Perhaps it would be good to flesh out and add some backstory to the characters you have and will encounter here at Just Nice Be Out. Or not, but indulge me. It’s hours before opener and the rivers are blown out.

In no particular order:

Slint – taught me to flyfish. Built Squatto, sports a red hoodie for style points. Once fished a multi-day November stand on the ROP with a broken hand; he didn’t know it was broken at the time. He landed a hot fish despite that but had other people open the little fast food mustard and mayo packets for his sandwiches. Frees the fighter, earns the vanilla.

The Dark One – also does business as El Moroso. Tent owner. Takes whiskey tours without leaving bunk beds. On our gang’s first trip to Yellowstone, was the only one to hook and land fish for 4 days in June, spent those 4 days saying: “I don’t understand it. We’re fishing the same water, we’re fishing the same flies, but I’m the only one catching fish. I just don’t get it.” He was sincerely perplexed and not trying to rub it in, but we were all pissed at him anyway. Contrary to what you may read elsewhere, he invented the emergent sparkle pupa.

Your author – speaking of bunk beds, can dismount from the top of one with catlike stealth in pitch blackness at high elevations under the burden of Protestant whiskey (Antrim gymnastics). Opened Slint’s mustard packets. Once caught a pretty nice channel cat on fly tackle.

Stone – also does business as Preacher and That Fucker Who Always Wins At Euchre. Prophet of the Shovel. Inevitably brings the rain. No joke – inland cylclone on the ROP on the day he drove up. Has adapted so that he can catch steelbowtrouts in blown-out rivers the color of corduroy pants – I seen it. Ties flies in moving cars. I seen that, too.

Beastmaster – broke Slint’s hand, witnessed channel cat. My office-mate, fellow gear-whore, soccer dude, beard-grower. Speaks to animals, homebrews. Swings parachutes through riffles and makes it work. Rock basser, bass rocker. Smallmouth Alley apologist. Caught wild browns during a sulfur hatch his first time out.

Professor Cheeseburger – Speycore chocolate milk enthusiast. Like a manifestation of the Age of Reason, or some Milwaukeean Prometheus, introduced to us the concept of a Coleman camp grill and hot meat-featuring sandwich items for mid-day ROP refueling sessions, ending a benighted era of PB&Js and witch trials. Can often be heard saying: “I don’t know man, I’m not feeling it, my confidence is low, whoaaaa fish on.”

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