Bream Fishing in the Bayou

The camp dwellers of Hurricane Landing, AL got their first glimpse of a Rolls Royce when my long time friend Gerald drove into the camp in his sky blue RR convertible. Gerald and I are the same age and met twenty years ago in a cigar lounge in New Orleans called the French 75 attached to the famous Arnaud’s restaurant. Lamentably, you can no longer smoke anything there thanks to Mayor Latoya Cantrelle who outlawed smoking in the Quarter. It took Gerald exactly five minutes to get to know most of the camp denizens. Before you knew it, the whole camp was smoking free Davidoffs and busy talking with Gerald who quickly became known as New York Gerry.

Gerald is a Wall Street currency trader who lives on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and is chauffered to his office in the Wall Street district each day. Gerald is a billionaire. A Wharton graduate, he has an abundance of energy including a fervent desire to go bream fishing with yours truly.

Gerald and I took off in my bass boat at 5 p.m. on Friday. It was too hot to fish earlier in the day. We skimmed over the Tensaw River in my Triton bass boat, and the water was calm and Gerald was insistent that I go full throttle. At full throttle, only the prop of the 250 HP motor is in the water, and one person in the boat was terribly afraid and it was not Gerald. We made our way into a long, shady creek named Dennis Lake, and I gave Gerald his first lesson on fly fishing. It took him about a half hour to master the roll cast, and we began boating bull bream left and right. Nothing in fresh water fights like a bream. With a nine foot, five weight fly rod, a one pound fish feels like Moby Dick is on the end of line. We had a blast and each caught and released twenty-five fish. They were in the Alabama parlance “titty bream,” meaning they were so wide you could not grasp them with your hand and must lean them on your chest to de-hook them.

Since we drank a pint of Maker’s Mark and smoked cigars, we cruised back to the landing at a prudent speed before darkness fell upon the Delta. One of the camp lesbians had a Chinese dinner waiting for us that included oysters, crab meat, shrimp, and catfish. We had a great time talking politics, economics, and about women. In one day, Gerald became a legend at Hurricane Landing.

Saturday, Gerald left, and I spent the day recovering from my hangover. It was great seeing my old friend, and I only wish I had his energy. and personal magnetism. Today, I’m back on the beach with Lovely Lisa. who was irritated with me that I didn’t persuade Gerald to stay a few days with me at the beach house. I knew however that spending more time with Gerald might quickly lead to my demise. No way I can keep up with New York Gerry.

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