Chapter 1: The Rewards

When the alarm went off at 4:30am Saturday morning, the Urban Angler awoke with a frown. No need to get up so early, now that we’re concentrating on fishing close to home. A small reward. With a grunt he reached over and turned off the alarm, and tried to return to the dream of landing that big bonefish that stayed just out of casting distance. When the sun was just peaking over the horizon, he woke and dressed quickly.

His attire was decidedly wrinkled and made him look something like a bum — khaki long sleeve shirt and long pants, beat-up baseball cap, shoes with no socks. Unshaven, he grabbed his sunglasses and trusty mojo lanyard and headed for the garage.

Waiting for him was his mode of transportation, his trusty steed, the two-wheel wonder, the Urban Assault Vehicle. It shown in the dim garage light, pedals glistening like …… well, like pedals. He threw his keys and wallet into the carry-bag, and then reached for his weapon of choice — the Urban Towny Two-Weight — 7’6″ of featherweight carbon fiber, strung and ready. He then mounted up and stroked the pedals, aiming the bike to it’s first destination.

In prior scouting expeditions on the Urban Assault Vehicle, he had noted a small retention pond close to a bike trail. Large by retention pond standards, it also had a unique feature that made it desirable for fly-fishing, absolutely no trees or foliage interferring with casts. But, after a half-hour of fishing, the pond showed no life — perhaps that is why there was no foliage. He remounted and pedaled on to a new destination.

An apartment complex backed up to a large lake, and the Urban Angler made his way between the buildings to the waters edge. He noted another fisherman already closeby. They exchanged pleasantries, and the young man then held up a nice 4lb bass on a stringer. “Got him earlier — the bass were jumping all over about sun-up” he said. “Did you get him on that?” asked the Urban Angler increadlously, pointing to the lure hanging off the spinning rod of the young lad. He had watched the angler toss the lure with his spinning rod and it made such a commotion on the water it was like watching a fourty-horse Yamaha outboard wake. “Naw, I got him on a Chug-Bug” said the angler. “I haven’t ever caught anything on this”. “And I doubt you ever will”, said the Urban Angler silently to himself ” –even I’m afraid of the noise that thing is putting out”.

The Urban Angler moved a short distance away, and began casting his small white popper next to some lilly pads. On the third cast, a shadow darted out and engulfed the small fly. Rewards! thought the Urban Angler — a nice little bass! He let the small fish flip out of his hands and back into the water, satified that he had broken the ice. Rewards indeed — fish caught within a mile of the house, with thousands of people nearby but only one other angler.

Unfortunately, however, there were no more bites at this lake. The sun had crept higher, and the lack of wind meant that the heat of the day poured down. After a few more stops at some other closeby retention ponds and lakes, the Urban Angler decided to reward himself at the local McDonalds with a little breakfast. As he parked the Urban Assult Vehicle at the front door, he surrepticiously glanced inside to scan the clientele for any potential “delinquints” that might want to try and get away with his trusty steed. No one but a group of four old ladies sitting around a table. He broke down his fly rod, laid it on the bike, and then entered. A quick walk to the cashier, and he placed his order. As he reached for his wallet, he froze in his tracks — he had left most of his cash at home! A quick trip to the bike and while the little old ladies watched he rummaged through his carry bag for some change. Luckily, he found just enough and he headed back in to the cashier to pay.

As he sat down to his meal, two of the older ladies approached him. One reached out and laid a dollar on his table. “I know it must be tough for you now, homeless, living off the land and trying to catch fish to eat” she said. The second lady chimed in “We’re so glad to see you eating a meal with your money instead of spending it on booze”. The Urban Angler started to reply and protest, but caught a reflection of himself in the window. Sweaty (maybe smelly), wrinkled, disheveled with a 3-day growth of beard. He swallowed his first reply, lowered his eyes, and said softly “Yes Ma’am. Bless you”.

Rewards indeed.

The Urban Angler had dedicated himself to the art of fishing close to his home in urban waters that most people pass by without a glance. The tales of the Urban Angler are based on true events with perhaps a touch of embellishment, but no more than any other angler in this group would make to a fellow angler of this group.

If you would like to fish with the Urban Angler, contact him through AP, who knows him well. You must bring your own flyrod, flies, and of course your own two-wheeled trusty transportation steed. Results will be broacast to fellow anglers of success despite how the fishing actually turns out.