Forgive me for just a moment while I bask in the afterglow of the nearly perfect day.  At this moment in time, I am in a very good place.

I had a VERY good day fishing.

Today's outing wasn't even supposed to happen.  I was supposed to be up north all weekend with a group of friends drinking myself silly, boating, peacock hunting from a golf cart, bar hopping and generally forgetting that I am 42 years old as I acted like a college kid again.  (I have a history with these chaps that involves a meteor shower, Trunk pizza and a gentleman's club)  Unfortunately, a fairly severe car repair last week took every bit of disposable income we had (and then some) a bachelor's weekend was suddenly out of the picture.  Damn.

Had I gone up north...I am sure it would have looked something like this...
So yesterday, my son and I decided that since my wife and daughter were scheduled to be at a baby shower, we had better go fishing.  All we had to do was get there...not much cost involved. We called up a buddy of mine and the plan was hatched to head out to the driftless bright and early for some trout hunting.  In preparation, I spent Saturday evening in the lab working up a box full of fresh hoppers.  Now, you all know that my boy and I trout fish together regularly, but this time he was put on notice that he would be hanging with the big boys so he was expected to act accordingly. We were going there to fish, and fish hard.  Bad weather, bugs, or poor fishing be damned...this was serious.

Homie don't do early mornings so good....
As it turned out, there was no bad weather.  In fact it was nearly perfect: we were rolling by 0600 hours, the temps were in the mid 60's and overcast - no real bugs except the slight hatch of BWO's coming off the fast water. And aside from somehow shooting himself in the side of his neck with his slingshot (during a bit of "non fishing" play)...G conducted himself like a true sportsman.

By the way...I have NO idea how one accidentally shoots himself in the side of the neck with a slingshot, but yes...he has the bruise (and sore neck muscle) to prove it and doesn't seem to want to divulge any of the actual details of the incident.  In any case, he is fine and has now earned himself a new nickname.  "Slingshot".

The fish seemed to realize that the season is about to change and were more than eager to take my hoppers.  Several were caught, a few were kept and there was at least one who came out of the water like one of those sharks you see the Discovery Chanel. It took my hopper so violently that even Slingshot muttered "HOLY SHIT!".  His choice of words registered with me, but this fish was heavy and was taking line so I let this little Freudian slip go.  The fish promptly broke me off--and I launched into a string of swear words that would embarrass me under any other circumstances.

I had decided early on that I would keep a brace of fish.  It was time for a fresh trout dinner. This is an extremely rare occurrence for me as I am usually an avid catch and release guy.  But today, the weather was good, the fish were coming fairly easily and were of sufficient size to make a meal out of, so I met my bag limit.

Once home, and after some time watching football and helping Slingshot get comfortable with ice on his neck...I set to cooking up dinner.  The preparation for dinner (including filleting the trout) turned into a family affair, complete with Slingshot and my wife looking up the 80's  song "Fish Heads" on YouTube then singing it over and over and over and over and...

By no means am I a gourmet chef...but I sure had fun cooking...
Dinner turned out fantastic despite my daughter's objections to the notion that I had to kill the fish to eat them.  (Odd...doesn't seem to be an issue when I explain where chicken nuggets come from.......and the whole notion of "Mechanically Separated" doesn't seem to sink in either....)  She was a trooper and at least tasted the fish at our insistence then returned to her (requested) Mac & Cheese to "get the fishy taste out".  There is always a critic in the crowd...

So as I sit here and type in the afterglow of a fine meal of brown trout after a great day of fishing, and an excellent weekend despite the botched  party plans...I can say with some certainty that when it's's REALLY good.

Til later,


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