Thursday, February 18, 2016
Rapala Roof Rescue
The kids were playing in the yard, waiting for me to unlock the truck so we could load up and head off to school. A beloved stuffed animal, more or less a bean bag in the form of a cat, was being tossed up in the air to pass the time. Just as I was shutting the front door and turning my key to lock it, I saw the cat - practically in slow motion - take a trajectory that was undoubtedly bound for the roof.
Two stories up, the bean bag thumped on metal.
If we didn't leave inside of ten minutes, we'd all be late. Rain clouds hung low and heavy. My daughter, to whom the animal belonged, was melting into a puddle of first grader dispair in the front yard. My son, who'd made the last toss, was apologizing profusely to her - whether he meant it sincerely or was hoping to avoid a beating, one can't be sure. Maybe both.
I told them to hop in the truck, we'd have to get it later. We'd just moved into the house within the past few months and I knew I didn't own a ladder yet that was tall enough to let me climb on the roof. It's on the list. I briefly considered driving around to the back of the house where the roof is lower and placing the ladder I do have into the bed of the truck. That would work, but would eat more time than I had. Getting this cat wasn't at all necessary, but if I could snap my fingers and get it down right then the day was sure to be sent down a better path than the one it was currently on.
Ideas were coming into my head and being dismissed just as quickly. The clock was ticking. The truck was running. Tears were flowing. Rain was just starting to fall. I hated to think of the plush toy soaking up there all day till I could get to it after work.
I did what any angler will do when he needs to solve life's problems - I thought of my fishing gear. I stepped into my garage, selected a spinning rod off the wall rack, and dug into the pockets of one of the gear bags on the shelf above. I first considered a fly rod for the accuracy and swiftness of repeat casts, but decided trebles and a weightless line would be better. I tied on a #11 Rapala. It had already been customized to have only the two rear trebles and the barbs removed - I wanted a nice friendly 'catch-and-release.'
The kids slid out of the truck and gathered around me when they saw the rod. My daughter was already smiling and laughing and proclaiming the cat as good as rescued. I warned it might have to wait till evening if I didn't get it right away.
Missed the first shot. Lined it with the second. Hooked it on the third. Hopped it over the gutter and dropped it into the yard. My son would have preferred I used 'the Force,' but I'd done the next best thing in my book.
For about two seconds I held somewhat of a superhero status, but then it quickly faded back to normal and we were off to school. Kids under 8 or 9 just expect the supernatural from their dads. No biggie - another catastrophe averted, another threat to civilization squelched. I blew the smoke from the muzzle of my fishing rod and holstered it into the passenger seat of the truck. Always travel with fishing gear and keep the skills sharp - you never know when you are going to need them.
Grew up in the Smoky Mountains. Fished my way across the years from North Carolina, down to Texas, up to Washington State, and finally over to Montana. Spinning or on the fly, I like to hear my drag scream! Fishing and taking people fishing has been a lifelong passion.
Guiding on the Missouri River and other waters, Montana license #26343.
To book a fishing trip call me* (406) 839-0861 or Steinmetz Outfitters (406) 439-4366.
Montana Outfitter #9388
*booking agent for Steinmetz Outfitters