Red Flag Weekend Blowing Down the Monday Morning Sidewalk

| May 20, 2013

NOTE – Welcome to the Monday morning rundown. I hope the wind was at your back this morning on your way to wherever you find yourself now. Please take the time to sign up for my newsletter – over on the left side of the page – as I have a new letter about to come out this week, and you don’t want to miss it.

RATTLESNAKE SHAKE

In what can only be described as a sleepwalk shift, I have been out in the Middle for just shy of two weeks – doing the devil’s business that keeps your bath water hot, and your cars unnecessarily idling.

My stint on the Shale ended with a whimper at about 4-am Sunday when I was trudging back to the trailer, headlight on, head down and that wimpy beam pointing about a foot in front of my feet.

I was about a foot away from the rattlesnake and in stride when I saw it. I did a sideways jump that had my feet at least three feet off the ground, knees bent up around my ears, I probably didn’t gain one inch of altitude. I landed four feet right (maybe it was 10), and took a look at my little reptile. He didn’t coil. He was just stretched out in slithery s’s, like he was asleep too.

Then the rattle went up. No sound. This little viper was still wet around the rattle. That’s something new to my knowledge; a diamondback rattler that doesn’t rattle. We are under clear instructions on the Shale; if it can kill us, we have to kill it.

I could barely walk as I looked for something to remove the killer from it’s earthly bonds. My virtually healed achilles, was burning like I had stopped on a bed of coals. My .380 wasn’t going to do the trick – way too close to everything and on ground so hard that it guaranteed ricochet. Times like these, you gotta’ love the roustabouts. I found a perfect piece of drill stem, and one rattlesnake crossed back over into the darkness from whence it came.

I finished the few hours I had left on the shift, out in the Middle, on one foot and one useless thing with five little piggies on the end of it. How in the heck do you bring back elasticity to these achilles tendons? I do know I still have the jumping ability this skinny little gringo always had … that rattlesnake jump could have propelled me over Lebron if I had focused it upward. I know it.

Fly fishing luck would have it that the job in the Middle ended yesterday, just in time for the carp season to begin in earnest this week. That’s a good thing, because I was getting a little worn on the edges – fishing all day and working all night. Actually, lady luck has thrown me a couple of horseshoes in the last couple of weeks. More on that later.

FLY FISHING

Oh yeah, I forgot we are talking fly fishing here … sorry for the drama unrelated to anything but my right foot.

I grew up in the wind – South Texas is windy all the time. The sound of palm fronds scraping against each other high above our heads, like aliens killing us with auditory sound waves, is forever etched in my soundscape. It’s constant and unforgiving. Until I started fly fishing here in North Texas I didn’t know, or maybe there wasn’t, wind here in North Texas. NOW, the wind is this force that is always with us, I am always aware of and seems to be around at all the wrong times. It’s downright discouraging. When it comes to guiding on the flats, the wind dictates which areas are fishable and the ones that are completely blown. It doesn’t happen that often, but yesterday we had RED FLAG warnings around here. Talk about a real buzz kill, this is it.

Now that I am off the Shale again, I will wrap up some very old loose ends that have been lying around the editing table, and complete them for your reading pleasure. I also have some fresh adventures lined up for this week, and news that borders on epic in my fly fishing adventures … and will share that as it crystalizes.

Come to think of it … I know a spot that’s sheltered from this wind no matter what … gotta’ go! Talk to you later.

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Category: Adventure, Culture on the Skids, Flats Boats, Life Observed, OFF TOPIC, Writing

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I write. I photograph. I fish, and I live.

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