Have you ever noticed how sometimes you work and work, but nothing seems to go right? Well, this is a story about how things went right when so much seemed to be going wrong. This day started out almost two years ago, much like any other day. Get up, get a cup of coffee, check the forum for the latest Ketchn a big fish story, then make a HA type comment on the forum. Then check the weather to see if maybe Mother Nature is gonna cooperate, so I can go catch a fish. Then the phone rings...Whatcha doing? Drinking coffee, I reply. I sure do want to go fishing today, but looks like the wind is gonna keep me off the lake. After a little bit, I realize I am talking to DW Moore for the first time in my life! We need to go fishing sometime, he says. I am happy, because DW is a Hero to me, a larger than life kind of person. In fact, I had friends that talked about this cowboy as if he was the nirvana cowboy of roping ability. So my reply was...You just name the date, the lake, and I will be there.
That conversation was almost two years ago. We talked every so often, but just couldn't seem to get a trip lined up. About a month ago, DW sent me a PM, and said we really got to go fishing this year. I told him, DW just name the time, and the place, and I would be there. Well sir, DW called and said Monday or Tuesday, let's go fishing. I said Tuesday would be my preference, he said Monday looked like the best day. So it was settled. Where we going DW, I ask. It's a secret, he responded. Ok then, what time do you want me to show up, I ask? 8am, be on time, he retorts. I will, just tell me where to meet you. You already know where, he responds, Lake X. UH OH, I think to myself...I DON'T recall where lake X is anymore! Well, just tell me where you want to meet up and we can ride there together, I mentioned nervously, hoping I could remember where lake X is located or at least how to meet up with him, or follow him, or something! About ten minutes later a PM came across telling me where to meet him...Basically, an unnamed boat ramp on a lake I have never been to! Just my luck, I surmise, I finally get a chance to meet the LEGENDARY calf roper DW MOORE, and I am not even gonna be able to find this secluded lake, much less the unnamed boat ramp on this secluded lake. My chances of making this trip that is two years in the making are going up in flames, but I refuse to give up.
How do I figure out how to get to this place, I ask out loud hoping that an angel of mercy is going to give me some solution. Did you say something honey, asks my wife Sandra? I need to figure out how to get to a boat ramp that is not named. Did you try Google? On your new phone? Huh? Yes, Google Maps, type it in and see what pops up. Humph, well it gets me to the lake, but that is it, I tell her. About that time, a text comes in, from DW, telling me the name of a road that MAY lead to the ramp. NOPE, but I did find a boat ramp that didn't have a name on another road nearby. Hmmm, this feels like a treasure hunt, I muse. Regardless, I am NOT giving up, as this is a fishing trip of a lifetime for me! So after pouring over every detail of every road that might lead to the lake, like a crime scene investigator, I finally am satisfied that I know where to be at 8am in the morning. Dang, it's already 1am, time for bed, but I can't sleep. Finally, after an hour of tossing and turning, I drift off to sleep.
Just as I am about to put my hands on a monster crappie, I am interrupted. Dale, it's time to wake up if you are going fishing today. There is a pot of coffee already made, Sandra says. As I rub the sleep from my eyes, I head toward the bathroom, and do my best John Wayne stride, but nothing like DW can, I muse. I am going to get to go fishing with DW today, I mumble to myself. After a couple cups of coffee, I head out toward what I hope is the designated meeting place on Lake X...Just at the end of the driveway, while doing a check of every thing I will need, I realized that I forgot my wallet and phone, so I turn around to get them. I meet Sandra at the door and she says, you are going to be late if you don't get a move on. So, I retrieve my phone and wallet and head out again, hoping that this time, I didn't forget anything. The miles go by slowly as I am consumed with "what ifs". What if I picked the wrong spot, what if I am late, etc.
The drive to a fishing spot is supposed to be non eventful other than the anticipation of fishing, but this one is everything but non eventful. I glance down at my phone and I have a message from DW, giving me explicit directions and telling me it is ok if I am a bit late...WHEW, what a RELIEF! But, I still don't want to be late, so I take a short cut that I kinda sorta know will get me in the vicinity, so I can be early! Big mistake! The shortcut gets me to the lake, but on the wrong side! I pull over at an intersection frantically searching google maps for a way around the lake that doesn't take 30 minutes, without success. Just then, a lady pulled up to the intersection, and I asked her for the fastest way to get to the other side of the lake and she told me of the winding, snaking path to the other side. Once I get to the other side, I see what appears to be a boat ramp, but it is not. However, a guy sitting in his car is kind enough to direct me to the ramp in question. As I turn in to the ramp, I glance at my clock, 8:01am, Darrel Waltrip (or Chris Waters) couldn't beat that trip, I think as I congratulate myself at making the destination more or less on time. I notice a couple vehicles with empty boat trailers, then I spy the one truck with a boat still on the trailer!
By the time I get parked and step out of the truck, a man is standing there. Hello, Dale, I'm DW nice to meet you! It's nice to meet you too DW, I respond. We size each other up for a moment. I half way expected him to be wearing cowboy boots, jeans, and hat, but instead, I see Sperry boat shoes, and other fishing attire, and a gimme cap. He does have a John Wayne appearance and a comforting slow drawl when he speaks. Then we get busy loading up my stuff in his boat, then getting his boat in the water. He lays out the fishing plan, like a general plans a battle strategy. The plan sounds good to me, heck, at this point, no plan would have sounded good to me! Finally, on the water with DW, it's been a long time in the process!
As I am sitting on the boat, I look out on the horizon and see dark foreboding clouds hanging low in the sky. The wind is blowing steadily at 15 mph maybe more, so I cinch the chin strap my hat for the takeoff and ride across the water to the first fishing spot. I am expecting the nose to rise up high in the air, as he pours on the throttle to get on pad. But it never happens, yet we are on plane and gliding through the whitecaps, like they aren't even there. How can this be, I wonder?
The boat is very surprising, as is DW. I don't really care for glass boats, but this boat is different. It pops up on plane easier and with less effort than any glass boat I have ever been in...so I ask DW about that, and he explains that Nitro has a new hull design. Then I question him about the motor, and he informs me that despite its size the thing sips gas in part, because of the new hull design. I noticed the front deck was really wide, the boat was easing through the water comfortably, and seemed overly stable. Then we discuss the trailering aspects, which he explains is better than any previous make trailer he has owned. I was impressed, because a cowboy like DW has hauled more trailers in his life than most ten men combined. By this time I was starting to get a picture of a man who is very methodical in his approach, and notices minor details that most people overlook. I was starting to realize this man puts a lot of thought into his decisions.
To be continued...