I have a confession to make. To those of you who know me this may come as a shock but, I, Lenny Bones, am a bum. But not just your regular Church Street vagrant, although not too far off,  but rather a more practiced and tactical bum. A fish bum. This past summer for me consisted of minimal work hours and plenty of time on the water. To my parents quiet disapproval I have spent most of my time this summer figuring out how I could work less and fish more. Living the dream. Most people my age used the summer to concentrate on internships and to build resume pleasers, I followed a different path. A path that somehow seemed to lead Boh and I straight to the water again and again.

A fish bum’s life is exhausting, yet lacks the stress that normal civilian jobs produce. The most stress a fish bum will encounter is figuring out the next place to fish. That next zone that’s carrying the 50 inch Bowfin or 10 pound Largemouth. Being a fish bum requires commitment and perseverance; we can’t be discouraged by no luck, rather use failure as a means to success.

Two other bums come to mind during this confession. Ricky, and Pinky. Ricky is a shredding ex con that gets more of a hard from catching little pickerel than musky. And Pinky is just about as clapped as his old pup, but nonetheless, most of my days bumming were spent with these studs.

It’s no question Ricky’s a slayer. I admire his calm and collected approach to just about everything he does and says. We fished day after day after day. Bouncing around from this spot to that, he always seemed to have the intel of a new spot we should scout. I hooked into my first Bowfin with Ricky. An event that left me shaking for minutes after the Jurassic encounter. We like to fish under equipped, using small weight rods to fight aggressive fish just to see if it’ll work. We are explorers. Men that enjoy the finer things in life, like a sipping Sunny, or a V-waking toothy bastard. We have zones, and many more to scout.

My fishing with Pinky is a little less ambitious, and a little more poetic and technical. We hunt for Natives. Broke Trout: the most epic gem that Vermont waters still offer today. These fish are small, and what they lack in size they more than make up in aggression and beauty. We hike deep in the mountains, rods, and dogs, following the stream for the next pool. Crack a beer and watch. We cast crouching behind boulders weary of our shadows on the water, we catch lots of Native fish.  We release all of them.

Being a fish bum is not the easiest life. Waking up hours before the sun only to cast hundreds of times, to catch no fish. The constant pilgrimage from water to water in hopes that the next spot will be even better. The good news is, I am content with my current position as a fish bum. It works for me and Boh. The scene up here is very dialed to say the least.

Tight lines, and stay core readers.