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Ev'ry once in awhile, I git a hankerin' to write up memoirs of a perticklerly good story regardin' somethin' int'restin' or ennertainin' that has happened to Meaux an' me. It gener'ly involves fishin' somewhere or t'other, be it the 'Hooch, Crooked River, The Okefenokee, or one of the inumerable bayous to be found along the Gu'f coasts of Louisiana, Miss'ippi, an' Alabamastan.

I hope enny readers that come across this little un-official blog enjoy a-readin' it jes' as much as I have enjoyed "talkin' with mah fingers."

-Swamp Angel

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Meaux said, "I'm gonna need the net."

Posted 04-29-13 at 05:26 PM by Swamp Angel
Updated 04-29-13 at 05:53 PM by Swamp Angel
If'n y'all've been payin' enny 'tention to the weather reports of late, you'll recall that today was s'posed to be purty nasty fer the most part. Overcast, showers on an' off, rain jes' a-settin' in this afternoon. So, on account of the prognosis fer foul weather, Meaux an' I went out to the 'Hooch a bit earlier than our accustomed time.

The long, heavy release that ran from eight o'clock AM in the mornin' on Thursday 'til midnight last night (that's forty hours of serious release comin' down the river atcha!) left the ramp muddy with silt an' slicker'n owl poop! The water was still purty high even ten hours after the gates had been closed to allow only the minimum flow to git through. But lookin' at the gauges, one could tell that the long release had flushed the river good when the comparison was made 'twixt the gauge height an' the turbididity levels. The water was still jes' a gushin' yesterday, but the turbididity levels were down below a readin' of "10".

Well, we commenced a-driftin' in the 'Hoochee Queen immediately upon releasin' our bateau from its trailer an' parkin' the truck. Mostly, our concern was that there wouldn't be 'nuff time to git a proper day's worth of fishin' in on account of the perdicted rains. But the high waters had apparently shut 'em down fer a bit longer than I'd 'spected, an' we got nary a bite 'til shortly after we passed by another microskiff on the water. (Turned out to be feeding frenzy53.) We chatted amiably briefly an' bewailed our common woes at not havin' yet hooked up with ennythin' on our lines. 'Twas a great pleasure to have met this fahn young man an' his passenger today, as it is always a boon to discover another NGTOer sharin' the water with you. (Later in the day we ran upon him again as he was pullin' his bateau out of the river. He'd finally had a bit of luck!)

Shortly after we'd first met feeding frenzy53, Meaux hooked up with her very firstest fish on her bran' new flyrod.

She landed it an' brung it aboard, happy as could be until she inspected it closely an' her smile faded fast. "It's foul hooked," she grumbled, "I got him beneath the chin. He doesn't count."

Still, she put on a good smile fer the cam'ra an' showed him off. He was raht purty to look at, an' wasn't 'zackly scrawny neither.

We continued a-driftin' downriver after havin' met Feeding Frenzy53 an' catchin' that little, ol' 'bow. At a perticklerly productive section of the river we met a-nuther bateau, this time a reg'lar drift boat, anchored at a very strategic position in a very productive run. The captain of this new craft musta reckonized us from the name 'Hoochee Queen written on the side of our Gheenoe. He says, "Hey! Ain't you on NGTO?"

"Yessir!" says I. "I go by Swamp Angel on the forums."

"I thought so," he hollered back, "I've read some of your posts."

'Twas at this point that I commenced to gittin' a bit consternated. Hillbilly/coon-a** lingo ain't 'zackly ev'rybody's cup o' tea, an' I figgered I' maht need to be prepared to duck a swarm of double-ought if'n he weren't 'zackly fond of mah pitiable accent. 'Twas mah fortune, however, that he mentioned where he'd been earlier in the day, then went on to say that it hadn't been perticklerly productive there, so he an' his passenger decided to head on back up to this spot an' sit at anchor fer awhile on a well-known productive spot.

Well, I figgered it'd be best if Meaux an' I didn't horn in on his established spot today. Fishmonger has taught me a whole lot about proper fishin' etiquette when on a river the size of this'n. He's been a good mentor that lets me learn most stuff on my own, but he corrects me once in awhile as needed to get me more attuned to noticin' those little things that so menny other folks would never notice, or even see, when on the water.

Ennyway, Meaux an' I went on our way an' took a diff'rent path that we hadn't traveled in nigh on a year or so. The channel had changed a wee bit, an' there were tree limbs hangin' lower (a lot lower) over the water from what we had remembered. The propeller on the trollin' motor banged a few rocks, the polin' platform got swept clean of enny debris or dust by low hangin' branches that hadn't been there before, certain [non-PG] words were uttered in surprise as shoals appeared where they hadn't been before, but eventually we started gittin' our bearin's proper, an' started gittin' a familiar feelin'.

Meaux's new rod is really somethin' else. She can cast most nigh a hunnert feet now, so 'twixt the two of us, we can fish both sides of the river from the middle now. I was a-focused intently upon one bank, makin' casts an' a-watchin' mah bobber strike indicator fer enny hint of a fish. I saw a couple movements that looked lahk they maht be a fish - looked lahk they maht be a stick. Wasn't certain, thus I hesitatered a-settin' the hook, so I reckon I'll never know.

Meaux was a-fishin t'other side an' had been doin' a good bit of havin' to back-track with the trollin' motor so as to git loose of one snag after a-nuther. I heard her say (sarcastic'ly, I thought), "I'm gonna need the net for this one."

'Twas a quiet statement, not at all urgent. I figgered she was jokin' 'bout needin' the net so she could land the third oak tree she'd done hooked. I turned halfway back an' glanced over mah shoulder an' saw what I 'spected to see. Her strike indicator was under the surface of the water an' her line appeared to be stuck on a limb or somethin' underwater.

Then all of a sudden that "limb" took off an' swum itse'f raht up anunderneath of the bateau, an' it made her new fly-fishin' pole jes' a jump an' dance an' a-wiggle! An' then I got to lookin' fer that flash of fish belly as that rainbow sought to throw the hook afore it jumped clear of the water in its bid fer freedom.

But this'n never flashed its belly. This'n never made fer the surface. This'n started a-diggin' hard an' fast fer deep water an' sunken timber, an' Meaux was suddenly a little more excitable than she had been a few seconds ago. Ain't enny rainbow runs lahk that. That's a brown. An' that's a goodly portioned brown also too.

"Get the net, Swampy," she hollered! "I have to keep pressure on him. I'm fishing barbless!" So I did.

It took a good five minutes of redirectin' that dad-blamed brownie this-a-way an' a-that! I'd git the net down an' Meaux would nigh have him headin' raht fer it, an' then he'd see the mesh an', "Oh HECK no," he'd think! An' off in a-nuther d'reckshun he'd go. Up t'wards the sunk timber. Over t'ward the deep water. Up anunderneath of the boat. . . Over an' over an' over he'd run, an Meaux jes' kept up a steady pressure, pullin' him 'round jes' 'zackly lahk she pulls our hard-headed dog, Maggie, 'round when she goes out on walks.

Finally, she got him close enough to me that I was able to scoop him, an' then git a pitcher or two. So, without further adieu. . .

An' here's a-nuther 'n of both of 'em grinnin' fer the cam'ra. . .

Now, normally (up 'til today, a hunnert percent of the time) we name our fish "Henry" an' chuck 'em back in the water to enjoy a-nuther day. We are thankful fer the joy they've shared with us in allowin' us to catch 'em, an' it's only raht to allow 'em to live a-nuther day to bring joy to a-nuther fisherman. But not today. Nope. No-sir-ee. Today, fer the very firstest time, a trout was named "Beauregard" an' released back to his home with Meaux's gratitude fer havin' been so blessed as to enjoy the meetin'.

God bless all y'all feller NGTOers fer allowin' us into yer community here on the forums, at the flings, and on the waters we share. And thanks to so menny of y'all fer impartin' sech words of wisdom as to allow us to learn how to tempt quarry sech as this into bitin' our flies an' bringin' joy an' excitement into our Saturday afternoons. Y'all have been ev'ry bit the blessin' to us as Beauregard was today.

Tight lines, y'all!
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