Fishing poles are not something to mess with |

Fishing poles are not something to mess with

Pam Gooch, Tahoe Daily Tribune

George Carlin observed that a disturbing aspect of traveling is that you are away from your stuff and surrounded by other people’s stuff. We all take comfort in our own stuff.

This makes for a more and more common difficulty in our ever aging and transient culture –the challenge of blending two households together.

This has become apparent to me as I am attempting to remake my life with a man I knew 30 years ago. I have been widowed three years and he’s been divorced for 15 years. We are two old codgers with a lot of old habits and a lot of stuff.

His South American artifacts and musical instruments hung on the wall weren’t too much of a problem to assimilate, since my home was furnished in contemporary Tahoe Garage Sale motif anyway. It just adds to the clutter.

Now, his habit of eating almost exclusively what he terms “Man Cookies” (made of whole wheat, oatmeal, seeds, sorghum, molasses, etc.) and salad for the last five years, has been more of a test. Personally, I tend to drink the majority of my carbohydrates — preferably after work with a couple of olives.

Then there is the music. His is 600 hours of blues, country, and classic rock ‘n’ roll. Mine is New Age, tribal percussion, and assorted Hindu and Tibetan chants. Enough said.

But none of these approaches the differences encountered with our fishing gear. He’s been a bass fisherman and has come here by way of the Midwest and the South. I’ve fished for trout in the Cascade Mountains and the Sierra for 20 years.

Packing the car for our first outing to Indian Creek Reservoir to go trout fishing, I picked two nice outfits: two graphite Fenwick rods and my new titanium Shimano reel and an Abu Garcia with 4 and 6 pound test line.

Surveying the matter, his take on it was, “Oh, you picked the yucky poles, huh?” Boy, it’s a good thing he had such an innocent look in those baby blues.

Trying not to sound testy, I suggested that he go and pick any poles he wanted to bring. He comes up with his trusty 6 foot lamiglass “custom -made” Fenwick one-piece antique pole with a Zebco reel.

Filling my Rave 4 from windshield to tail, this atrocity sits between us, poised to put out an eye.

“Yup,” he continues like a praying mantis during a spring ritual, “back in Arkansas, you would never see a serious fisherman with a break-down pole. No serious fisherman would be caught dead with one. They are just for beginners and kids. I don’t think I ever saw a break-down pole in anything but a discount barrel.”

The gloves were off now. Something was happening to my jaw and my eye was beginning to twitch.

“Well, darlin,’ maybe those good-ol’ boys just can’t figure out how to put the two pieces of the poles together once they drink all that beer they’ve got loaded up in the truck along with their gear.”

While listening to the mental sound track of “Deliverance” running through my mind, I mutter, “OK, cowboy, the proof will be in the frigging pudding,” as we head out to the lake.

Thankfully, disaster was averted, as the two of us enjoyed better luck out there than any two deserve. We both probably could have caught our limits with hand lines. His husky voice began to sound good to me again.

Now, what to do with the fish? Are we going to cook them in his cast iron pans or my Teflon?

Somehow, love will find a way.

— Pam Cosmo is an account executive at the Tahoe Daily Tribune. Off-beat is a column written by Tribune employees whenever they feel like it.

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