Friday, December 30, 2011

Driving on the other side ( Part 22 )

At the Pub in Moana, Jane is direct and asked the two red eyed surfer dudes, "so, just how old are you two"? The two blurry eyed boys look at each other with a look of surprise, "Uh, my name is Alex, I'm 24 and I'm from Sydney, this is my mate, his name is Christian, but you can call him C".
Jane in her haste to get some food in her, slipped on a pair of panties and a short, loose fitting white sun dress that was adorned with small colorful flowers. Her honey colored hair was pulled back in a pony tail, she wore no make up, and, was wearing just tan clogs. As usual Jane looked incredible, without any effort Jane Greenfield could turn a man's head at 100 yards. Kelly looked playful, she was a much more attractive women then she gave herself credit. It was the lack of attention for so many years from her ex that broke down Kelly's confidence. Kelly was lightly made up, she wouldn't dare go out before putting her "face on". She wore a short, dark brown skirt, and a tan, tight fitting, sleeveless cashmere top, and 2 inch tan pumps, she looked hot.  Kelly's shoulder length red hair was just combed out,  naturally wavy, both girls had a look of being sunkissed from returning from their hike earlier. Jane leaned forward with a serious look, exposing her voluptuous cleavage and invited the two Aussies to join them, the boys could not find their chairs fast enough, Alex signaled the waitress for drinks all around, "my shout", exclaimed the obviously excited surfer dude.
Bender realized that he was completely under dressed for his dinner date with Kate Granger, but Kate's warm smile eased his worries , as Kate reached out with a quarter filled large glass of red wine, she said, " It's our best Pinot Nior, I hope you like it. Please , be seated", came from the smiling and elegant dark red haired beauty. The small wooden table was adorned with two crossing long white linen banners that left the rest of the wood exposed. White linen napkins were atop-ed with sterling silverware, and in the center piece there were three tall white candles, and, salt and pepper shakers, both in Sterling. In front of each large China dinner plate was a small arrangement of local Spring flowers, on the right side were matching small salad plates. Billy helped Kate be seated and then sat and said ,"Kate, wow, this is much more than I expected, this is wonderful, thank you ". Both raised their glasses and took a sip of wine, before the put their glasses down, out from the Kitchen came two uniformed, white gloved wearing young women carrying large bowls that had extra large silver serving spoons that were protruding off to each side.  Kate was served first, she adds," tonight we are having red stag medallions in a brandy cream sauce, boiled potatoes, basil-ed carrots, and Spring salad with a balsamic dressing, all grown here on the property, I hope you enjoy".
The food is exquisite, perfectly prepared, Bender has seconds on the venison, Kate barely eats a thing, but does manage to finish the salad and Vegi's. The conversation is polite and casual, Kate suggest to have dessert out on the back deck, it is a warm evening, and the moon is nearly full. The two move out to be seated on a small couch on the back veranda that over looks the lake. The moon is just rising and reflecting off the placid small lake, it is a rare Spring evening in the southland of New Zealand. Kate looks surreal in the light being reflected from the Lake, like a Bond girl on the big screen. Kate starts to light another cigarette, when Billy ask, "would you like to smoke something besides a cigarette"? Then from his upper shirt pocket displays a hand rolled looking cigarette. Kate with a look of surprise, tosses her thick red locks backward, exposing her long elegant neck then laughs. "OK, it's such an unusually warm, windless evening, and this is such a unexpected pleasant surprise, why not"!
Billy and Kate both take turns inhaling the sweet smoke of the Rangatikie Red Bud, and take in the the view of the Moon rising over the far off Mountains that seem to take guard protecting the endless rows of the young grape plant that are attached to wooden post. In the small Lake, Mayflies are hatching, the sound of gupling trout fill the air. Kate turns to Bender and asks, " so, tell me what are your plans, you told me about work, I don't mean that, I mean this week, tomorrow, what are you going to do"? Bender looks into the hazel eyes of  Kate Granger  and says," tomorrow I'm off to Christchurch, I met a women on the flight down, she is someone that really moved me in just a short time. I need to see if what appeared to be a real connection is in fact just that. She is someone special, one of the most beautiful women I have ever met, she is talented, succesful, she Fly fishes, shoots, we have many things in common, I can't stop thinking about her. Kate asks, " who is it, Christchurch, I know alot of people from Christchurch". Bender hesitates, then says, " Ann hunter, I'm sure you know who she is". Kate tosses her head back and lets out a very un- lady like laugh, then adds, " Ann, I've known her all of her life, her parents are good friends of mine, of course I know her, she is a lovely girl! Does Jack and Addy know your coming"? Just then Billy realizes that he'd forgotten to call, "oh shit, I meant to call and let them know I was coming, it completely slipped my mind". Kate says" don't worry, I'll call them in the morning to let them know you are on your way, they are wonderful people and dear friends, no worries"!
The sexually charged electricity that permeated the air all evening , seemed to wisp away along with the thick, sweet, white smoke of the red bud. Kate and Bender both starred at the Moon lit Lake and watched large Brown Trout porpoise in small u's pouncing atop of the lake surface eating  large yellow Mayflies. "It's late " Kate says, " Billy, thank you for your company, it was a delightful evening, but I'm off to bed, sleep well, I'll see you at breakfast, 7:30 am OK"? Bender replies", no, thank you for everything Kate, your a wonderfiul host, and it is a pleasure to spend time in your company, 7:30 is perfect, thanks again, sleep well, good night".
As Kate walked off to bed,  a gentle breeze left a light sweet smell of Kates perfume lingering, Billy could only hear the click, click, click of Kates heels on the wooden porch as she went off to prepare for bed, and Billy could not help to wonder what Kate Granger wore to sleep, if in fact she wore anything at all.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Driving on the other side (Part 21)

One of the reasons the girls choose to stay where they did, was due to the fact that they would have an individual cabin, and, the fact that the cabin they choose was right on the lake with a stunning view. As they drove through the small town of  Moana, they noticed that one Pub seemed to be the hot spot and decided to check it out. The Pub's of the South Island had changed from the years past. In the old days, each Pub had two sides, one for women , and the other for men, usually there was a bar in the middle where both could eat, drink and mingle. These days most people just went to the bar in the middle, wow, now that is progressive. This Pub was a DB ( Dominion Bitters) Pub, the most popular drink in this part of the South Island. Jane and Kelly get a table instead of sitting at the bar, they were there to eat, they thought they could drink later. The Pub's almost always serve food, good food, and lots of it. The menus are typically pretty similar, Kidney and Steak Pie, Lamb Stew, Fresh Fish and Chips are always available, and typically a special of some sort , what ever is in season, tonight it was Venison ( Red Stag) in a cream brandy sauce.
Both Jane and Kelly had one thing in mind , and that was to eat, after smoking the red bud that Billy had given Jane, both girls were starving, and were focused on food. Everyone else in the bar were focused on the two women who just lit up the Pub with their beauty. The waitress appears with a small pad and an active pencil that is tapping the pad in a rapid pace. Whatya have girls?"Jane looks up to say" ah, menus please" The waitress with a look of discuss says, " it's written on the board behind you, there is fish, stew, pie, or if you'd like the special is bambi". Jane ops for the Fish and chips and Kelly the Lamb Stew, Jane ask for bread as well. At the bar, there were two young men who did not appear to be locals. They had wild sun bleached blonde hair, they were both dressed similar, with baggy canvas pants, loose fitting short sleeved shirts and Teva sandals.  Jane noticed the two after she  had eaten three of the hot, fresh rolls that came accompanied with real butter. "Kelly, check these two dudes sitting at the bar behind you, they don't look like local's" says Jane casually. Kelly turns around to have a look, then turns back at Jane and says, " they look a little young, don't they"? Jane with a look of surprise replies, "since when did you get so picky'? Kelly with a defensive tone adds, "well don't they"?
The food came nun too fast for the weary travelers, both girls devoured their food  in what seemed just minutes, Jane with a devious smile lets out a small burp, and says, " that hit the spot"! Kelly sighs and says, "Oh man, I needed that , it was delicious.' Jane bends her head back and has a big laugh, only to return to see both tall young men standing directly behind Kelly's chair. " Good evening ladies, can we buy you a drink" came from the one of the surfer looking dudes, that appeared to have an Australian accent.
Back on the East coast, Billy enters the dinning room to find  Kate Granger sitting at the bar smoking a cigarette  with a enormous glass of red wine parked just in front of her. Billy is stunned to see the women he met earlier who was decked out in a loose fitting Logan green outfit  to now be looking absolutely ravishing. Kate wore four inch heels, a dark green emerald dress that was a beautiful contrast with her full , dark reddish shoulder length hair.Her dress was sleeveless, and the front cut in an exposing V, that showed the clevage of her fine perky breast.She was lightly made up, and wore diamond ear rings with a matching necklace, ring, and bracelet. Kate Granger was a stunner, Billy was speechless for a few seconds until Kate broke the silence with , " Billy, welcome, would you like to have a glass of Red or White wine"? Bender could feel his heart pounding in his chest, he was starting to focus, and realized he quickly needed to get in the zone...

Driving on the other side (Part 20)

The road into Blenheim was slow going, Bender had to wait as farmers moved sheep on the highway from pasture to pasture and the only way was on the road itself. Two plaid shirt wearing gentlemen donning shorts and wide brimmed hats whistled constantly at five black and white sheep dogs, slithering low, then running, stopping, and then again running to keep the heard on the road . The working dogs were a sight to see, Billy forgot about his lack of nourishment for a few minutes to take in the moment. As one of the men approached the car , Bender put his window down to say hello. There was a deafening sound of Bah, Bah, Bah's coming from the enormous heard, along with an eye brow raising smell that permeated the air. The farmer was wearing boots, shorts, a wool shirt that was covered by a Icelandic style sweater and a floppy wide brimmed, dark colored hat. He was also sporting a long, dark colored walking stick that had an appearance that it was hand carved. "Good day Mate" blurted from the farmer, " no problem mate, stay to the right, you'l be right, no worries" So Bender drove on the right side of the noisy, smelly moving mass of grass eating mammals, finally getting ahead of the last of the filthy, long haired sheep.
As Billy approached the town he was struck with just how extensive the row after row, mile after mile, of  grapes were being grown in this region. He noticed a sign that read Timara Lodge, fine dinning, luxury rooms, spa and vineyard. Well, this had everything that Bender was looking for, all in one place, so he turned into the driveway to find a charming, English style garden that surrounded a perfect ginger bread style house that was located on the banks of a small lake that had fish rising and feeding. "Perfect" Bender shouted, but it looked closed, nobody was around. It was the Off season, but Billy thought that it had to be open, so Billy knocked on the front door. A gorgeous women in her early 40's dressed like she just stepped out of the Field Magazine, green from head to toe that only accented her dark red hair and fair complexion, was smiling as she welcomed Bender into the lodge."Welcome, I'm Kate Granger, the owner, and you are"? Billy was taken back by the beauty of Ms, or Mrs Grange? And finally stumbled out with "nice to meet you , I'm William Bender, but you can call me Billy". The two got through the introduction and Kate showed Billy his room and explained that he was the only guest, but, the staff was present and they would serve dinner, and everything would be open for him. There was a small store that sold wines from their vineyard, and of course t-shirts, hats, some jewelry, and local artifacts. Kate gave Billy the tour of the grounds and  told Bender a brief history of the area and of the lodge itself, also telling Bender that he was welcome to do some fishing, or have a swim in the pool, or hot tub. Kate inquires," Mr Bender will you be dinning alone this evening, I need to let our chef know, for tonight we will be serving Medallions of Venison"? Bender replies, "Yes, I'm alone, it will be only me". Kate, with a smile and eye brows raised, suggest that they dine together, for she is a widow of five years, and that it seemed silly for both to dine alone. Bender agrees, and they set the dinner for 8:00 o'clock sharp, the dress, casual.
Jane and Kelly finally, despite the heat of the afternoon arrive at the landcruiser , both girls completely exhausted, and dripping from perspiration, decide to drive to a B and B to rest and get a good meal. Kelly takes the wheel and Jane looks at a map to find the nearest town that may be something of interest on their way down the west coast. Billy at this time is on the east coast and working his way to Christchurch, the girls  are on the opposite side of the Island , heading south down the west coast, on their way to hike the Milford track. Jane suggest that they just drive for awhile until they both agree on a place to stop, Jane says," there is only one road down the west coast, so, we won't get lost, so lets just see where we end up". Kelly is in full agreement, then adds, " this country is stunning , I mean look around us, what beauty, the mountains are white capped and jagged, along with the contrast of the super green hill sides, and these rivers are just pristine, my goodness, everything seems to be so clean". Jane says, "yea , but I've seen enough sheep to last me a lifetime, I'm ready for some fun, lets go out tonight" . Jane pulls out a small pipe and lighter and begins to smoke. "Whats that?" ask Kelly, " is that Pot, where did you get it"? Jane after exhaling a long hit replies, " Billy gave me half of what he'd gotten from a friend up on the North Island, it's red bud, he says it's really good, want some"? Kelly with her mouth open, looks at Jane and says, "why not , we are on vacation, might as well have some fun"! The two girls, high as kites, driving down the west coast of New Zealand in their rented Landcruiser come to a small town on the edge of a Lake. The sign at the entrance of the town reads Moana. This is a small tourist town on the edge a Brenner Lake. They get a room at the Counrty Motel, then go for a swim in the Lake that is just in front of their room. The water is frigid, but , at the same time refreshing after the long hike and drive. They both run into the cabin to take a hot shower, and start to get ready to go out that night. Jane blurts out, " I could eat a horse I'm so hungry, we haven't eaten a thing all afternoon", and with that, the two drive into Moana looking for a nice place to eat.
Billy, on the other side of the Island, is just getting out of the shower , and getting ready for his dinner date with Kate Granger. Billy thinks while he is getting ready, " this could be interesting'...

Monday, December 26, 2011

Driving on the other side (Part 19)

Bender pulled out his South Island map to get an idea of the best route to get to Christchurch. He decided to drive to the town of Blenheim, which is in the heart of the most famous wine-country in the South Island . From his Northern location , he notices that it will take sometime due to the mountainous , curvy road that winds through the arid mountains, and through the rich fertile valleys that produce world class wines. This is the area of  New Zealand  called the Marlborough region, famous for it's white wines, with Sauvigon Blancs being the top producer, along with Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs being a close second and third respectively. This area of the South Island has excellent soils, abundant sunshine, and cool nights that are perfect conditions for growing grapes. Billy thought back to his first night in Auckland when he first tried an excellent Marlborough Riesling  that was delicious, accompanied along with the Bluff Oysters, Lobster, and fresh Asparagus. Bender planned on spending the night in Blenheim, then he would have time to buy a case of wine to bring as a gift for the Hunters, and not show up empty handed. Billy wanted to make a good impression, so, to choose the correct wine might take some time.
Back at the beach, Jane and Kelly got dressed, and, continued their trek along the flat white sandstone path that led them to the first stopping spot that turned out to be a small hut that was comprised of wood walls with a grass thatched roof. "perfect " Jane exclaimed, " lets spend the night here". Upon entering what they thought was going to be their home for the evening, they found that all four beds were already occupied, with colorful backpacks resting atop of the four small single beds. "oh shit" came out of the mouth of Kelly, and she asked Jane, "now what"?
The girls were disappointed and perplexed to know their next move, when a sexy bikini clad brunette entered the hut. "Hello, are you two wanting to spend the night here?"came from the brunette, with a  European accent. "I'm Anna, we just got here this morning", behind Anna standing in the doorway was a blonde, wavy haired, tanned, great looking man in his early thirties, " Hi, I'm Eric you two just arrived?" Both girls were just starring, since Eric had only shorts on, nothing else, just a big smile and shorts. Finally, Jane blurted out, " yea, we just walked in, looks full, I'm Jane and this is Kelly, we are both from Colorado". Anna says that she is from Sweden, and that Eric is from Montana. "So", asks Jane," how far is it to the next hut"? Eric pipes in and tells the girls that they have missed the ferry to the small Island where the next hut is located, and, that the next ferry is at 8:00 am tomorrow. The girls decide maybe they would hike back to the car and continue down the road to the west coast where they can hit the Milford track. "We are going to also be on the Milford track" says Eric,"maybe we will see you there". Kelly enthusiastically replies, "hope so, that would be fun!"
The girls figure they have around three hours to walk back to the Landcruiser, so, they say goodbye and start their journey. As soon as they are out of earshot, Kelly turns to Jane and asks, "was that guy hot or what?, I could have done him right in front of that sexy little swede and let her watch, or join in, or, whatever!" Jane with a look of disgust, turns to Kelly shaking her head and says, "Kelly, you really need to get laid, I mean". Kelly replies, "your right, I do need to get laid, and I'd be happy to be with that hot little Swede, because I noticed how Eric was burning a hole starring at your white bikini top, he could not keep his eyes off of you Jane". With a devious smile Jane says, "I know, he was getting hot, did you see the size of the simi he was sporting through those shorts?"I'll make you a deal, if we see them again, I get Eric and you can have the sexy Brunette, deal?" Kelly sighs and say "deal".
Billy was getting weary after driving through the curvy hillsides, it had been hours since his last stop, and he was in need of nourishment and drink. Then he noticed off to a distance a fair sized town, it was Blenheim, just in time thought Bender. As Billy started the decline and into the green fertile valley, he thought that he had forgotten to call Ann Hunter to let her know that he was getting close.  I'll have to call her tonight, to at least give her a warning that I'll be there tomorrow, Bender was thinking. Tonight, I'll dine and drink some great Kiwi wines, shave, and look for a appropriate gift to bring for Ann's folks, I hope they drink wine, thought Bender. Billy wondered what Ann would be like with her parents there all the time, then, he remembered her face, what a beautiful women, and what a body, tall lean, curvy, maybe the most beautiful women Bender had ever seen.Tomorrow could not come fast enough, Billy needed a drink...




Monday, December 19, 2011

Fishing a New Style , Tenkara, an ancient Japanese fishing expirence


In 1986 while working as a guide for the Rivers Edge in Bozeman Mt, one morning two men came into the shop looking for a guide. One of the men was American, the other was Japanese, the American was an interrupter for the man from Japan. We all met and were getting ready for the day when I noticed that the Japanese man had a something in his hand he was trying to show me. It was a tube that was around 18 inch's in length, I had no idea what this was, but the American said this is his rod for fishing. Just then, the man started pulling out the rod in the shop, it was very long once it was all out, maybe 14 ft in total length, a telescoping rod made from fiberglass. Of course I asked if he had a reel with Fly line, when I noticed that there was no guides on the very long soft, flexible telescoping rod. The Japanese man was very excited, and was trying to mimic just how he used the rod for fishing, but he did not speak a word of English, so I was completely in the dark. He was holding a horse's tail that he presented from his back pocket, in which just confused me even further. Then the American re-appeared, and explained the process that we would be using to fish that day. He said that there was no reel, but that the single strand of horse tail would be tied on to the tip of the rod, the length was around 2-3 feet Then, a hook would be tied to the free end of the single strand of horse tail. On the hook, the Japanese gentleman would put on what ever he could find to entice the fish to feed,  that lived near, or in the river.
We decided that the three of us would  float the Yellowstone River near the town of Livingston MT. While I was preparing the boat for the days float, and getting the boat in the river, I noticed that the Japanese man was turning over rocks in the river and collecting a fair number of golden stone fly nymphs. He was very happy with his bounty, the American said that these would be perfect for his style of fishing. So, off we went, the American in the front of the boat and the long rod fishermen was fishing from the back of the boat. Once we were off and floating, introductions were re- established, the Americans name was Bob, and the Japanese gentleman's name was Ichiro. Bob told me that Ichiro was a well know and extremely successful business man from Tokyo and that Ichiro had wanted to fish the American western rivers for most of his adult life, and today, was a dream come true. Then Bob told me about the style of fishing that was taking place in the back of my boat , it was called Tenkara, and that it had a very long history in Japan, Bob was not sure just how long , but he thought for hundreds of years this style of fishing had been popular, usually with small creek fisherman. Just then Ichiro was screaming from the back of the boat, he had a fish on, I moved the boat into the shallows to anchor and try and land the fish that was just in the surface slashing wildly. As I reached out with the net in an attempt to subdue the fish when I noticed it was a whitefish. Oh , I thought, too bad, I would have loved to see his face if it would have been a beautiful Brown trout, or a colorful Cutthroat , or fiesty red striped Rainbow, but the dull , greyish colored whitefish seemed like a constellation prize for a man who came all the way from Japan to catch a wild trout. But, I could not have been more wrong, Ichiro was beaming with complete delight, he said to Bob, that his day was made, if he did not catch another, it did not matter. Ichiro jumped out of the boat and into the shallows, splashed the water from the Yellowstone river on his head and face , turned to the Big Blue Montana sky and yelled something in Japanese, that Bob could only say, he is very happy, very happy indeed.
The morning was typical for June in this part of Montana, cool, with intermitten clouds, with hopes of a  better day to come. As Ichiro re-entered the boat, the sun broke though the metal -grey colored clouds  and emitted a warmth that warmed all three of our souls, and we continued down the beautiful Yellowstone River through the Valley they call Paradise. Ichiro kept hooking fish, some were trout, these were just too strong for the horse hair tippit, and would break usually after becoming airborne. With each hookup Ichiro would let out a yell in Japanese, no interpretation was needed from Bob, it was  a sound of pure joy.
Just after eating lunch around mid-day, Ichiro was hooking fish on a simi- regular basis, 9 out of 10 would be the dull brownish- grey Whitefish, but on the rare occasion even a trout would become airborne and break free. Then, around 2:00 pm Ichiro stopped fishing, he told Bob that he had caught too many , he felt guilty for catching so many fish, and wanted to go home. Ichiro was ashamed of himself  for letting his emotions get the better of him , and he felt like he was being a glutton. OK said Bob, lets go home, Ichiro has caught enough.
The ride home was quiet, we returned to the parking lot at the Rivers Edge, Ichiro bowed, then shook my hand and thanked me, Bob shook my hand and said, I'm not sure you will undrstand,  Ichiro felt like he caught too many, it is not the way of Tenkara fisherman.
We as western Fly fishermen can learn alot from the Style of fishing called Tenkara. I have to say as a long time professional guide, I loathe the Fly fishermen who starts out the day with , "all I want to do is catch a mess of fish, and I don't care how we do it". What a dichotomy from the typical western "client" and the style of fishing called Tenkara.. I find myself somewhere in the middle, and comparing both ends of the spectrum, it seems like a nice place to be.