Nov 16 2009 11:17 pm
In some parts of this country the busiest time at the bar is opening weekend of buck season. If you ask a waitress at Riley’s Rendevouz for a spitter they’ll not bat an eye and get you one. A lot of people are wearing camouflage on the dance floor and on Monday there will be deer hanging from their necks in swing sets. This is the America you’ve been looking for Jack, and there’s nothing absurd about it, not a single carp po-boy, not two hoboes fighting over a bean.
Good guides on the Pere Marquette are impressive like any other good guides. I’m always surprised at the ease with which they hold a drift boat in the current or move it around the river, ferrying at an angle until it’s pointed at the slot in the log jam. With short, fluid strokes they move into the current, tucking the oars alongside so as not to get hung up. They say to me, “past the seam off the point on the left, mend once, swing it all the way across.”
But good guides on the Pere Marquette are different too, mainly because their fish are huge. A big trout is nice, but it’s not the thirty pound king, fresh out the big lake, used to getting his way and just wanting to fuck. It’s not the take that stops the world for one second until I strip in the fly-less line and the fish rips across the surface just downstream, flailing around trying to shake the sharp shit off his face.
That big trout isn’t the hero shots I don’t have. It’s not the empty feeling in my stomach or the size of the moon.
Kevin Morlock and Steve Martinez of Indigo Guide Service have more than 30 years combined experience fishing the Pere Marquette and know a thing or two about the river and those ridiculous fish. We floated something like 40 miles in three days and hooked six or seven fish, even getting to fight a few. I swung flies the whole time. Maybe that was stubborn. Apparently there just weren’t that many fish in the river, waiting for another push and all that.
So hopefully I’ll get back up there before too long and maybe you’ll have that chance as well. Check back here soon because there will be a contest. A poetry contest. The winner will get a very nice prize. Something a whole hell of a lot nicer than what Redington would give away in a similar contest. Just saying.