Monday, November 26, 2012

When Black Friday Comes

When Black Friday comes, I'll collect everything I'm owed
And before my friends find out I'll be on the road
(Taken from Steely Dan's supreme work, Aja)

I awoke to find the yard full of turkeys. I'd come down stairs first. It's cold to be sleeping in the yard. I was to meet the boys late morning on The Housatonic River and I passed Z Fisher on the road, traveling at about 60 mile per hour (my car, not Steve). He was parked up taking pictures of an icy pond or a graveyard or something of greater value than being on time. Not that we were rushing. This is as informal as fishing days get, which of course they don't, really. To test this we play a game of how long we think we enjoy talking to Torrey in the fly shop before we realize we came here to wade the river and not get deeper into leader tectonics and considerable debt (I spent fifty dollars on nothing whatsoever.)

We've been meeting on Black Friday to fish for trout since back in the early 80s. That's not true, I'm just practicing my veteranese. Other than on Facebook, this is the only day of the year we see Brother Don Jiskra in the flesh. Though I'm not sure we'd admit it, this trip is partially designed to follow our arduous November Steelheading. It's something of a recalibration, putting us back in the mindset of fishing for things that won't leave us ill at ease mentally and that we might even land. It's more akin to fly-fishing and I've found that it helps.

Not that I fished with a bobber. The Salmon River style works for Housatonic trout, it transpires. Chuck it upstream into likely lies, prospecting here and there. I landed 5 nice trout in short order from one of the deeper little channels mid river. Good fish too. Even at a seemingly plentiful 650 CFS the fishy water is obvious on the Housy. Four of the fish took a small, yellow sulfur nymph, which of course shouldn't really happen in November.

The woman opened the door in her nightgown. I thought: strange place to have a door. The turkeys were in the yard.

Mostly, we get together on Black Friday to eat my wife's cranberry loaf, drink whisky, and most certainly because the rest of America is somewhere else.

9am on a national day of rest, somewhere else on the way to the river.

Zero Weight after Thanksgiving. Not like Pulaski.

A trout with a green Elastoplas, which indicates that it is, indeed, a trout.  

Fresh coffee and The Blessed Loaf, several trout to the good.
Z fisher through my Polaroids as I ate a turkey sandwich.
Thy Annual Don Jiskra. I could watch him nymph all day. He's very good at it.

Z with a fat one, and a lovely trout he caught at the death throwing a big yellow streamer.
Last knockings. No trout, but we did see an adult Bald Eagle as it soared majestically above the river like a patty of butter with some feathers sticking out of it.

Good Shit.



  1. Good shit. Pining for the butter-colored fjords as we speak.

  2. I agree. Nice account of a good day. I wish I could join you.

    Instead, I sit here staring at an English muffin slathered with butter the color of a Model T fjord.

  3. This is a excellent post. Makes me want to pinch a cranberry loaf while listening to Babylon Sister.

  4. You gotta shake it baby, you gotta shake it. Would be my advice.

  5. Thats what I'm saying, any major dude will tell you