When HG showed up in his time machine looking for some flyweight Hodgman waders Feral Tweed pulled him aside to show him one of his own inventions, the blowgun firearm. The well travelled HG admitted he had never seen one before so Feral loaded up a retro muzzle-loading model and HG proceeded to blow a squirrel off a tall oak whereby Feral cleaned the rodent and put it in the stew pot with a mess of fresh vegetables and some unlabelled ingredients. HG asked about the ingredients but the conversation went silent. Feral buried the stewpot on a bed of coals and told HG to stick around if he’d like to go fishing.
HG saw my Shakespeare 1810 reel and Wonderod, circa 1960s, and asked if he could look at it and I said that would be alright but before I knew it he pulled out a tiny screwdriver and had the side cover off the 1810 and was pulling out wrenches for a complete dismantle. I had to wrestle the darn thing away from him. That’s the way it is with these gadget guys. Where was he when the drive belt went out on my Whirlpool washer? You can’t scold a genius so I told him to check out my 61 Apache Chief camper with the aircraft aluminum box and foldaway pole system. “Look, don’t touch,” I admonished. He liked the camper and I could see the gears turning in his mind when he looked over at his time machine. A fold-out cotton duck canvas cabin tent on the aft end would make a nice addition.
By now it was late afternoon and Feral had an extra set of waders so we headed over to a remote spot on the Pigeon River that has some sandy patches and dark bends that give up some monster brown trout. HG is a little guy so Feral’s old Simms waders came up to his neck which was funny, the more so because HG had on a retro pot helmet with wrap around goggles that fortunately were Polaroid’s since most of that stretch of river requires walking into the sun at nightfall.
HG was a quick study. Feral showed him the Jake Lucas underhand flip cast and after casting straight up the first couple times he managed to bullet a #3 Blue Fox spinner at a grassy bank and was rewarded with sixteen inch brook trout which amazed both Feral and I since neither us had caught a brookie on the Pigeon since the dam went out at the Song of the Morning yoga ranch. We caught several more trout including a brown trout longer than HG’s forearm and after that we hustled out of there because we didn’t want HG to disappear down a beaver hole on the hazardous trek out. I said as much – and HG laughed saying that was how Jules Verne got the idea for Journey to the Center of the Earth. “Such a Klutz,” he intimated.
Around the campfire, shoveling down squirrel stew with a cold Labatts, HG said he hadn’t had so much fun fishing since the time he and Hemingway knocked down a bottle of bourbon and took a rowboat out on the gulf. The sharks got their tuna but that’s another story.