This is Owl Jones...
My first introduction to Owl Jones was through this video: http://bit.ly/jegm9a You can't help but like him. He clearly has a great sense of humor and loves to fish, so what's not to like? Watch the video and you'll see what I mean. Anyway, the other day on Twitter he asked if anyone wanted him to guest blog on their site so I quickly replied.... well, here is what I got. Enjoy....and welcome to the world according to Owl. www.owljones.com
Two seconds later she comes bouncing over to our campsite again, only this time she's holding a huge bottle of lighter fluid and a Mapp gas torch!!! Before anyone can say "hold the phone" she's doused our small pile of sticks and moss with the fluid, lit the torch and is proceeding to absolutely incinerate our tender bundle and kindling.
"There ya go, boys! Ain't that better!?"
Well, quite honestly......NO, it wasn't better. It was a fire, yes...sure. But it wasn't better because any one of us could have produced a lighter and some paper and produced a fire. She turned off the torch, did an abrupt and very self-satisfied about-face and marched back to her $45,000 RV.
"That's how real campers do it, y'all." I said. No one was laughing. Looking back on it, it wasn't that big of a deal. We were trying to test out a new fire-starting method using cotton balls soaked in something one of the guys had read about in a survival book. I guess she thought three dirty, scraggly trout bums didn't know enough about how to light a fire and obviously needed help. So... shehelped! Someone said something about that RV burning down in the middle of the night, but then the subject changed (to our yearly plans about "hunting Bigfoot") and all was forgiven.
About a year or so later, I was standing at the foot of a long run in the trophy section of the Raven's Fork river in Cherokee, North Carolina. That day I'd chosen to thumb my fat little nose at conventional wisdom and fish a 7'6 3wt in a river known for trout you measure by the pound. Two weeks earlier I'd landed a 24 inch rainbow that pushed 4 pounds on that rod and I was back to see if I could take an even larger fish with it while it was still spring and still cool enough that the fight wouldn't stress the large trout.
About ten minutes into contemplating how I should fish the run, I catch a glimpse of something in the corner of my eye on the down stream side. I was glancing back to make sure my first cast was clearing any trees or tall grass and there was just a slight movement almost directly behind me. That cast, which I'd planned for the better part of those ten minutes, came to an abrupt and sloppy-pile-of-twisted-floating-line stop. I jerked my head around after stopping the cast to see a rather plump little man, standing there not 10 feet behind me. I just looked at him as my fly line uncoiled itself in the current, wrapped around a few rods and firmly planted the fly into a large downed tree.
"Hello there!" said the plump angler, his new, nearly-white photographer's vest standing out against the dark green and gray river bank like an incredibly pretty girl at a South Georgia tractor pull.
"Umm...did you see me fishing here?" I asked the guy. " Oh yeah, go ahead buddy - I think there's room enough here for two people." he said with a smile. " You do?" I stammered. " Sure. And by the way, you might want to fish this river with a longer rod. A 9 ft. 7 wt is about perfect for these fish." he said with a big, fat, happy grin across his big, fat, happy face.
" Oh, yeah......well, I'm trying to..."
" The fish in here are pretty big, son. You can cast further and mend alot better with a longer rod."
I was tempted to shove my "too short" rod down his happy, plump little throat. Instead, I waved to my buddy across the river that I was moving downstream. A half hour later and I'd forgotten about the guy, just like we forgot about the lady with the Mapp gas torch. After all, they were both trying to do what they thought was right and help us out.
But I didn't forget the lesson those two events taught me and it's this:
If I see someone who looks like they might need help, .......I might be doing them a favor if I just mind my own %*$^# business.