To my great chagrin, it turns out that Ed was right, and if I'd followed his advice I might have acquitted myself of at least some of the verbal abuse that I peppered him with from the break of dawn.
But this just adds to the litany of my deficiencies for the day. I also failed to refresh his memory of how to properly shot a float fishing rig, how to distinguish between cured and uncured roe, how to read current etc..; luckily I didn't need to refresh any of his abilities in complaints output management. His skills in this area are surprisingly "on."
Maybe I can be forgiven, if only on the basis that he used to out-fish me regularly in the old days. In fact, he was always the more open-minded and experimental between us. It was while fishing with Ed that I finally decided to try a wet fly - rather than just roe, roe, roe - based on the keen observation that he was catching fish with them ... and I wasn't. So I had no expectation that he could have forgotten any of the skills he used to display during those halcyon days. But then, I guess that's what fishing less than once a year does to even the sharpest among us. Vile atrophy!
Yesterday, however, will probably have served to restore some of the old prowess and wash away much of the rust. After I finally realized that senility had robbed my good friend of all of his steelheading faculties, I set to playing the guide for about an hour, and this is when he started hooking into fish. Most of them got off, until his reflexes caught up to the action. When the float went down for the last time, he delivered a quick, strong hookset and the fight was on. Then, because his rig was a little on the light side for the fish he was battling - a spawned out hen in the 9lb range - I taught him how to do the "Michigan Dirty." It comes in handy when you need to bring a fish up river, that has stopped peeling off line but is difficult to turn. You can see him applying the technique expertly in the caption above.
Ed's advice to me? While I was filming the action : "careful you don't kill the batteries."
My retort: "aw I just recharged them two days ago. They'll be fine."
The result: no picture evidence of Ed's fish on my camera.
Officially, I could claim that he got no fish. I could do that, if it wasn't for the meddling, pictorially enabled presence of one of the other three characters in this little Saga, who snapped the picture in the paragraph above.
continued in part 2: The Khalidian Invasion