Clarks Hill

Let me tell you right up front that I'm nervous about this one. It's as tough here as anywhere I can ever remember fishing. No one is catching them, and there doesn't seem to be much of a consistent pattern as far as what's going on. From a professional angler's point of view, the lack of a pattern is much worse than the lack of fish. It's a killer.

The only thing I think I know is that the bite seems to be a little better in the early morning. You can catch a few right off and then, after just a little while, the bite tanks. We were all hoping for an early draw, but I was in the last flight on Thursday morning. That's not the way I wanted to fish this thing.

Regardless of that, the real thing that's got me worried is my fish. I may have found a few and might — note that I said "might" — have something resembling a pattern. I'm really worried it won't hold up, though.

It's the kind of thing that could easily collapse in a matter of an hour or two. If that happens, I don't have much to fall back on. My theory of having two or three patterns in every event is history. This one may turn out to be a real fishing tournament — who can find what on the fly.

I'll tell you something else, too. Becky and I are really tired. We've been on the road for weeks without a break. Frankly, it's getting old. I'm ready to see my home and sleep in my own bed.

Worse, we haven't seen the kids or our friends since late winter. It's horrible. We're not only tired physically, we're tired mentally. That's the worse kind of tired. It stagnates you and affects every aspect of your life. We'll both be glad when we can take a break and refresh our minds as well as our bodies.

As tough as that is, we're lucky. For the most part, we stay in private homes. That gives us some measure of comfort and privacy and allows us to live a semi-normal life — but not always.

Doing laundry the other day is a good example of what I'm talking about. Becky can usually do the washing without the hassle of being in a laundromat. That's great, but this week the house we're in doesn't have a washer.

She had to buy a roll of quarters and head to town. It's not like that's the end of the world or anything. And I want to say she isn't complaining. It's just that it isn't home. It's not what we're used to doing.

But that's the life I chose, and I wouldn't want to live any other. I love what I do, and so does Becky. Let's just hope I catch some fish this week so I can keep doing it.