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Fishing Buddies

We sure did have a good time.

Old Ralph and Fred are the two fishermen, Abel the “Sport” turned protector of the north woods with his long gun, and myself.

That’s me with my staff standing in the background. I always kept a good staff for emergencies.

They were always creeping up you know; those emergencies were.

Sometimes it was a canoe tipping over or a need to get to the other side of the crick. Always needed a wading staff handy.

Sometimes a small wild animal would get a little close, like a skunk, and then you would have to shove it away.

That is why it is so long – – – and sturdy.

At one time I never carried a wading staff. Why bother? There were plenty of old branches and tree limbs laying around. You could pick one up wherever you were scooting through the woods.

Well – – – one day I was on the Salmon River where the cascades are. I needed to get to the other side of the crick. So I picked up a stick with one hand and kept my fishing pole in the other. Got about half way across and the damn stick broke. It was May and that water sure was cold.

Now I didn’t want to lose my fishing pole so I hung on tight. Lost my footing and went ass over teacups down the Salmon. I was finally able to get close to shore and out of the swift current. A couple of bushes on the bank helped me retrieve myself.

I looked to see if anyone had seen what had happened. There was Old Ralph and Fred slapping their knees and just a-guffawing away at my predicament. Thank God that Abel wasn’t there or I would have been humiliated in front of a “sport.” Not that it mattered much. Old Ralph and Fred would be sure to repeat that tale several times.

Abel always went with Old Ralph and Fred on their canoe trips. They invited him, and his long gun, after an episode with a bear. Able was a good painter – – – that’s what he did in the city before he moved here to the North Woods. Old Ralph and Fred told Abel the “bear story” and Able painted a picture of it.

Nobody knows if it happened as they told it but this is what Abel drew.

Two Canoers and a Bear

Fred got a few shots off at the bear and distracted him.

Old Ralph had a nice swim down the rapids.

I got to fix their canoe.

Tahawas and Tomosky c