Fishing ELIXIR

Fishing ELIXIR, verse by les booth; reference photo by Bill Elliott | eLITHOGRAPH  17″x15″

A ‘Throw Back‘ photo caught my eye when it was posted by ‘Friend-Not-Yet-Met’, Bill Elliott. As many of my FB Friends know, such a collision of image and timing – can generally dislodge a story, poem, haiku or some sort of textual creation.

This event, was no different.

Taking the image and recreating it as an eLITHOGRAPH and composing a few lines of verse to fulfill the promise of story – combining them – I built the following full image montage – recapping Bills illustrious career as a top sporting life illustrator, painter and spokesman for outdoor activities.

eLITHOGRAPH: ‘Fishing ELIXIR’ measures 17″x15″.

Thanks to Bill Elliott for the inspiration and the ability to fill, quite nicely, another slot among my Facebook Gallery,

‘Artist in-Situ’, as well as permission to create from his original image.

Enjoy.  – AOJ





Papa’s 2-Toned Wet

061113_ooak_papas-2tone-wet_barblessPapa said Jesus did His best work when He reached down, under-the-water’s-surface and pulled a person up. They were drowning. They’d already give’in to the idea they were gonna die. They’re workable. That’s the kinda house I lived in: Papa’s 2-Toned Wet.

Papa said when Jesus tried to work with people on top of the water, they weren’t easy to work with. They’s too much of themselves. Those people who’d gone down – were stiff – well …somebody else had to deal with them.

Kinda like fishin’. Papa liked wet-flies. He said fishin’ right ‘neath the surface was where you got a serious fish. Fishin’ on the top, that was easy. T’wern’t that hard. Fishing way down on the drag-bottom, that weren’t hard neither. Sorta like chuckin Kentuck’chuck’bait … or, what other folks called, fishin’ with dynamite.

But gettin’ the fish on a bite, right under the surface – at the line between their world ‘n ours – that was real fishin’. That’s Papa’s 2-Tone Wet. Well, part of it – at least.

Growin’ up in our family, there was rules, ‘n there was rules. Not many, but there was rules. One rule that Papa had – and no one dared to break it; least whys not when he was ’round; or kept right secret like, soes he’d be most likely not t’ EVER find out; was simple.

Fishin’s not about draggin’ the bottom, rakin’ the surface, killen or braggin’. Fishin’s ’bout one thing – and one thing only – fightin’ chance.

The fish gives you a fightin’ chance when you come to the water, to do your ‘fishin’ thing’ – whatever it be. So, h’it’s only fair that you give the fish, a fightin’ chance as well. That’s why he only used, the method he called, The 2-Toned Wet.

H’it weren’t no secret that my Papa liked fish and fishin’. But it was a hugemongeous secret about how Papa was able to be so lucky at turnin’ fishin’ into catchin’. Most folks thought he has some sort of deal with the water-spirits that helped him with catchin’ fish. But Papa just laughed. Laught good’n’hard …and loud… when he heard this said. Papa said the only spirit he knew of – anywheres near his fishin’, came from a Ball Mason quart jar. And he said most of them spirits were damned liars.

Papa no longer casts the 2-Toned Wet fly over the creeks of our home area. But, his shadow still casts quite a line over folks in these parts. Folks done asked ’bout Papa’s fishin’ luck and how he came to be in possession of his knowledge of 2-Toned Wet and I just ignored them. Then –I begun’ta realize that my bein’ all quiet’n’such ’bout Papa ‘n his gift, caused me to lose touch with Papa and his fishin’. That’s somethin’ I don’t ever wanna lose touch with.

So, I finally decided; since Papa is now only fishin’ in our memories; to write down what I know about Him and the 2-Toned Wet.

So, this is where Papa’s story begins … on a cool-runnin’ mountain stream, deep’steep in rhoady-shade hidin’, nestled like a baby’to’a’tit in a hot Tarheel afternoon’s rays; blazin’-hot-rays’, too, from an unseasonably hot June sun; alone and wonderin’ where the fish had gone.”

The eLITHOGRAPH, Pappa’s Two-Toned Wet, is an image size – 10″ x 8″, watercolor style image when printed. There are four panels of PTTW images. The image shown above is the Barbless version. There are three panels displaying the other versions. Shown below in the bar-panel (from left to right) you find  the  Club, Button and Hookless, styles of the PTTW wet-fly.



This fly and the story came out of an influential article, written by the well-known, and highly-respected Canadian-born, (now residing in the Bahamas) fly-fishing and TV personality of the popular fishing show, What A Catch, Kathryn Maroun.

Kathryn and I had started an online conversation, on Facebook, a few months before the ‘article of influence’ was published.  Our conversation of origin was over her current struggle with  Late-stage Lyme disease.  During her months and months of treatment, pain, agony and suffering, she began rethinking the whole issue of pain.  And in this she began rethinking her position as a ‘hooking angler’.  Read Kat’s story to get the full-story and her message.  Watch the video: The Evolution of an Angler.  Read the article in WOW online.

The upstart of the video and conversations with Kat was, her disclosure of a new-found preference for the use of a ‘hookless-fly’; a fly without, not only a barb, but NO POINT!  As I told Kat, I had been using a ‘hookless fly’ technique for the better part of 15 years.

I had developed this in response to what I was seeing as too many injuries – leading to death or greater potential for fatal release – of fish, through improper handling, that were intended to be released as catch-n-release.  So, instead of hooking the fish, I would cast a fly that has no hook to ‘hold the fish’.  The only ‘catch’ I would have would be the length of time the fish retained possession of the fly in its mouth.   Thereby giving new meaning to the old fishing mantra, ‘The Tug is the Drug’.

As part of the story, Pappa’s Two-Toned Wet, I have introduced 4 types of hook/bend designs for fishing a barbless to near to total-barbless fly.f  Thank you Kat for the inspiration that brought about Pappa’s Two-Toned Wet!

Wet Wade: CEC2010-002

 “No real-fly-fishin’-man would wear ‘wimp-assed’ waders in ‘wet-wadin’-time’ Eh?”
story ©2010 Les Booth; painting, Wading Wet, ©2010 Diane Michelin

The phone was nearing the end of its ring cycle. Two more rings and the really cool answering machine voice would engage.

“Hey Y’all! This is Curt’s sexy, silky voiced digital female assistant.  I’ll take your call, but Curt isn’t here.  He’s somewhere getting wet, freezin’ his ass off and loving it so much I have no idea when he’ll be back.  But don’t fret!  He calls me everyday; he can’t live without hearing my voice. Clearly say your name, the date you’re calling, state – clearly – what you need and leave Curt a callback number.  He’ll get back to you… ’cause you can only wet wade in 50 degree water just so long.  Thanks for calling. <Kiss!> .. Beeeeep.

Well, she’s sultry, witty and tireless.  She’s wonderful … but she didn’t get to prove it – again – this time.

“Hi. This is Curt. What can I interrupt to assist you?”

“Wow dude, you really know how to make a person feel welcome.  When did you join the International Order of Misanthropes?”

“Hey, Josh. Frick! If I’d have known it was you I’d have let CC answer the phone.”

“CC? Who’s that?  You got a new roomie or something?”

“Nah! That’s my new sexatary answering machine.  Her name is Chrome-Cathy.  I call her ‘CC’. You’d get a kick out her… knowing just how much of a perv you are!”

“Gee, thanks.”

“No problemo pard.  So, why’d you call? Surely, not to get a verbal butt kickin’ from me. Whatcha up to?”

“Well, I’m off on a fishing adventure in 3 weeks and wanted to know if you’d like to join me.”

“Where we goin’?”

“Idaho. Small drainage on the eastern side of the state. It’s remote. Quiet. No people.  And it has some of the best Cutthroat fishing this side of 1840.”

“So, where exactly in ‘eastern Idaho’ is our paradise located?”

“It’s in the Selway-Bitteroot Wilderness, just west of the Montana border. It is remote! Nearest road is 30 miles away. We have to fly in or do a hard 3 days on horseback.  This is one of – if not the most – remote area in the lower 48 states.  Mountain lion, black bear, gray wolf, elk, deer, bobcat and a whole lot more are still in abundant supply. It’s not a place for city folk.”

“When do we pack?”

“In three weeks.  Booked 2 weeks in the only lodge in the area, starting 21st July.”

“So, what do I need to bring?  I take it we’ll be doing a lot of back country hiking, right?”

“Yep. That’s all we’ll be doing.  That and overnight camping; at least 6 of the 14 days.”

“So why did you book the lodge?”

“Best place to stay. Best access to the area. Best food in 60 miles. And they’ll come get us if we get ‘stuck’.”

“OK. Just thought I’d ask.”

“Pack rod – fly only, of course.”

“Duh? Yeeaaah!”

“Count on bead-head nymphs, Stimulators, Hairs-ear nymphs.. and some gawd-awful big Wooley Buggers.  Black, dark-purple and olive w/flecks of sparkle dun in ’em.  There are the occasional Bull Trout in those waters, too.  Don’t want to pass that up, eh?”

“OK!  Sounds pretty much par-for-du-course, Bro. And thanks for the inclusion.”

“Oh and Curt, don’t forget your camera crap… OK?”

“Right!  You smart-acre! I got the ‘hint’ 10 years ago.  Just remember… I don’t ever ask anyone else to carry my ‘camera crap’ and y’all  -always-  love to look at the ‘purdy pictures’ I bring home. Eh?   Take care.  Hey! Gotta run.  Finally got hold of a live-one!  A real cash-paying victim .. uh, er…  I mean ‘client’.”

“Well, that’s good to hear.  Maybe you’ll actually pay for a beer or two on this trip. Eh?”

“Careful dude. You know which of us runs faster.  And I’d bet $2-and-a-donut’ that there are cougar where we’ll be goin’. So… just remember what ‘slow-buddies’ are for…!”

“OOOOO!  Shaking in my waders already.”

“Waders? Dude, who’ll have waders?  We’ll be there in July, ‘wet-wadin’-time’ !!  No real-fly-fishin’-man would wear ‘wimp-assed’ waders in ‘wet-wadin’-time’  Eh?????”

“Are you crazy dude? We’re talking about Idaho.. high altitude… cold mountain streams. Freeze your jewels off cold water man.  Not to mention rocks… and along with the cougars – there are rattlesnakes.  So, call me ‘wimp-assed’ all you want, but I’ll be wearing waders.”

“Hey, I’m just sayin’.”

“Gotta run. Talk with you again in a week.”

“Sure thing and thanks again .. REALLY! .. for the invite. I’m looking forward to it.”

[Two months later]

Rinnnng. Rinnng. Rinnnng. Rinnng.

“Hey Y’all! This is Curt’s sexy, silky voiced – and now really worried – digital female assistant.  I’ll take your call, but Curt isn’t here.  He’s somewhere getting wet, freezin’ his ass off and loving it so much I have no idea when he’ll be back. I thought he’d have called in …long before now.  But don’t fret! In the past he’s called me everyday; he can’t live without hearing my voice. At least… I thought he couldn’t.  You know the drill – After the ‘Beeep’, say your name clearly; state the date you’re calling and what you need. Please speak clearly as you leave Curt a callback number.  He’ll get back to you: I’m now only assuming this is still true. ‘Cause you can only wet wade in 50 degree water just so long.  Thanks for calling and please, remember Curt fondly. I certainly do. <Kiss!>

.. Beeeeep.