I just returned from a salmon fishing trip in Wisconsin. This time women went with us so I thought it would be useful to point out a few hints and rules that I thought were obvious, but seem to need mentioning.
When you are watching the map on the ride out, saying “You need to turn right up here,” is helpful. Saying “You should have turned right back there,” is not. “Well silly me, this isn’t even a Wisconsin map,” I’ll let you figure out for yourself.
The reason to go salmon fishing is—and I thought this would be self-evident—to fish for salmon. It is not to stop at cute little shops to find presents for the grandkids or take pictures of rock formations or fuzzy white dogs that “I know has to be named Pookie.” Unless Pookie is a type of salmon, you ignore it.
There are special hygiene rules for salmon fishing. Showers and deodorant are optional and shaving is forbidden, but everybody brings a toothbrush because not brushing your teeth would be icky. The shower optional rule does lead to bad smells. The experienced fisherman deals with this by always standing upwind from all other fisherman. This sets about a leapfrog movement as each fisherman tries to get upwind from all the others. It has lead to the discovery of many new fishing holes, The Great Salt Lake, several large continents and Anthony Weiner.
On a salmon fishing trip mass quantities of the four food groups are consumed; the greasy food group, the chips food group, the sugar food group and the cheese-cut-into-little-cubes food group. We also eat a lot of unhealthy junk food. If you put a slice of tomato on a double-decker cheese burger you’re considered a health nut–the same with ketchup on fries. When you make coffee, if you can see the bottom of the cup it’s hot water not coffee. If you stir the coffee with a plastic spoon and the spoon comes out partially dissolved, it’s good coffee. If you stir it with a metal spoon and it dissolves, it’s GREAT coffee.
A certain fishing etiquette always needs to be followed when fishing. If someone hooks a fish you must reel in your line so as not to get tangled with the other person’s fish, unless you are absolutely positive the next cast will hook a fish. When you hook someone’s line in the dark, it is impolite–although funny as heck–to jerk on it as if they have a fish. To keep jerking on it while the woman screams, “I’ve got one! I’ve got one!” and does the happy dance while reeling futilely against the drag–although pee-your-pants funny–is downright rude. Continuing to jerk on the line while bystanders roll on the ground laughing with tears in their eyes and probably wet underpants, may actually be a sin—although hopefully not an eternal damnation sin where I’ll burn in hell forever and ever. It would be worth a sin where the Devil gets to burn me once or twice with a Bic lighter.
Anyway, we had a good time fishing, even with the novice females along. Maybe we’ll even try it again next year, but if gets to the point where I can’t burp, pass gas or scratch myself like a pro baseball player, I’m not going.
IN THE STICKS website