April 25, 2012

In Case You Haven't Heard, I'm Headed South

To date I really haven't really acknowledged here the fact that I'm headed down to Georgia in a little over a week to go fishing in the Smokies with Owl Jones.  No, it's not that I'm ashamed or embarrassed by this fact, rather, he's done more than an adequate job speaking for the both of us over at this place...as evidenced HERE, HERE, HERE, & HERE.  I mean he's even got a countdown clock on his blog.  That's not creepy at all, right?

The non working version
So since Owl is preparing me for this trip via his "Open Letters" series, I figured I'd prepare him what to expect as well.  It's not necessarily in letter form, but some things he should probably know.  I mean it's the least I can do...


While I've never fished down South, I've been below the Mason-Dixon line more than a few times for work.  Memphis, Louisville, Charleston, Charlotte, Atlanta, Jacksonville, etc...  

I'm no BBQ snob, although I prefer a pulled pork sammich "Memphis Style," you know, cole slaw on top.  And a dry rub on ribs.  But the fact is I'll eat pretty much anything.  The greasier the better.  And because of that, any meals we partake in, be they made from store bought supplies or fast food are on my dime.  I'm not fighting you over this.

I suck at fly fishing.  Maybe this is a bit of an exaggeration, but I've only been fly fishing for about 3 or so years, and a good portion of that was consumed by tenkara.  I can execute a sloppy roll cast, and a few other tricks, but otherwise, I'm no rock star.

Most people (friends & co-workers) call me Ags...at least when they're not calling me four letter words.  Lilly calls me Dad.  My internet friends seem call me T (which makes sense, but is still kinda foreign).  Only K.C. seems to call me Mike.  Am I supposed to call you Owl...Jeff...Mr. Zazzy Pop...in person?  Just know in advance, I'm not calling you Sugarlumps.

You already know this, but I've never gone camping before.  At least not counting in my backyard with Lilly.  I'm a city-ish boy and we just didn't do that.  We considered those Cub Scout kids dorks in my neighborhood.  The Jersey Shore (no joke) was our vacation thing growing up, not the mountains.  So bears don't scare me, but that's due to pure ignorance.  

Hey Boo Boo

Thank you for having Mrs. Owl write an email to Mrs. Troutrageous to let her know that while you may be certifiably insane, you are relatively harmless.  I think it's making her feel better that I'm off to go hang out with an "internet friend" in the woods for 3 days.

I'm fixin' to learn me some Southern talk...and maybe see an orange Dodge Charger or two jump our creek mid backcast.

You're building this adventure up to be EPIC - much like you did tenkara before you gave it a try.  Let's dial that back a bit, don't buy into the "Troutrageous!" marketing package.  Plus, I'm no River Damsel, I bite my fingernails.  That said, I'm sure we'll have fun. 

I curse a lot when I talk.  It's a symptom of being an uncivilized Yankee.  Know what I fuckin' mean?  Sorry about that.  I'm also sure our conversations at some point may stray toward politics and/or religion; understand we probably won't agree.  I'm cool with that and hope you are too.  I know I'm not going to Hell or anything because it doesn't exist.

You'll probably be doing most of the talking.  As other bloggers who I've gone fishing with over the last few years can probably attest, I'm not a chatter box.  Sure, I like to talk, but my snarkiness tends to show itself in short, calculated bursts.  In short, I'm no jibber-jabberer.

We will find a Bigfoot.  If not, we'll have fun trying.

And to end, I really don't care about fishing.  We don't have to be fishing 24-7 or any of that stuff.  Don't get me wrong, I'd like to catch some fish, but don't feel the pressure to be Mr. Smokies fishing guide.  If I stumble into one or two hooksets, I'll be more than satisfied and still leave a healthy tip.  This trip is an escape from what has been a pretty unforgiving last 6+ months on the job.  I just want to soak in the surroundings, enjoy the escape, with fishing being merely a backdrop.

Anyway Owl, thanks for having me.  I'm really looking forward to it.  The 4th can't come soon enough.


  1. Oh now you've just gone and ruined everything. I was planning for at least a two hour sermon on the way up. So much for that! :)

    As for the cursing, you say what you like. It's your mouth. I have friends who curse and drink and I've been known to issue a few choice words myself from time to time should I slam my fingers in a window, etc.

    you're not paying for all the food. Do you know how much I eat?

    You may feel otherwise, but for me - getting to meet the man behind Troutrageous! is Epic. Even if we never set foot in the water ( Emily, shut up. :) ) and it rains all weekend.

    If you call me anything but Owl, I probably won't know who the *$&# you're talking to...everyone calls me Owl except my mother.

    And finally,... I assure you I'll do most of the talking. Just tell me to shut up when it gets to be too much. :)

    PS - You've been to the South, but you ain't been to My South. You like frog legs and squirrel? ( ME NEITHER! :) )

  2. Gee, never heard you swear.....yet! Just remember to bring 20 spares flies,down south those tree,branch and rock fish are rampant! No smiling! Backwood rebels love pretty mouths! LOL! Remember down yonder,everything is slowed WAAAAAAAYYYY down,and more relaxed,so you as a city boy,might get confused,and stressed! Have fun,and Owl,if ya read this,hope you earn your guide card,it is rare with T!.....ROTFLOL

    1. I try very hard not to, but I worked in the concrete business. Everyone learns to swear. I just choose to use other words. Like "mother chicken."

  3. So much to say here...but, I've been ordered to shut up. Well...anyways, this is a "letter" to Owl. Sounds like you are going to have another guest that doesn't camp, sucks at fishing, and is very happy to eat bbq and look at the GSMNP with you for 3 days! It doesn't get any better than that. Oh wait...you don't have to worry about him keeping up his nails and doing that girly maintenance stuff... lol. "Letter" to Mike...short and sweet. This will most definitely be an escape and hope you find those two hook sets like I did!

  4. "Memphis style" is the only style if you ask me.

  5. Michael
    Between the eats ---go by Little Rivers Outfitters ---they have one of the best fly shops in the South. They will also give you some pointers on what patterns to use and the stream conditions. Who knows you guys might even learn some new Southern lingo while you are on this expedition. Be safe and land a bunch for me.

    1. You guys? You mean yall, right? Bill, I doubt there is any new Southern lingo for me, but T might pick up a line or two I guess. We'll actually be on the NC side of the park, so I doubt we'll make it over to LRO although they are the fly shop of choice for me when it comes to the GSMNP.

  6. Good luck Mike.
    What a "sangwich"

  7. Good luck to both of you. If you hear the sounds of a banjo, Mike run like hell.

    1. Owl, for the love of all that is Holy & fun, please wake Mike up in the middle of the night with a banjo sound clip...

    2. Umm, actually, as the fly fishing blogosphere's resident wannabe (saltwater) southerner (I'm wearing my SCOF hat & TFM redfish hoodie as I type), I'm horribly offended by that, Howard... :P

  8. Maybe you guys can catch a Springtime southern rock concert - April Jam - camp in the woods format up by Macon! Or a Hotlanta road trip, nice dressed babes in BMW's on every 4way stop (north side Peach Street).

    Well, that's all I know about Georgia, can't wait for the trip report!

  9. Will the real Mike Agneta please stand up? Oh, you just did. Have fun in GA.

  10. The pink glitter "extra" Powerbait works great for catfish, and if you slice a chunk in half you can get several casts out of it on a TenkUSA Ayu (Powerbait is best fished on a 5:5, a 7:3 just slingshots it into the trees where the coons get it). Have fun.