by R. sumner
As most of you know there are really two Washington’s in
Washington State, the green sophisticated Seattle and the brown sagebrush
rustic east side. I tend to forget that the culture shock works both ways, for
example when I go to Seattle I’m always amazed at the number of people drinking
bad coffee, wearing all black and going hatless even in the rain. A bit like
caffeinated Raider fans, but friendly. So what follows is a tale of two Big
City guys and they’re first fishing experience with me on the Yakima.
arrived driving a new Midnight Blue Mercedes 500 SEL not the greatest fishing
car on earth but then again not bad. I just hoped we wouldn’t find the car
stripped to the frame after our day on the water. After the introductions we
put their gear in my 1989 Trooper and headed up to the boat launch.
They didn’t have
much to say about my classic fishing truck.
Arriving at the put in I noted what appeared to a family in an old
camper gutting out two deer. They had a fire going and a beer or two open as
they tended to the skinning, I thought it was kind of a homey scene. One of the
clients, Paul walked past them on his way to the outhouse and got a real close
look and a quick chat with the hunters. It seems that little Tommy had shot his
first buck. Paul had a horrified look in his eyes as pointed out two smaller
kids riding the severed deer heads in the dirt, holding on to the horns Harley
style. It was true they were covered in blood and dirt to their eyeballs; a kid
can make a toy out of anything. The only thing Paul said was “ I’m from Detroit
and I’ve never seen anything like this”. Not exactly like walking past the meat
coolers at Whole Foods.
we got the boat on the water I noticed that Jack and Paul were wearing
beautiful wool sweaters and I commented on my personal affection for the
fabric. I was wearing an old wool Army sweater myself. Standing in the front of the boat, Jack
turned slightly toward me and said “ Cashmere… Randal these sweaters are
Cashmere with a Gore-Tex liner. Randal he said “ There is cashmere and then
there is Cashmere and then there is Kashmir” Then resumed his casting. Now
don’t I feel like a redneck rube.
Jack was a
guy that had fished all over the world and knew his way around a fly rod, he
was quite and elegant caster but in the first hour of fishing he missed three
huge rainbows coming for a size 8 foam stone fly. After the last near hook-up
Jack made some comment on the quality of the guiding. I pointed out to him that
he had already missed a number of good fish and that my job was simply to
provide opportunity, or shall I do the fishing too? There was a long pause from
the front of the boat; this is a defining moment in the guide/client
relationship. Finally he said I was right and he was a little off his game.
That is the definition of a class act, cashmere or no Kashmir.
Jack have been back to fish with me many times since that first episode and
have provided me with a lot of entertaining moments. Its not so much our contrasting
lifestyles we share as the celebration of those differences. Thank goodness
they’ve decided to leave the Mercedes at home.
Jack Irving retired as an executive VP with Nordstrom; Paul
Pradel is a Financial Planner they both live in Seattle.