Another wacky adventure in the world of the Four Amigos

Last week, I got a call from Norm Budden, who asked if I wanted to join him, Bob "Slick" McCulloch and Don Hettrick (Don H) on a fishing trip to Rye Patch Reservoir.

I said, "Rye Patch! Geez, why do we want to go that far to fish, plus it will be 155 degrees in the shade and there is no shade out there."

He snarled, "Don't be a wimp. Just be at Hettrick's house at 5 a.m. on Tuesday. And by the way, you're driving your Mickey Mouse pickup and Hettrick is going with you because my friend Bob and I don't want the two of you in my truck."

I sighed and responded, "Yes, Master, I'll be there."

At 5 a.m, I arrived at Don H's, where Budden and Slick were busy hooking up the pontoon boat trailer to Budden's pickup.

I insulted them, they insulted me, they called me names, I called them names, and all the while, I was wondering where Hettrick was. He finally ambled out of his house, just as the two drove off.

I asked, "Geez, what in the heck took you so long?"

He said, "Aw, I couldn't find my sun glasses. I've got two pair and I can't find them, so I stole Nancy's. She'll never know. When I get home and she wants to know if I have seen them, I'll pretend to look and find them. Just don't say anything to her or she will get mad."

I solemnly replied, "Donald, Old Pal, she will never hear it from me, my lips are sealed forever."

I just never said Nancy could read it in this week's column. This could prove to be interesting!

We arrived at the boat ramp at Rye Patch, and then waited and waited for the other two to arrive.

About a half-hour later, they finally arrived. I asked what had taken them so long, and Slick said they had stopped in Fernley and they had been driving 55 MPH to conserve on gas mileage.

I told him, "For God's Sake, don't be such cheapskates. To heck with the cost of gas. We're here to catch fish, not to save money."

Then, both of them called Don H and I bad names, while the four of us were getting the pontoon boat ready for a day on the water.

We launched the boat, while I was shouting all kinds of naval commands, such as "Stand by to launch," "Cast off all lines," "All back one third," "Bring her around to a heading of one two zero."

Sadly, no one was following my orders: Norm was busy backing away from the ramp, Don H was frantically looking for his lost cell phone and Slick was rigging up his fishing pole.

As we left the ramp area, a commotion on the side of the reservoir caught our attention.

Someone had been four-wheeling in a white Hummer, where he wasn't supposed to be driving. He had slid off a steep incline, sideways, and ended up with the right rear of his vehicle in the water. He was buried up to his back wheel well. You can bet that cost him a ton of money for a tow truck from Lovelock or Winnemucca, plus a ticket from the park ranger for being off an authorized road. Oh well!

We reached our fishing area, began to get our fishing gear ready and then it really got interesting.

Don H started it all by saying, "Boys, we have a problem."

He had rigged up his fishing pole with a set of large silver flasher blades, plus a long leader and a huge nightcrawler on his hook.

Somehow, while lying on the deck of the boat, the cord of his cell phone case (which he had finally found) had become intertwined with the nightcrawler. It's true!

In unraveling the cord and the worm, he tangled the fishing line in the Velcro straps of his right sandal and around his foot.

He finally had to take off his sandal to untangle that mess, while three of us were snickering, and he was saying nasty words.

When that was squared away, he started to let his line out, only to discover he had twisted the line around the tip of his pole. That was another mess with nasty words.

He finally got everything cleared, let out his line, flashers, leader and nightcrawler, only to promptly create a mind-boggling, unholy mess when he tangled up with the line, flashers, leader and lure of Slick, who was already trolling on that side.

That forced us to quit fishing, bring in our gear, stop the boat and for all of us to work to untangle a world class tangle of lines, flashers, lure and one huge nightcrawler.

At last, peace and quiet finally returned to Rye Patch Reservoir.

Then, later, unfortunately, we got too close to the shoreline, and Norm snagged up. Three of us quickly reeled in our lines, and he began to back up the boat, while steering and reeling in his line.

I volunteered to reel for him, so he could concentrate on backing up that big 32-foot pontoon boat.

He handed me his pole, I was reeling, and then all of a sudden, he gunned the motor and turned the boat to the right.

I shouted, "Norm don't turn, you're going to go over your line."

Too late! He crossed the line and it quickly wrapped around his propeller and we stopped.

Then we spent a long period of time with the motor up in the air, while Norm removed his line from the propeller. His lure was somewhere on the bottom of Rye Patch.

When we began to troll again, Norm loudly sighed and said, "You know, when Don got my line tangled in the prop, I lost a very special lure that my Mom had left me in her will. It was the only thing I ever got from my Mommy."

I snickered and retorted, "Excuse me, but first of all, you drove over the line, I was just doing the reeling not the steering.

Then, if that lure was one that your Mama left you in her will, I can get it replaced at a garage sale, pawn shop or thrift store."

He called me a very bad name and went back to trolling with another of his "expensive" lures.

Our day ended at noon, when it felt like it was 155 degrees, there was no shade, and the four of us decided to return to Carson City.

How did we do fishing that day?

You'll never know because that is something that the Four Amigos have sworn to keep a deep, dark secret. But if you want some fish, just give Norm a call.

• Bet Your Favorite Pigeon

Bet your favorite pigeon that he can't tell you what our pal Marty Martinez did that day.

If he grins and says, "Marty did not go, so Don can truthfully report he did not catch any fish that day," he could be a regular reader of the Outdoors page.

• Don Quilici is the Outdoors editor for the Nevada Appeal


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