"

Brothers I shyt you not, my heart almost stopped. This was like Galadriel in the garden of Lothlorien voice change stuff. That was not a chit chat because I'm stuck in the rain under a tree with a strange fisherman voice: That, was a pointed, informed, and mildly testing question. She didn't look back at me, she seriously waited for an answer.

Dr. Winston Zeddemore said it best. "Ray, when someone asks if you're a god...YOU SAY, YES!" I stood for a moment, and said in honest reply, "yeah, I'd say so." She looked back and smiled and said in a much lighter tone, "that's good. rains letting up, time to trod on. later angler, tight lines!", and with a wink and a small salute she was off. I returned the salute and just stood there for a moment as she disappeared into the woods the trail lead to.

I'm local, I know ALOT of people in this area; and I've never seen anyone who would even count as a relative to that woman. I'd never seen her before, and I'll hedge a bet I wont ever again either. The Irishman in me has some ideas, a few I could agree with. But I think to stay on the safe side, I'll chalk it up to a good day on the water, and leave it at that.