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Anything but the Roadhouse; Current River TR: 10/24-5

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We stayed at Montauk State Park.  We left KC at 11:38 AM.  We had hoped to leave by 10:30, but we can never get out of dodge on time.  We thought the mediocre forecast might keep folks away.

“Nope, it’s always liked this.” said the woman who takes your money. 

She was an aloof gal who thwarted my fishing buddy’s attempts at charm.  He, admittedly, wasn’t firing on all cylinders.  He asked a few more innocent questions that where answered as much with the looks she shot him, as any of the words she said: where is the closest gas station (“It’s the one you passed on the way in???”), how late are they open (“Don’t know.”), can we keep this map (blank look on her face)?

The Royals were playing that night and looking to clinch a spot in The Series.  Also, we had broken the cardinal rule of never letting your gas tank get below ¼ on a fishing mission. Guess we're going back to Salem later. 

I noticed the Roadhouse at the fork in the road when we first went through Salem.  I figured that was the only place in town to watch the game.  We asked our campsite neighbors, Bill and Ted (or was it Tim?) who were on an “Excellent Adventure”, if they knew where to watch a game? 

“Roadhouse”, said Tim. 

Just as we suspected, and quite honestly, didn’t want to hear.  I had spent 4 years in Alaska, a small stint in Montana, and few years in Utah.  My buddy had knocked around Jackson, Wyoming awhile.  We know what a roadhouse is and entails.  We didn’t have the right tags on the truck, the right twang in our talk, and the right team to root for.

Tim looked a little like a young Technicolor Uncle Fester with half a backwoods beard.  Bill, in his 40’s, had a soft voice and handshake.  They take fish from the Park.

“What do you guys use? Roostertails? Woolly Worm Spinners?” I asked.

“We use a cheddar cheese ball” said Bill.

Seems reasonable.

“Then we dip them in anise oil.” 

Homemade PowerBait.

“Then we roll them in baby powder”

Uh, that’s a new one.

“What’s that for?” I asked.

“To give the parmesan cheese something to stick to!” he said.

Of course!  How could I not of known?

Back in Salem for gas, we ask the guys filling up their truck where to watch the game?

“We aren’t from around here.  I think there’s a Roadhouse up the way”, he said.  Anything but the Roadhouse.

A kid whose shirt had given away that he just got off work at “Aunt May’s Café” overheard us.  He looked to be 15 years old.

“You guys want the Roadhouse.” Great we both thought.

The Roadhouse had the usual cast of characters that you would expect on a Friday that also happened to be karaoke night. You could smoke in this eating establishment.  To signal that we fit in I rolled up one of my cigarettes, and my buddy threw in a dip. One fella had a shirt that said, “ F@CK OFF. I have enough friends”.  We didn’t chat him up.  Another guy was tuned up. All the way up. If he was a guitar amplifier he would’ve been at level 11 on a 10 point scale.  He was the type of guy who had big scars from farming accidents, and went around asking everybody, “Are you an American or Americun?”

Great, the meth-head is asking me trick questions that have a direct implication on whether I walk out of this bar with a bruised ego and face.

“AmeriCAN”, I said thinking that the "Can" would represent a “Can-do” attitude that a fella of his stature would appreciate.


Ohhh s*$t.

“You got to be both!” he said.

He then told me and my fishing buddy all about what being both entails, and how the “Mexicans(cuns?)” are ruining everything.  I think the irony that he was drinking a Corona was lost on him, but I wasn’t going to point that out.

Cue the rain delay in the game and us leaving the Roadhouse unscathed.  To keep the signal of the game, and not the Mariachi music channel that kept butting in, on 1640 AM we had to drive around the Park finding a good zone.  We spent an hour driving for 30 seconds, and then sitting in the zone for 5 minutes before the channel would fade to mariachi.  The Royals clinched.

The Fishing:

We got ruined down there.  We aren’t Lefty Kreh and George Anderson but we can hold our own.  Two weeks ago we pulled quite a few wild rainbows and Browns out of the North Fork of the White (TR here).  We got two fish total for the weekend from the Current.

We fished from Parker to a ½ mile above False Cave bluff.  I landed a ‘bow on a crawfish steamer dead drifted in the first hole.  I fished a huevos trailer on dead drifted streamers.  My buddy fished meat all day.  I also caught another ‘bow on a BH Hare’s Ear.

At the end of the day a local named Larry was at Parker.

“Do you pay your taxes?” he asked.  Jesus, what’s with all these trick questions from locals?

“Yes, I do.” I said, a little unsure of myself after striking out with Mr. Meth last night.

“Goooood.  There’s access that’s not on the map.  First thing you want to do is head up to the guy who makes pallets and go….”

The next day we got another late start – I think I’m seeing a pattern – and when we got down to Baptist Camp there were already two cars.  We asked the one guy who was wadered-up if he was fishing up or down?  Down.

We said screw it, we didn’t want to fish water that two anglers had already blown through.  Larry had given us good directions.  We made it to the access.  The water looked amazing from the bluff we parked on.  Didn’t catch anything.  I fished a BH prince with a beaded body scud trailer.  We didn’t see any fish move even when canoes and rafts would blow through.  It felt like we were fishing empty water, which might be very likely due to where the access is located on the river.

I want redemption but I think my fishing buddy is a little jaded on the Current.  If you got some photos of some browns taken from the river I would love to show him that the river is legit. 







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Good stuff Burt.   Your choice of water and your timing wasn't the best, but thats how it goes sometimes, an adventure nonetheless.  At least you got to experience the flora and fauna of Salem, and though I have never darkened the Roadhouse door, it does sound inviting and full of opportunity for mischief.  Thanks for the tip.

The river is borderline legit, under the right conditions, but I've come to learn that NO RIVER will ever show favor nor pull up its dress to those preoccupied with baseball fandom . . . . . . never mind late arrival, and sketchy directions from a guy named Larry at Parker Holler.   Ye got what ye dee-zerved.

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Wow Burt, sorrie your experenice down here wasn't up to your entitled life style, Im one of the local hicks as you portray us to be, sounds like you have problems every where you go! From you sig.I say it tells your age so I will over look you statements about us.I also see you joined this site and only stayed a couple weeks so you will probly not ever see this, and its just as well. As far as a return trip to this area, if you cant make it, we will understand, how ever I think we will get by (it will be rough).  have a good day  bob

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