Today is our sixth wedding anniversary. I checked the “official” book of anniversary gifts and found that “electrons” are the appropriate gift for number six. Therefore, I am turning over the blog (for today) to my lovely wife who will waste no time at all in availing herself of the opportunity to publicly eviscerate me. Enjoy!
My family are all fisherman and have had a long tradition of teaching each generation to fish. The older generations used bait and tackle – the easy way to fish. The young ones fly fish – the more difficult way to fish. My uncle was the first fly fisherman of the family. He taught my aunt to fly fish and my aunt taught my brother and me to fly fish. In keeping with tradition, I thought it was time for me to teach someone in my family. I figured it couldn’t be that hard. I caught on fast myself. For my first pupil, I chose Shouts, my indoor only, Star Wars loving, extremely logical, computer geek of a husband. This should have been my first clue that not everyone can be a teacher no matter what the subject.
Once I convinced Shouts that fly fishing would be a blast and I assured him there would be plenty of sun screen for his pale skin, I set out to plan our trip. I decided the Unicorn River would be fruitful. (Not the river’s real name. -Ed.) The Unicorn can be tricky and the wading can be dangerous but Shouts has always told me he’s as nimble as a billy goat. I packed snacks, gear and I bought fishing licenses. Being that is was steelhead season I also purchased salmon and steelhead tags at an additional cost. This should have been clue number two.
We arrived at the river. It was beautiful! We came to an area that I thought would be a good start. The river pooled nicely, with a riffle above and below. There was a steep trail down to the bank of the river but this was something I was very comfortable with however, I was a little worried about Shouts. So worried in fact that I decided to go first, carry ALL the gear down and have Shouts follow my trail. I guided him all the way down warning him of loose rocks and stumps. Before I knew it, I was down. Down with one knee bent behind me, one leg in front and sliding fast towards the bank. Thankfully I was stopped by a stump. Shouts came flying down the hill towards me to see if I was okay. I was a bit hurt, but more humiliated. I decided that it would be best for Shouts to start out with a bait and tackle. At this point I was in no shape to discuss the intricacies of fly fishing. I let my humiliation sink in and waded in the cold water up to my aching swollen knee. Not a good start to our trip.
After an unsuccessful hour, I decide we should move elsewhere. About two miles down the road we spotted a great site to check out. Very private with a small deep pool ending in a riffle leading to a huge rapid. This was it. I could hear the fish calling. This is where our teaching would begin.
Being that Shouts is a very logical person, I used the most logical and visual descriptions and presentations I could come up with to teach him to fly fish.
However, I am not a logical person. By the time I was done demonstrating Shouts looked more confused then ever. By now I should have thrown in the towel and headed home but I ignored my instincts and decided he just needed to give it a shot and I would try guiding him from there. I handed him my favorite fly rod. He slowly got the gist of it and at some point stopped listening to me. He waded into the water up to his ankles. I stressed with urgency the danger of the Unicorn’s extremely slippery rocks. Did I mention he stopped listening to me???? Farther and farther he went. He was about 150 yards above that very powerful rapid. Not a place you should even attempt fishing but again, he was not listening to me. He was up to his knees. Then his hips. At this point I had to yell at him to get him to hear me over the roar of the rapids. The water was lapping his stomach; his fly line was wrapped around the reel. I was getting very nervous, shouting instructions to him and begging him to come back to the shore. Before I knew it, he slipped. Up to this chin. His eyes were huge orbs. I screamed at him that he better not let go of my rod. He was getting closer to the rapids. Now I was crying. He was scrambling to get a foot hold. I knew he was a goner and so was my rod. Suddenly his billy goat senses kicked in and he found ground. Shouts slowly dragged himself out of the water with me screaming at him the whole time. He was safe… my rod was safe. All was well, almost. Shouts was drenched. He peeled off his shorts and shirt. His wallet survived but was soaking; his cell phone was completely water logged and forever unusable and his expensive fishing license and tags LOST to the rapids.
This was our FIRST and last fishing trip. Some people were born to teach and others are not. If I can ever convince Shouts to fish again, I’ll leave it to my aunt to teach him.
Not only did I fail to teach him the art of fly fishing, I failed to teach him what poison oak looked like. That hill I slipped all the way down………. yep, it was loaded with poison oak. I fell…. I hurt my self…. almost lost my husband AND my favorite fly rod… I came home with the worst case of poison oak I have ever had!
For the record, at no point before, during or after the fall did Mrs. Abyss point out said poison oak to me. I guess it was every fisherman for himself. Luckily I turned out to be resistant to the noxious weed.
Also, my discreet spouse failed to mention that our spot was so secluded, I completely stripped naked and had a gay old time by the river while my clothes took their sweet time to dry. For the first time in my life I felt free! Ugh. -Ed.
hahaha, you gotta have your misses here more often, laughed out loud because this reminds me of trying to teach my girlfriend (proper city girl) how to fish which ended up with both of us not talking to each other for 3 days 😀
Heh! Thanks. Shouldn’t be too hard. She threatens to take over the blog – daily.
That day is a vivid memory for both of us. I was like, “We spend $100 and drove three hours just for me to ruin my cell phone, lose the fishing license and almost die? Perfect!”
I do think we talked on the way back home, though. Another adventure away from the Abyss.
Once again, I take my fisher’s cap off to Mrs. Abyss. I’ve never met anyone with her level of hope, optimism and perseverance after six years living with the abyss that is your mind.
PS — you really didn’t need to add that about being naked.
PPS — great cover for your writer’s block 😉
PPPS — maybe you should have Mrs. Abyss write your guest post for blogdramedy 😛
Don’t worry. I won’t pass that along and she decidedly does not read this blog.
Why not break out the cattle prod to spur me onwards with my guest post? It might be more subtle. 🙂
As a teacher, I was just happy that Mrs. Abyss recognized the difficulty (dare I say futility?) of teaching someone who is “challenged” (for lack of a better word). For the record, we recently visited my husband’s family in Idaho. I’m not sure how it came up, but I was told the best way to “off someone” was to send them out into deep water and have their waders fill up. I’d be careful if I were you Shouts!
I’m in awe of this comment. And yeah, hip waders are an important part of my gladiator outfit. I use them for avoiding the everyday bullshit of life. They must always be at the ready. I always keep a set in the gun rack in the rear window of my pickup. (For everyone’s benefit I don’t actually own any guns.) So I guess we can assume she knew what she was doing, eh? And if it wasn’t for my genetically superior billy goat reflexes, it might even have worked.
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Thanks for the mention! 🙂
you’re wife deserved it so much after this blog…
Spellbound…and then the naked part came. There is no good naked in blogging.
Coming soon: Abyss Naked Cam 2.0. Don’t pay $2.99 a minute like some of those other loser cams. We’re only ten cents a minute. Subscribe and save!
Maybe it’s a good thing that you were Mr. and Mrs. Shout when this occurred. Then again, you have seemed to handle it with aplomb. You know, except for bringing up the naked thing.
I was like a gazelle dancing through the woods. Only it was the rocks by a river, the sunlight reflecting from my albino skin was blinding (and may have crashed at least one commercial flight overhead) and I’m not quite as lithe as a gazelle. And I was saying, “Fuck these rocks hurt my feet” a lot. Other than that, yeah, exactly the same.