Wednesday, March 12, 2014

There used to be a hand crafted wooden sign above the door of the PUD Camp which read in routered lettering, "Produce Your Minnow". I had never been entirely sure of its meaning, but suspected that it had something to do with the male anatomy, seeing as how it was so prominently displayed at the entrance to a rowdy fishing camp on a fabled river where, over many years, legions of sports had pitted themselves against coveted anadromous fish, harsh weather, the final four, The Famous Grouse, Hendrick's gin (shudder), and well, each other. Several years ago the old A frame got a much needed exterior makeover and the sign no longer welcomed the sports with that quizzical greeting. I foolishly asked one of the owners of the place what the sign actually meant.  I should have known that the response was going to be classic Andy Warhol.  "Hmmm, what do YOU think it means, Hmmmmm ?" I know now who produced the sign, but the author of the phrase remains anonymous. 

Flash forward to the recent steelhead fishing trip to the OP. The car trip from Portland was about a six hour journey, accounting for stops along the way for lunch, forgotten gear, photo ops, etc. etc. The rain poured down and each river we crossed looked higher and more turbid than the last one. Water everywhere, ocean to the left, watersheds and roaring rivers to the right and a sky full of absolute buckets of unrelenting rain!  By the time we reached the rainforest it was getting dark, and the Captain of our little expedition of five PUDs, was determined that we reach a particular gravel bar on the Hoh before night fell and obscured our destination from view. Reaching said gravel bar at the last glimmer of the day, we bailed out to behold another fabled river. This one shrouded in fog and moss and legends and mystery. Just above the sounds of the flowing water and the pouring rain, someone said "Produce your Minnow". Message instantly received, the waters of men and mother nature mixed.

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