Despite the title, I would never “piss on old-time hockey.” Those familiar with the movie Slapshot will recall the Charlestown Chief General Manager screaming said line in the team locker room during intermission of the Federal League Championship game. In his rage he proceeds to scream “piss on” everything and everyone. My brothers and I have claimed this statement and use it frequently when presented with an unfortunate circumstance. For example, my fiancé tells me so and so has not responded to the wedding yet. My initial reaction is to say, “Oh piss on it,” and exit the room. At this point I cannot recommend that action to anyone, as this has proven to escalate the problem. Just 18 days until the wedding, I had no idea how much this event would cut into rod making time. Last week I forced myself to get in the shop and do some work (despite not being fitted for my own tuxedo to date).
George and I rough beveled the butt strips for two Payne 200’s. Each have a slightly tweaked taper and I’m anxious to get them done and compare casting characteristics. After finishing up and setting the forms I headed home. Came into the shop the next morning to find my strips soaked. Something had dripped through the floor above the bench and directly on to my strips. I put my hands in it, trying to identify by smell. Nothing. Finally George came down and I told him he must have a pipe leaking or something. He took one whiff, double checked the location and confirmed that his dog Balboa had pissed on the floor above. Subsequently soaking my heat-treated strips, and fingers in urine. Piss on it!!
Enough was enough. Deciding then I needed to go fishing. With wedding drama piling up, not being able to work on my rods or writing, I needed to recharge the batteries. Pulled the sick card at work this past Friday, got my gear together, packed my lunch and headed to Big Spring in Newville, Pennsylvania.
It was my first time on this stream. I could not have picked a more frustrating place to try to relieve stress. I brought my driggs river taper, just because I have so much fun casting that rod. As I walked the stream bank I was in awe of the clarity and numerous directions the water swirled about within the stream banks. Shaking my head in disgust I gave up any hope of actually catching a fish. Reminded myself this would be my last fishing trip as a single man, to just relax and enjoy the day.
After about an hour of walking the stream dumbfounded, I decided to sit along the stream bank and wait for a fish to show up. Eventually a decent trout showed himself on the far bank. Feeding once every ten minutes, then drifting back under a weed bed. I lengthened my leader and tied on a size 22 emerger pattern. To keep my profile down I crawled on my knees into the gin clear water. Then waited for the fish to feed again. I kneeled in the water for 45 minutes before I decided to cast. My first backcast hooked into the tree behind me. Frustrated, I yanked the flies out of the bush (this is a big no-no with a cane rod). Luckily only my connection to the fly failed; no damage to the rod. I did however have to crawl back to the bank, wait while I re-tied a fly on and then again crawl back into the stream. This all being done in as stealthy a manner as I could accomplish, took me about an hour. I was proud of my patience. Again I waited for this fish, who at this point I dubbed “The Bastard” to show himself. He did, and I decided to cast. Not a terrible cast, but it was enough to send him zipping downstream. At least two hours of patient effort and the bastard was gone. Piss on it, absolutely applied to the situation.
But it was all good. The day evolved, allowing every possible stress to be forgotten while I hunted that trout. Even the lonely three hour drive was enjoyable. Furthermore, I have accepted no rod making will get done until I get married and all this planning and preparing is over with. So no more stressing; if something goes awry I’ll tell myself “piss on it” and move on. I have got a lifetime ahead of me for making rods and fishing for bastard trout. As for my pissed on strips, they will become the desired Payne. But I think I’ll soak them in the bathtub, and then reheat, don’t want my rod smelling like dog piss.