Appearances Are Deceiving!
E.J. PaceMy brother was an obsessive, avid fly fisherman and had the perfect solution, to hear him tell it. He had one of those large truck tire innertubes with a sling seat apparatus rigged in it, so he could sit comfortably in his rubber suit and fish the deepest rivers with no worries of sinking in over his head. He also had metal fins he strapped around the rubber ankles of his waders so he could simply sit there in the sling and propel himself in any direction at any speed he could manage by moving his feet in a bicycle spin under water – and he could go forward, backward, or right or left. He was as adept as a circus acrobat and kept his creel and basket attached to the belted tube and within reach.
One lovely summer’s day he was in his innertube fishing rig, casting happily up and down the lovely currents of a Texas river famous for its yield of shimmering bass, often of trophy size. Suddenly, he saw movement around the bend and on the other side of the river. It was a fellow fisherman, a stranger, newly arriving on the rocky bank, waving a greeting to my brother who grinned a welcome and waved back. He returned to his casting rhythm and after about five minutes, turned to check on the newcomer again. The man had finished securing his boots and hat and holding his fly rod up high, was entering the river, smiling widely at my brother, who realized with horror the man thought he was touching bottom there in his innertube and assumed he, the newcomer, could walk out safely and fish alongside his new fishing buddy.
What he didn’t know was that the river bottom dropped off steeply only about four feet from the bank and that my brother, contrary to what it looked like, was not wading but was floating! In very deep water, at that! He began to wave rapidly, trying to signal to the man to go back to the bank and wait until he could get closer and could explain how he could float and appear to be wading!
The man kept smiling and waving, and walking steadily toward my brother who watched the inevitable result approach rapidly, unable to pedal any faster to reach the “sinking ship.” In a matter of minutes the man vanished under the surface and his hat, festooned with colorful flies, floated in the current, out of reach. The man surfaced and gasped as he coughed up river water and nearly choked again on his own laughter. My brother reached his side shortly and assisting him as he floundered in the cold rapids, helped him crawl out of the river and they became very good friends from that day forward.
The “newcomer” wasted no time in acquiring a truck-tire innertube of his own and the sling apparatus to go with it. The two “floating waders” enjoyed many fishing trips together and often deliberately fooled other observers into believing they were either wading in shallow water or were about nine feet tall!
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