On the way back to camp on my dad's airboat we ran across Jim in his handcrafted airboat as he fished for cats in the deep spots.
When asked from a distance if he was catching any, he held up both hands... Not clearly saying he wasn't, but implying only. While we all know lying is wrong, when it comes to fishing, misunderstandings are always appreciated. At almost the same time his line tugged and he was unable to hide yet another successful catch. He gingerly tossed it in the bucket and continued the conversation hopping no one had noticed.
Even though he has a new airboat, he still is found in the one he built himself years ago. We stopped to visit about the fishing and he expressed his disappointment in his Zebco reel. "After so long, they get grooves wore in them (the real casing) and don't work right any more, I filed them down, but they come back." he said. That tells you how much fishing Jim has done. How many millions of yards of line have to be cast out of a Zebco to cut grooves in it? Unbelievable!
When asked why he was fishing out of his old boat rather than his new vessel he said he wants to get the seat lowered and has it in the shop. And adds it probally won't get done anytime soon. You see, as his focus has shifted from farming to fishing he claims he's losing authority back at the shop on his family farm. He warned us, "They say, once you are addicted to fishing, you lose all common sense." Evidently, according to Jim, that means his projects take a back seat to machinery maintenance and repairs weather he likes it or not.
Seeing that we came from upstream, he asked how the fishing was up there, he said he hasn't been any farther, "...cause, I don't want to get too far from supper." That's Jim's way of saying he doesn't want to get too far from his wife. Who, also stopped by to see us earlier and take a picture of our youngest and his monster catfish for the local weekly paper. She is a community correspondent reporting in by noon every Tuesday so readers know who had who over for supper or who were Sunday afternoon callers at the neighbors, who hosted bridge or whos baby shower was well attended and enjoyed by all.
That's what this blog is all about, as much as it is about sharing our outdoor adventures and encouraging others to play outdoors. It's also about the characters and friends you make. It's about building relationships and making memories. Weather it's on a bike, boat, or in a blind, get out from behind the computer and become an outdoor addict.
It's old river rats like Jim and my dad that make coming down to the Loup a trip worth taking every chance we get.