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Open Season by Reavis Wortham | TF&G Humor Editor

Color Commentary

“W

elcome to the morning’s fishing event. I’m Buck Shot, announcer for today’s episode. With me doing color here at the crack of dawn is Joe Sack.” “That’s right Buck. We’re announcing from here at the edge of Cottonwood Creek on a cool March morning…hand me a piece of that bacon, will ya?” “Sure Joe. We’re munching on bacon from this morning’s sponsor Crispy Strips, cooked by Wrong Willie over there at the campfire.” His mouth full of bacon, Willie waved with a greasy hand. “All right, down on the field, uh, at the river is Reavis Wortham, taking his first tentative steps into the water after the long off season. He picks up his fly rod and starts a slow wade that will take him to the perfect location for his first cast at spawning white bass.” “That’s true, Joe. He’s worked hard on this stalk since last season’s tragic sand bass run when he had a horrifying series of trips, slips and falls that nearly landed him in the hospital with a torn rotator…” “Sorry to interrupt there Buck, but did you see the recovery that he just made when he tripped over what I know is a submerged log, just like the one that caused his injury last year. His training paid off and is a direct result of the practice he’s put in over the past months.” “The clock is ticking as the sun rises and he still hasn’t made his first cast…but there it is, he’s stripping line, a couple of false casts with nice slowly loops, the double haul and there’s the fly presented to a bend slowing the water. A nice mend, rod tip in just the right position and … no strike.” “A good presentation Buck, but we’re going to score this event a little differently...” “Uh, we’re not scoring.” “That’s right! And that’s why I love this sport, Buck. It isn’t competitive.”

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“Uh, oh. Joe, I see a problem out there and I know exactly what that means. He has a leak in those ratty old waders, so let’s pause for a moment to go to our sponsors.” “Hey Rev! We’re off for sixty seconds. You need anything like a patch kit?” Everyone on shore laughed and drank hot coffee. Buck cleared his throat. “And we’re back. While we were on the break, Wortham backed up into slightly shallower water to prevent further leaks.” “Something like that only comes from a pro. Inexperienced anglers might stand in that deeper water while their waders filled to the level of the hole… and now he’s ready. There’s the load, the false cast that settles softly at the edge of the channel where the water breaks. The mend, the strip as the fly sinks into a likely looking spot and WOW! There it is! Fish on!” “Wow Joe, Wortham strips frantically, the line is tight, he’s reeling the slack and wait, that rod is BOWING! He’s on the reel and now the sand bass is using the current to its best advantage. “A beautiful run, breaking across the current and now back upstream, but Wortham isn’t letting that happen. He pulls the fish’s head back around and takes up slack and we’re done. The fish is to hand. A measure from Doc, our umpire, uh, observer, we see the signal, his hands come apart and it looks like fourteen inches. A good fish. “But wait, there may be a foul. Here comes the game warden to the water’s edge, calling Wortham to the side. I bet we’re going to have a license check and a possible measurement. We’ll be back in a moment.” “Willie! More bacon, in fact, I’d like a bacon sandwich…what? We’re out? You’ve eaten it all? We need more product for next week’s show.” “We’re back and it looks like there is no foul.” “Right Joe. Wortham’s professionalism F i s h

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shows through with all the right documents and a fish of legal length which keeps him in this competition.” “This isn’t a competition!!!” “Of course it isn’t. He’s back in the water, and there’s another cast but it falls apart at the end. He takes up the slack, dries the fly, no wait, he’s biting off the fly and it looks like he’s tying on another. I can’t make it out. Doc moves forward for a look. He steps back. The signal is a strange one, can you make that out?” “I don’t believe I’ve ever seen that one, Buck. He’s holding up a yellow handkerchief, but what’s that other move.” “I don’t know. His hand signals look like he’s having some sort of stomach problem, maybe a convulsion, or his feet are slipping on the bottom. I wish we had him wired with a microphone…wait for it…wait for it…and now I have it. Wortham has tied on a red and yellow Clouser, his old standby. And from Doc’s signal and the number of finger’s he raises it looks like he’s tied on a size five???” “There’s the cast, the mend, bumping the fly along the bottom where we’re going to go to Camera Three to see what’s happening underwater…” “We don’t have an underwater camera, Buck.” “That’s right, and another fish is on! Wow, what a wallop! I don’t know that he can recover from that one, because I don’t think he was paying attention to his fly.” “It could be a costly mistake. There’s way too much line out, but he’s using that educated forefinger to hold the line against the cork while he takes up the slack. It’s one the reel and look at that rod bow…oh, no. The fish broke off and the line is slack.” “That should do it for the day. I see Wortham’s wife, the War Department making the signal to break camp. That will do it for the morning. Thanks for listening and we’ll be back next week for Color Commentary.” Email Reavis Wortham at rwortham@fishgame.com

G a m e ®

2/8/12 4:49 PM

March 2012  

THE Authority on Texas Fishing & Hunting Texas Fish & Game is the largest, oldest, and best outdoors resource of its kind in the nation. No...

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