Cabana boys and magic trout jigs.

Dear 30, 

HBF bigtime loves to fish. He loves fishing, like in a love way that borders on an obsession. Typically if you love something so much people compare it to an addiction, you aren't great at sharing your passion, or you suck at being patient when it comes to teaching others how to be good at what you do so well already. (This is why I could never be an art teacher. I'd be drawing the circles for the children, or asking them why they chose that color of blue as opposed to the magenta I'd have used in the situation. These are not kind teacherly habits.) HBF, unlike me, is a great teacher. At least when it comes to teaching your roommate how to fish a trout infested stream at 8,000 ft above sea level.

He manages to hold the net, snap a photo and try to tell me that it's a trout, not a drunk snake waiting to snap off my index finger. Please disregard my double chin and my half closed eye. This picture couldn't be more unflattering.

He manages to hold the net, snap a photo and try to tell me that it's a trout, not a drunk snake waiting to snap off my index finger. Please disregard my double chin and my half closed eye. This picture couldn't be more unflattering.

I don't yet fly fish, but HBF has shown me how to use what he calls "the magic trout jig" on my spinning rod (no I can't tell you what the magic trout jig looks like). In the streams of Iowa, I tend to get flustered with the dance he insisted the jig must do in the water. I suppose it makes sense: a jig is a dance. And as someone who loves dancing, jigs, getting jiggy wit it and HBF himself, I found a way to make it work. In Wyoming, however, HBF really helped me understand the fish using an analogy that really spoke to me: the all inclusive resort.   

The teacher catches the biggest of the fish.  He was likely using a streamer. (I don't actually know what that fly looks like, but I am getting very good at using the fly fisherman's jargon. Talk the talk before you cast the cast right?)

The teacher catches the biggest of the fish.  He was likely using a streamer. (I don't actually know what that fly looks like, but I am getting very good at using the fly fisherman's jargon. Talk the talk before you cast the cast right?)

It all started, you see, with a reference to cabanas. Who doesn't LOVE a cabana? Breezy living, cushioned lounge chairs, sunnies, and boozy delights. When he talked cabanas, I listened.

I'm so o-fish-ial. (hilarious) 

I'm so o-fish-ial. (hilarious) 


The trout are resting in pools of bliss out there in the Little Laramie- their own watery cabanas. My magic trout jig is like the well groomed cabana boy who serves the free margaritas. When he walks close to you, at just the right pace, you snag that tequila treat off his tray and latch on to the bendy straw and teeny umbrella. Like my penchant for free, frilly drinks, the trout are eyeing the magic jig as it twerks on by. If that tantalizing jig dances at just the right pace, in just that right pool, you're hooked to a cuttyrainbrown. (This is a made up fish Kevin had me believing was real.) I found that right pace to be the tempo of Eddie Murphy's classic Party All The Time. If you envision the line to be one of Rick James' golden curls you really find a good rhythm. Using tropical vacation huts, mellow beats of a one hit wonder and frozen alcoholic drinks carried by a sunkissed pool boy as a point of reference, HBF somehow managed to make me a better fisherlady.  

The only time I held the fish like a real fisherman. The photo before this shows me panicking. This one just shows just how nervous I am to hold this trout. And goofy eyes.

The only time I held the fish like a real fisherman. The photo before this shows me panicking. This one just shows just how nervous I am to hold this trout. And goofy eyes.

Seven fish later I'd successfully caught more fish in two days than I have in two years of sporadic fishing. I went from Trout Slayer to Trout Whisperer (not Trout Mayor as previously declared). All because of margaritas. Now I'm craving queso. 

xo-LP