by Randy Clark

Tony Curless is mining the Hi-Laker archives for treasure and here’s a satirical piece by Hi-Laker Randy Clark, originally published in 1994 in the very first issue of the club newsletter, “The Alpine Angler.”

Generally speaking, most folks in the Hi-Lakers probably asked themselves when they joined, “What will this club do for me”? As a matter of fact, this is certainly a more commonly asked question than “What can I do for this club?”

First you must gain admittance to the club by meeting certain strict criteria as follows:
– You must have a pulse. (Certain exceptions allowed, see rule two).
– You must have three dollars (negates rule one). This can be tough as fishing priorities often do not leave much time to earn money.
– If you are not a crusty curmudgeon yet, you must sign a document asserting that this is indeed your loftiest goal and ambition.
– You must swear faithfully that you will never tell anyone, especially other club members, where you actually fish.

Let’s assume that you passed all the hurdles. Now you are ready to participate! Your entry to the club will be significantly eased if the members learn you have a four-wheel-drive vehicle but use caution in releasing this fact! Hi-Lakers will expect you to drive beyond the point at where a miner’s donkey brays and balks! Hysterical blubbering on your part will sometimes convince them to walk that last hundred yards.

O.K. Now you’re actually at a lake with a Hi-Laker and you’re about to become privy to their fabled fishing secrets and techniques! Here is what you might learn:

“The Cranz Piddle-Paddle.” Let’s say you have just released a beautiful 4-1/2 pound rainbow. When fishing with a Hi-Laker notice carefully — the oars of his raft never move! And yet he will mysteriously be hovering right over the very spot you had just cast to. Nobody has actually seen a Hi-Laker paddling in this situation but those Curtis rafts do seem to have a mind of their own when it comes to drifting towards the “Hot Spot”.

“The Bucher Bombardment.” A highly specialized technique in which you knock the fish unconscious by casting a chunk of lead at it. This technique is most effective when you can actually walk across the lake on the backs of the fish. Otherwise do not expect much in the way of results.

“The Doctor Pfeiferstein Technique.” This involves carrying a laboratory approximately the size and weight of a Yugo to the most inaccessible lakes imaginable and then performing hideous acts upon the trout therein. (Head transplants, liposuction, trout juggling etc.) The neat thing about this technique is that you can do whatever it takes to catch fish! Dynamite is generally frowned upon but not necessarily out of the question.

As you can see there are a lot of benefits to being a Hi-Laker. Start practicing being crusty now and upon reaching the proper amount of crustiness and having learned by heart the techniques outlined above you might even qualify for the Trail Blazers (but that’s another story).

Dick Cranz leading the way to Victoria Lake, with Chuck Willie in 1966. Don Cannon photo credit.