By John Merwin & Joe Cermele
Here’s one of my favorite stories, for the most part true. Maybe young Joe Cermele will take this one to heart!
I happened to be fishing with Jason Brunner last fall on Arizona’s Lake Powell. Jason is a very talented—and somewhat young—rod designer for St. Croix Rods.
Before we set out in the morning I am drinking coffee, squinting at the rising sun, and feeling just the touch of an ache in my arthritic knees. “So, Jason,” I say, as he appears, ready to go in full fishing garb. “You need to know something. I am The Old Guy, and you are The Young Guy. Do you understand about this?”
Brunner doesn’t miss a beat. “Yeah, I do,” he says. “It’s like the Old Bull and the Young Bull.” I’m immediately laughing and ask him to explain.
“Well,” he says, “the Young Bull and the Old Bull are standing on a hillside overlooking a pasture full of cows. The Young Bull is prancing around, all excited, and says to the Old Bull, ‘Let’s run down there and [bleep] some of those cows!’
“The Old Bull just shakes his head. ‘Nah,’ he says. ‘Let’s walk down there and [bleep] all of them.’"
I choked on my coffee, for once managing not to slop my shirt. Then I got a second cup with which to toast his wisdom, unusual for a young angler. We killed some more time warming ourselves like rock-bound cormorants in the growing sunlight. Finally I felt like fishing, so we hopped on a bass boat and ran off to catch small stripers with fast-sinking fly lines and chartreuse Clouser minnows.