by R. Sumner
My wife Liz
and I just returned from a week on the St. Joe
River in Idaho,
this is our tenth year St .Joe anniversary. I got to see my old pals Chief
Dutch Holland ,( USN Retired), Detail
Dan, and Ductape. Psycho Ray, AKA The School
Teacher had inherited some money from his mom so he was busy doubling it in
was a little high this year so I spent a bit more time talking to the boys than
I usually do. Ductape wanted to know all
about the fishing guide business.
I told him it was a little like being
a bus driver, you row the boat to where the fish live and then see if the
clients are up to the challenge of catching them. When they catch a nice trout
we sometimes take a picture and then release the fish, a few days later you row
the boat back and catch the same fish again with different clients. This
description may have been a little underwhelming for Ductape. Where is the
glamour and cachet?
I told them the real fun of the job comes from
the people that hire you, I have met the most interesting people, people I
would have never had a chance to spend time with except as a fishing guide. Not
just the uber- rich, but research scientists, stock fund managers, soy bean
brokers, actors , NFL football players, etc
It’s a view
of the Type A world. Fascinating.
piped up and wanted to know about my strangest client, I had no problem coming
up with an answer.
began with an e-mail requesting a specific trip date for two anglers, I responded
with the trip details, a few days later I received the deposit in the mail. The morning of our trip I got the lunch and
the gear and boat all organized and headed up to the river. I always like to
get to the meeting place a bit early, it gives me time to get my game face on
and my fishing strategy dialed in, this is after all, a performance of sorts.
At the stroke of 9:00 a car pulled up next to my
boat, the doors opened slowly and appearing before me were two people dressed in totally black outfits
including gloves and a hood pulled tight around there faces, and there faces
were painted white with big red lips…..Mime’s!!!
mind telling you gentle reader that my heart was racing; there was something defiantly
off-putting about these two. After we pretended to shake hands, and I
introduced myself, they went into some wild mime name guessing game. See, here’s
the deal, mimes don’t say anything they just gesture and pretend, hence the
name Pant-o-mime. They seemed to settle
down a bit by the time I had the boat in the river and them in there seats;
they actually sat rather than pretend sitting. I was starting to get on to the
I got a fly rod out and put some line in the
air, demonstrating the proper casting stroke. The Mimes were giving me a look
like I was insane. When I gave the rod to one of them to give it a try, he just
pushed it away shaking his little white mime face. Then they both stood up and
began pretend casting for pretend fish, I guess. And that is how we spent the day in total
silence drifting down the river, as far as I could tell the mimes were happy
and they were getting some good casts in tight to the bank.
looked confused as he got up and walked back to his own campsite, Ducktape took
off too, saying he thought he heard his dog calling.
Chief Holland was silent as poured himself a
coffee cup of Whitehorse Scotch; finally he said “Randal, did I ever tell you
my third wife was a part time mime.’ Chief, I said” There everywhere”.