"We need to grow beards for this trip" said the text.
"I already have a beard" I replied.
"Then you can't shave until our trip is over, or it's bad luck."
Damn you Alex Cerveniak. I was already looking scruffy and standing at my sink getting ready to shave when this series of texts came nearly two weeks ago. I've been wearing a goatee for the last two winters, but my cheeks don't fill in, and now I just look kind of shabby.
I've never believed in luck, good or bad. I once saw Al Lindner on his show say that every week he has two really good days, two really bad days, and the rest are in the middle. For me "luck" has always been mitigated by persistence. If I just keep going things are bound to fall into place sooner or later, and sometimes they do, in spades.
I haven't been particularly lucky this year, but I haven't been particularly persistent either. I've worked too much, fished a lot of bad weather (the kind that puts down the particular fishing I'm doing) and otherwise tossed away some good opportunities. I've also gone fishing something like 85 days so far this year and so I've managed to catch some very nice fish.
I don't believe in bad luck, but Alex sure does. "Don't bring a net" he says, "it's bad luck."
"You can't shave before this trip, it's bad luck."
I won't share with you his last nugget of bad luck advice I got, but it involves my love life. Nuff said.
All this luck stuff is starting to get quite a bit personal and intrusive. I think there's other ways to guarantee bad luck, or maybe just poor success.
Things like being hung over. Or being a bad caster. Being unprepared ("You brought 15 flies for a 5 day trip???) But the impact of the state of my personal hair growth, or the affections of my significant other on my fishing really eludes me.
I think there's a more telling text thread between me and Alex which will define the status of luck between us.
Alex- "Are you bringing your chuck n duck rod?"
Alex- "Bring it. I'm swinging this entire trip, but we need some pictures of fish."
I'm leaving with Alex Wednesday November 6 on a 5 day odyssey to catch steelhead out of tributaries feeding each of the 5 Great Lakes. I'll do my best to share a post or two, or you can follow along.
Alex will be posting to his blog Chuck n Duck on The Drake website.
Be sure and check out his first post.