Now that I have your attention, maybe we can start with the fishing tale. This is a tale that shouldn’t happen to most trout anglers, just the Zugbug’s in the group. This particular tale begins on a warm August morning on the Watauga River in eastern Tennessee.
Ol’ Zug was fishing with the legendary Paisley and Garwood on the trophy section of the river. You may not know this, but Zug is a novice trout fisherman and you are about to find out why. You see fishing next to Paisley and Garwood is like fishing next to fishing legends. Zug is the guy that shows up late with a Red Hill coffee can full of worms, not knowing he cant use them. I'm not sure if Paisley can pass off as Brad Pitt in “A River Runs Through It”, but Garwood is definitely Tom Sizemore as the preacher dad. Anyway, Zug had borrowed an inflatable pontoon boat from this magazines editor and it was his first day using it. If you do not own one, I highly recommend that you purchase one soon. It makes fishing on the river much more interesting. These boats have small anchors attached to the rear, obviously so you can stop and fish those great fishing holes along the river. I think the anchor was the beginning of my troubles on this fine summer day.
To further my troubles, the temperature was about ninety degrees. Zug only has one set of waders and they are 4 mm neoprene. The summer heat got unbearable, so I took off my waders and stored them on the side of the pontoon boat. I thought I had secured them well enough, but maybe not. The three of us navigated through a set of rapids. Once we were through them, I noticed that my waders were missing. Paisley and I started paddling around to look for these free floating waders. After awhile, Paisley suggested I park the boat and walk back up the stream and look for the waders. When a legend speaks, you listen. So, I parked the boat and walked back up river in the water without my waders on. Talk about cold! I made it all the way back to where I last saw them and then headed back to the boat and Paisley was five feet from returning to the boat, yes only five feet, when I fell face first into the river. I was wet from head to toe. Two impressive things happened. I fell in slow motion and Paisley did not laugh at me. Later he said that he thought it was bad enough to lose several hundred dollars in the river and did not want to make it worse. At this point, I said, “the heck with it” and got back into the boat and started fishing again.
Garwood had gone further down the river and did not know about my little situation. Paisley and I went on down the river and through the next set of rapids. Once we got through them, we came upon Ollie Smith with Blue Ridge Anglers. He was guiding a husband and wife team in a Hyde drift boat. As we past him, Ollie yelled out, ”Hey, did you loose your britches?” I thought Paisley was gonna fall out of his boat. He couldn’t stop laughing. I told Ollie they were mine and I had to paddle up to the side of his boat, face his two paying clients and retrieve my britches. He said that they had floated by about an hour earlier. I thanked him and was grateful to have my britches back.
Even though that happened, it was a great day of fishing. And the moral of this story: KEEP YOUR BRITCHES ON ZUG!
(Editor’s Note: I get the feeling this might really have been written by Zug )