By Michael Vatalaro
I was at the Chinook Landing boat ramp and backing my truck down to launch when I noticed a guy standing at the water's edge. I stopped and got out to tell him what I was thinking when I saw he had hooked a fish and was trying to reel it in. Well, others were at the ramp too (we have six lanes) and most of us are anglers so suddenly everyone stopped what they were doing to watch this guy and see what kind of catch he had. In fact bets were taking place and I had $5 saying it had to be a steelhead by the way it was fighting. Other guys said the smart money was a coho. Well, the guy was in the middle lanes and he walks out on the dock and the fish moves to the other side he walks back along the dock and the fish heads out again so he walks out on the next dock and after covering all six lanes, he still hadn't landed the whatever-it-was. I have no idea what he caught because I wanted to go fishing. I think most of the others felt the same way because, as far as I can tell, nobody collected that day ... maybe not even the fisherman.
"E" Doesn't Always Mean "Empty"
My husband and I have "the boat ramp thing" — as we call it, all figured out. He backs the truck down the ramp while I walk alongside and I tell him when the trailer fenders have reached the proper depth in the water for launching. I unhook the boat from the winch and take a spring line and pull the boat off the trailer. My husband drives the truck and trailer up the ramp and parks while I pull the boat to the dock, pointing the bow away from the ramp so we can make an easy getaway. I had the boat tied to the dock and started the engine to let it warm up. Well, my husband didn't come back so I shut the engine off, took the keys and walked to the top of the ramp where he usually parks. There was the truck and he was on his cell phone. When I got there, he said with hands to either side, "We're out of gas."
I could see the wheels turning and a smile came to his face. We pulled an empty one-gallon gas can from the truck bed and siphoned off some gas from the boat, poured it into the truck and he proudly parked the truck. These days, the truck always has gas. Like I said, we've got "the boat ramp thing" all figured out.