I had the great pleasure of meeting and camping out with Linecaster (Eric Grove) this past weekend at the Blue River. Eric is in the process of getting a van fitted out with custom cabinets, bed and accessories for camping out of. Its not quite completed yet but close enough for a trial run. He has been itching to get out in the woods and claimed it was all my fault due to some posts i had made on the forum. So, we decided to meet up for some trout fishing. Turns out we picked a horrible weekend. They had a tournament on Saturday and the weather was beautiful so the park was packed. We managed to find a place to set up camp after driving around the entire park. After setting up we set out to break in Erics new fly rod. Eric is from South Africa and on the drive down to the river he told me a story about how one of the first fish he caught on fly after arriving in the U.S. was a bluegill and that he still loves fishing for them with a two weight rod he owns. I also have a fondness for bluegills and understood the smile on his face as he was telling me this story. After walking around a good while, searching for a spot that didn't have at least three people cramed into it, we found a plunge pool with some trout rising in it. After several fly changes for both of us Eric finally hooked into a fish. The fish ran around a little then came to surface and, low and behold, a bluegill. I teased Eric the rest of the weekend about pulling a bluegill out of a river full of trout but i could tell he was genuinely excited about it. Eric has had a tough road the last few years and i was more than happy be there to watch him catch his first fish in a while. He has a tradition of not peeling the plastic sleeve of the cork handle of a new rod until the the first fish is caught on it and we got to execute that tradition on the spot. Later that evening i cooked a steak in the cast iron skillet and fries in a small dutch oven while listening to stories about growing up with charging rhinos, black mambas, lions stalking monkeys and a crocodile making a meal out of a family pet. Eric served in the military in South Africa for a number of years and told many fascinating stories of trials and tribulations of life on patrol while i cooked up a dessert of cherry cobbler in the dutch oven. Then we settled in next to the fire for more stories. The next day the fishing was slow with only a few trout caught but nothing compared to the the time and the stories i was entertained with and i wouldn't trade that for any trout.
Cpt Mac, you totally fulfilled my dream of getting back out and camping and fireside companionship. Thank you for a wonderful experience and Mr Chef your cooking was phenomenal. Looking forward to the next outing without the crowds.
In the beginning God created. Gen. 1:1 All things were made by him and without him was not anything made. John 1:3