New Heathens

On Embarrassment, Etiquette and Papa Smurf

I wanted to fight the three clowns who stomped into our fishing hole and chucked their worms, but I would've ended up embarrassed, with my ass kicked. Here's how they ended up skulking away red-faced.

Smurfette and I were on our first flyfishing trip of the year. It had been delayed for months due to life's circumstances. We made a day trip yesterday to our favorite, public-transportation-accessible trout spot.

She was at the stream's edge, just about to make her first cast when the Three Stooges showed up and started hurling bobbers and worms into the water. They stood about 30 feet from us. This was just a ridiculous breach of etiquette. There was plenty of open water upstream and down. They were not just rude, but lawbreakers too, as there's no baitfishing allowed in that New York City drinking water stream.

I saw red, but I couldn't fight them. Plunk, plunk, plunk, worm and bobber splashed everywhere Smurfette tried to cast. So she waited until the dudes were between casts and threw her fly onto the water. SMASH! A brown trout attacked. Two of the guys saw and immediately chucked their hooks into the same spot. Nothing.

Smurfette timed her next cast around them too. SMASH! This time she landed a pretty, frisky brown trout. The guys tried for the same. Nothing.

"You planning on fishing here long?" I called out to them.

"No," the first one said, and he sulked away.

His smaller buddy held his ground and doubled his wormy casts. Only, whenever he cast he got nothing. Almost every time Smurfette cast a trout splashed at her fly. She landed another one. He had nothing. Then she landed another one. He still hadn't even hooked a thing. Cast, cast, cast, zilch for Mr. Worm. Smurfette? SMASH! SMASH! SMASH! Trout, trout, trout.

"You planning on fishing here long?" I said to him.

"No," he said, and he slinked away too. So did the other guy.

Those three guys were all outfished. By a single girl. (In a miniskirt.) Talk about embarrassing.

It was good to tease trout on Memorial Day weekend with Smurfette. She'd been away for weeks, on a sad trip that ended with her and her family saying goodbye to their Papa Smurf.

Job well done, Papa Smurf. And on a personal note, thanks.

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