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Trout Bums at Large is a monthly column appearing in the Yakima Herald-Republic and the Seattle Times. The column is written by Randal Sumner and Mark Littleton. We will be keeping an archive of these articles on this page.

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.

            The boys 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.

            Soon after 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.

            Paul and 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.

More Trout Bum Articles:
05/01/2015: The wolves will always eat the sheep by R.Sumner
11/17/2014: Red Fish Redux by R.Sumner
08/01/2014: Retirement by R.Sumner
07/02/2013: Custom by Randal Sumner
05/01/2013: Subaru Magic by Randal Sumner
01/19/2012: Ding Ho by RandalSumner
04/06/2011: A Cautionary Tale by Randal Sumner
01/26/2010: Redfish Round-up by Randal Sumner
11/24/2009: Kentucky Don and English Bob by Randal Sumner
08/25/2009: A word about Bears by R.Sumner
06/30/2009: Polar bear hugging by Randal Sumner
01/27/2009: Christmas letters by Randal Sumner
11/25/2008: Trip to Eden by Randal Sumner
08/07/2008: Mime Time by R. Sumner
06/02/2008: fuel vs fishing by R. Sumner
05/01/2008: Long sleeve Hawiian shirt by R.Sumner
02/07/2008: The Empire by R. Sumner
11/29/2007: Troutbum self-help by R. Sumner
09/04/2007: The Perfect Client by Randal Sumner
07/02/2007: High Anxiety by R.Sumner
03/29/2007: Grasshopper by Randal Sumner
01/25/2007: Chinese food by R. Sumner
11/30/2006: Old Whitey by R.Sumner
09/28/2006: Chief Holland USN retired by R. Sumner
07/10/2006: BBQ by R.Sumner
03/30/2006: Sterling Choices by Randal Sumner
01/26/2006: Tying with Pablo by Randal Sumner
12/01/2005: Brrr by Mark Littleton
11/24/2005: Thanksgiving 2005 by randal Sumner
09/01/2005: Anchors Away by Mark Littleton
07/01/2005: Some kinda fun by Randal Sumner
05/01/2005: The Base Lake by Randal Sumner
04/01/2005: Humble Pie by Mark Littleton
03/01/2005: Dance monkey dance by randal Sumner
01/01/2005: Where are the Instructions? by Randal Sumner
12/01/2004: Das Boat by Mark Littleton
11/01/2004: What me Worry? by Mark Littlton
10/01/2004: Priorities by Mark Littlton
09/01/2004: Falling In by Mark Littleton
08/01/2004: Ice Fishing by Randal Sumner
07/01/2004: Honey, I flooded the basement by Randal Sumner
07/01/2004: Elvis Lives by Randal Sumner
06/01/2004: Coyote by Randal Sumner
05/01/2004: Redfish and Capt. Dan by Mark Littleton
04/01/2004: Vested Interest by Randal Sumner
03/01/2004: Are you a Troutbum? by Mark Littleton
12/01/2003: Christmas presents by Mark Littleton
11/01/2003: Oklahoma by Randal Sumner
10/01/2003: Steel heading JuJu by Randal Sumner
09/01/2003: Motor Home by Randal Sumner
08/01/2003: Life is Funny by Mark Littlton
07/01/2003: Deschutes by Mark Littleton
06/01/2003: Class of 2002 by Randal Sumner
05/01/2003: BOAT FISHING by Mark Littlton
04/01/2003: ALASKA, LAND OF THE MIDNIGHTBLUE TARP by Randal Sumner
03/01/2003: MARCH BROWNS by Mark Littleton
02/01/2003: DEEP IN THE HEART OF IDAHO by Randal Sumner
01/01/2003: TOP TEN by Mark Littleton
12/01/2002: SAN MIGUEL by Randal Sumner
11/01/2002: DISNEYLAND by Randal Sumner
10/01/2002: CAMPING by Mark Littleton
09/01/2002: MMMM MAYFLIES by Mark Littleton
08/01/2002: CARNEGIE HALL by Randal Sumner
07/01/2002: CRAWFISH PIE by Randal Sumner
06/01/2002: Sons and Pals by Mark Littleton
03/01/2002: Visitation by Randal Sumner
02/01/2002: Ouch by Mark Littleton
01/01/2002: Death by Randal Sumner
11/01/2001: Leakers by Randal Sumner
09/01/2001: Poser by Randal Sumner
08/01/2001: Snake River Diary by Mark Littleton
08/01/2001: It's Hard by Mark Littleton
07/01/2001: Etiqutte by Randal Sumner
06/01/2001: June by Mark Littleton
05/01/2001: Road Trip to Paradise by Randal Sumner
04/01/2001: What Are They Doing Up There? by Mark Littleton
03/01/2001: Gear by Randal Sumner
02/01/2001: Soft Hackles by Mark Littleton
01/25/2001: Motivation by Randal Sumner
12/28/2000: Winter Fishing by Mark Littleton
11/30/2000: Old Blackie by Randal Sumner