Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Fish Tales

I did it - I landed the big one! 31 1/2 inches was all it took to secure bragging rights among my fishing friends!
At the beginning of March, I joined a couple of my closest friends for our annual trek to Idaho, where we compete in the Women with Bait steelhead fishing tournament. It's a weekend of driving, fishing, talking, drinking, and this year....dancing!

It's a competition but to tell you the truth, winning the tournament is never on my mind (unless I'm engaging Stacy or Laurie in some good, healthy smack talk). For months before the tourney, Laurie, Stacy and I email back and forth about our building excitement. Of course, it involves a whole lotta planning...where are we staying, who's bringing what, and what date/time are we leaving.

This year, a big snow storm blew into our area the night before we were set to leave, dumping snow and making the roads a complete mess. No worries though! I wasn't driving which meant I could kick back, enjoy some coffee with a little somethin' somethin' in it to warm my toes, and leave all the worries to Laurie's husband Carl. A good sport for sure!

After driving all day and into the night, we arrived at our destination. It was dark but we pulled up to the vacation rental. It was too dark to take a photo that night but this is what we came to:

After some laughing (and praying), we discovered the house to the left of this um, beautiful, um camper.
The next morning, we were up early to get out on the river and land some fish. This year seemed a little slower - it was early afternoon before we landed any.

As I mentioned above, I caught the biggest at 31 1/2 inches. What I didn't mention was that it's only because Stacy's fish broke the line. We have no idea how big it was but when the guide is excited and in tears when you lose it, well, you know you have a story for the "one that got away." Just look at her try to reel this one in.

Every year, I'm amazed at how much time can pass before I realize I've thought nothing. Literally, I can watch the water off the back of the boat and not have a single thought run through my head.

After a long day fishing, we're all ready to be back in the warmth of a house, eating some delicious food, having a drink, and some more talking. This is the third year in a row we've skunked the men. Unfortunately for them, they don't have any luck fishing. Fortunately for us, it gives us something to tease them about.

This year, our fishing day coincided with the end of the tournament and therefore, the Fish Dance! The Fish Dance is held at the Seven Devils Saloon and is where they give away the awards. The dance boasts a live band:

We weren't sure what to expect. To top it all off, everywhere we went, everyone we met gave us warnings. It gets rowdy. It causes at least one divorce a year. Get out before the inevitable brawl starts. Don't go anywhere alone - stick together. And the warnings continued...

We arrived at the saloon expecting to stay for a drink, maybe two and then leave before the "crazies" came out. But our drink turned into two, then three, and for some of us - four, five, or six. We danced. The band was really quite good...a Beatles cover band. The dance floor was packed. We were all smiling. We finally made it back to the hotel around 1 a.m.

It was a really great year. I'm already looking forward to next year. If you want to see a few more pictures, visit my friend Stacy's blog. She's shared a few pictures I didn't have.