Yesterday morning I got up at 5am to wrap up some breakfast burritos and help my wife and son out the door for school. Just after 7, Paul Bloch scooped me and we rolled up the Missouri River for a quick trout attack before work at 11am. It had sounded like a brilliant plan in the shop the day before, but it was 25 degrees and overcast when we pulled out of town. I figured we’d get nothing more than some exercise along with frozen fly lines and extremities. We only had from sunrise til 10am to scratch our fishing need, but why not give it a try.
We made it to work on time, pulling off our waders in the parking lot and throwing on a fresh shirt. It was hard not to feel a bit smug working the fly shop floor as shoppers talked about fishing “next season”. It was harder still, not being on the water. Our outing was made possible by a schedule change. I usually start work at 7am, but was needed for a later shift due to a big store event. I work in the Fly Shop, but we have a general fishing, hunting and sporting goods zone, along with clothing, hardware, tack, farm and boots to name some of our almost everything. We help out in all areas as needed, but have our own areas of expertise. Not everyone in the store understands the difference between the fishing and fly shop departments. Its possible to hear over the radios…”Fly Shop, your frozen smelt are in receiving, or Fly Shop, your worms are at the post office.” Rather than be offended, I embrace the diversity of our unique operation.
Once the big sale began at 5pm, we had lines wrapping around the store. Some shoppers were in fine holiday spirit and enjoyed the excitement of saving money on some really good items. Others were harried and a bit short on patience. While I was helping a gentleman find the right Leatherman Tool, I overheard a lady on her cell phone….”He’s got this crazy list of things he wants for Christmas including a black bear tied to a tree, not on private land. I wonder who can arrange that one?” It took me a moment to register what I had just heard and then I could not help but laugh out loud while she glared at me and moved on, jabbering into her phone. Good luck with that one pal.