Picks, ticks, and sidekicks

Here’s how you fish a creek when there is only one pair of waders between two people. Since Windy had the boots, he was the designated pack mule.

Here’s how you fish a creek when there is only one pair of waders between two people. Since Windy had the boots, he was the designated pack mule.

Many years ago, driven by my overpowering hunger for outdoor stuff, I took a job with a little newspaper in Worland, Wyoming. After getting settled, there was not a weekend went by when I wasn’t chasing around the Bighorn Mountains or the Big Horn Basin with a fishing pole, rifle or shotgun — sometimes all three.

One early summer Saturday, my sidekick Windy LaFleur and I drove a half-hour east out of Worland to nearby Tensleep and a little beyond. Just before the highway begins to climb into the mountains, there is a little road to the right that leads to pretty Canyon Creek.

We walked through an open field and then into heavy trees to the creek. Windy pulled on his hip boots, snapped a little Mepps on his spinning outfit and stepped into the creek. I snapped a little Mepps on my spinning outfit and didn’t step into the creek because I didn’t have any boots. They were out of commission with a nickel-sized hole in one of them.

I never did get the hang of creek fishing but Windy easily caught his limit of fat and feisty trout. I think I got one or two. Anyway, we decided to head for home and maybe stop by the saloon in Tensleep for a cold one, or two.

We bellied up to the bar and were halfway through the first mug of beer when I noticed a tick on Windy’s neck. He pulled it off and said, “Hey, you got one too!” And I saw another on him, and then he on me — and it was off to the restroom for a pick-ticking session. Between us, we harvested 42 of the little bloodsuckers.

tick4It didn’t bother me a lot, but Windy was freaked out; when he was a little kid he fell into a grocery store trash pit that was full of bugs, including many spiders that had come in on a load of bananas. He had been phobic ever since. And most likely would not have enjoyed this Brad Paisley hit. — E.

 

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