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Dodging drivers, dodged by fish

Unhinged Alaska

Posted: July 8, 2012 - 7:00am

I've heard grumbles lately that I haven't been doing enough to bolster fishing trips to the Homer area. I'm sorry about that but even mental hairballs who couldn't land a deceased perch must be cognizant enough to realize that fishing stories require the presence fish and open waters to stalk them.

A person would have better luck spin casting into a gravel pit than our infamous Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon. My email box brims with adoration letters such as, "Your continued angling incompetence inspires us all. A deeply disturbed land otter with a dipnet fastened to its arse would have better luck. Why don't you try mooching in your home cistern? At least you'd be out of sight and have better luck."

I want to express my gratitude to A.P. of Anchor Point for that heartwarming endorsement of my fin hunter skills and if he wasn't my cousin and owned a boat, I'd mention his navigation prowess that grounded us on a sand bar last Saturday.

I must admit his shot bruised my ego a bit so I decided that I'd better get out to The Spit and nail some kings trickling in with the tides. I figured that if I hurled enough lures at the water I was bound to at least knock one of them senseless. The warning signs say snagging isn't open but I hadn't spotted any notices prohibiting mugging them.

It was a bad idea. I barely made it to the beach because of several summer drivers that had either been smoking their hemp car seat mats or had the intellect of salmon roe.

The first guy was approximately the age of glacial silt and was attempting a left turn onto the by-pass from a controlled side street. This is usually a safe maneuver unless there's a clueless driver who ignores the light and doesn't see someone approaching from the right who is about to end up parked in his glove compartment.

Fortuitously, the airhead's wife spotted my truck and let out a screech that should have cracked their windshield and blew the hair off the miniature rat-dog sitting in her lap. I don't know what ever happened to that old boy, but when I looked in the rearview mirror, all I saw was her jaws snapping like a piranha in a feeding frenzy and smoke coming from the right side of his body.

The second encounter came a few minutes later. I was approaching a main thoroughfare when a guy suddenly shot out from a small access lane. Trust me I would have welcomed the opportunity to have vigorously advised him that road kill would score higher on a driver's competency exam if I hadn't been dynamically engaged in utilizing my extensive expletive lexicon while jamming the brakes through the floor.

Luckily he finally looked up from yapping on his cell phone and caught a glimpse of my ride standing on its front shocks and a fist signaling something a bit ruder than a left turn.

Brilliantly he swerved into the opposite lane. That was huge because it terminated my worries about taking a face plant up his tailpipe prior to ending up as major debris in his back seat. Unfortunately, it deeply annoyed oncoming drivers who didn't appreciate seeing his grill plates instead of taillights so he roared back to my side. By then I had slowed down so much that I could have stepped out and walked.

I seriously considered tracking him down and going all Jackie Chan on his dental package but demurred when I saw a look on his face that said he wished that he had been wearing Depends.

My morning still wasn't over.

The City of Homer wisely designated the span of road adjacent to The Fishing Lagoon as a 25 mph zone, although certain possessed individuals consider it their private drag strip.

Case in point: A biker tried melting the tires off the left side of my rig when he passed me doing approximately Mach II just as I was starting to turn into the parking lot. The miniscule motorcycle dude looked to have been all of 12 years old and had a facial expression that resembled a demented weasel on crack. I figured that he was either late for work as a bathroom doorstop or had just stolen the Harley from his day care monitor. It really didn't matter. I took the hint and went home before someone (me) ended up as spontaneous pavement art.

I think we'll try ling cod fishing this weekend. The water is deep enough that my cousin shouldn't run aground, there are no red light runners and the only thing we'll have to worry about is a by-catch of mutant "mushy" halibut. It sounds good to me.
 
Nick can be reached at ncvarney@gmail.com if he isn't stranded with his cousin somewhere south of the Kenai.

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