For a couple hours Saturday, my life was neatly contained by the following: boulders, cliffs, and giant fallen logs.

This was the result of a bad gamble, but then, you probably already guessed that.

Rainbow trout

Bastard wouldn't stay in focus (the nerve!)

Instead of a long drive to a known-fishable stream, I thought I’d try a couple local streams, figuring they must have fallen into shape by now.

Which highlights the following reality: my predictive powers need some work.

You go into this stream at the bottom of a tiny gorge and come out at the top. You could say it requires a certain commitment.

This stream is smothered in willows, boulders, bluffs, cliffs and fallen timber (often in devilishly Gordian combinations), and while you can usually escape the worst of it by simply going up the middle of the stream, it turns out you can’t if the stream is running high.

Every ill-advised trip has a moment — the go/no-go decision when the smart money says “this isn’t looking all that good.”

Apparently, I drove right by that moment, and at freeway speeds.

Tree-choked small stream

Maybe I need to buy a drift boat...

Instead of exhibiting common sense, I climbed up and down and over and under and through things until my legs retained the raw masculine strength of cooked spaghetti. Fortunately, I was able to console myself with the fact it simply means I’m criminally out of shape, 51 and fat.

The Old Guy Trifecta.

I did manage to scrape up four nice little rainbow trout, which — if I’d eaten them — would have returned approximately 1/10 the calories I burned on the trip.

Behold the mighty hunter. Feel my rippling thews.

See you trying (and failing) to pry the lid off the extra-strength Tylenol, Tom Chandler.


Look at what you find when your face is in the dirt...