I mentioned last week that when ol’ Nevah and me were on our return trip from Tennessee, we made a stop in Mountain Home in northern Arkansas. I wanted to make this particular stop because my ol’ daddy, Czar E. Yield, always enjoyed taking short weekend vacations to Mt. Home to listen to down home pickin’ and grinnin’ as the hill folks came out the woods to play their musical instruments.
I always wanted to make the trip with him while he lived, but it never worked out. So, I decided to make the stop to see what drew pappy to Mt. Home. Because our trip wuz on a weekend and it wuz during a drizzly day around noon. I knew the pickers and grinners wouldn’t be doing their impromptu performances, but, to our surprise, the community wuz holding a farmer and merchant market around the picturesque town square.
We decided to investigate and I’m glad we did. Whilst Nevah wuz buying planters and plants for her flower gardens, I moseyed over to a good ol’ boy (I’ll call him by his initials C. C.) setting up a display of “his stuff” in a corner booth. As I puzzled over his merchandise, CC took one look at me in my overalls and cap that said “Fishing” on it and queried, “You a fisherman?”
I replied that “I try to wet a line as often as I can.”
He replied, “Then you’re just the feller I’m looking for … my first customer of the day.”
Well, let me tell you folks, I ended up with earfuls of fishing advice and a plastic bag of CC’s one-of-a-kind “budget fishing lures.” I guess the best way to describe CC’s homemade lures is that they’re a “system” comprised of combinations of balsa wood, snippets of pop bottle plastic, thin pieces of aluminum, plastic drinking straws, lead split shots, judiciously applied paint, and assortments of dry and wet flies and streamers.
CC calls his lures “Fawn Creek Original Yondering Lures.” Their uniqueness is that they allow a fisherman to throw flies with ultralight spinning or spin cast rods instead of with a fly rod.
“You can rig the right combo to throw any lightweight lure farther ‘over yonder’ where you need it to catch fish,” CC volunteered, “Hence the name Yondering. The right combination will let you fish at any depth and these lures are virtually weedless to retrieve. They’re killers on bass, crappie, panfish and I’ve got customers who say they work in the ocean, too.”
Well, CC sold me on his “Yondering stuff” and I told him to sack up $25 worth that he thinks will work in the clear, limestone waters of the Flint Hills. He must have been impressed by my enthusiasm becuz he tossed in a handful of “freebies” before I left.
I don’t know if Yondering lures will work for me as the high water since we got home has prevented me from fishing. But, it makes no matter. I’ll have $25 of fun out of them by having an exclusive “lure system” that none of my Flint Hills fishing buddies have. If they actually catch fish, that will be a bonus.
I’ll give CC a bonus, too. Here’s his address: P. O. Box 1393, Mountain Home, AR 72654.
My good Lebo, Kan., cattleman friend, ol’ Casey Strip, gave me a call the other day with a humorous story.
Casey, like everyone in the Flint Hills, has been getting washed out by the incessant heavy rains. He tells me that he had an 80 acre pasture that he wanted to turn 20 head of feeders on to graze. Problem wuz, the floods washed out a big watergap fence about every other day and he couldn’t turn the cattle in.
Casey and his help repaired the watergap three times before they had a break in the weather and could turn the feeders on grass. Later that day, Casey got a call that his feeders were out and running down the road. With assistance of friends and neighbors, the feeders were gathered and returned to their pasture. Casey rechecked the watergap and found it still in place. Since the perimeter fences were known as cattle tight, Casey returned home puzzled about the cattle break out.
The next day another phone call reported all his feeder cattle running free on the gravel road. This time after the escapees were gathered and returned, Casey made a more thorough examination of the fences. Alas, he found a brand new ditch had eroded under the fence sufficient to let the frisky feeders gain their freedom.
Casey repaired his “new” watergap and now he’s hoping for a dry stretch.
A Missouri friend, ol’ Boomer Batson, snail mailed me last week and said he got a load of road gravel delivered to his place and it wuz a real blast. Upon examination, embedded in the gravel he found a yellow warning tag of paper that read “Blasting Cap” and found 18-inches of new dynamite fuse. He included both in the letter. Those findings would make me wonder if that gravel load was delivered by terrorists.
Jay Esse, my Colorado friend, sent me a recipe for a great tasting Tofu meal. Step one: Throw all the ingredients into the trash can. Step two: Barbecue a nice hamburger or steak and enjoy.
Heck, that will work for my words of wisdom for the week. So, keep your paddles read and have a good ‘un.