Getting Baked

I’ll be honest, I used to think allergies and heat strokes were for the weak at heart. I saw them as psychosomatic urban myths, brought on by the more serious condition of having no spine.

But then I moved to Austin and discovered the unique torture that is cedar fever, and then I spent last July in Montana with day after day of 100+ degree heat.

Wow. It was hot in Montana last summer.

One day in particular was distinctly painful. I went for a run at high noon, and to tell you the truth, I never really bounced back from that error in judgment. Call me Icarus but I really thought I was immune to the heat. I’m from Texas for heavens sake.

Texas, where we have air-conditioning.

Dripping in sweat and hubris I still assumed I would bounce back in time to go fishing. Later that day, we assembled a motley crew at the river, waiting for the sun to ease up a bit before we launched our early evening float. We knocked about town trying to cool off indoors, but to no avail. The heat was making me feel sick in a way I really couldn’t shake.

We wandered down to the Trout Shop since they had the best air-conditioning in Craig, but it still wasn’t getting the job done. I was languishing on a bench, melting against a wall of waders. I must have looked fairly peeked – not to mention a total deterrent for paying customers – because they scooped me up and placed me in the beer cooler.

Finally a bit of relief! I perched on a produce box and tried to breathe in as much of the frosty air as I could, a weak attempt to cool myself from the inside-out. Customers on the other side would open the glass doors to select a six-pack, and I would startle them by handing them the one they were reaching for just before they grabbed it. It was a hoot. Things were looking up.

But the moment I was summoned from the beer cooler, I felt sick again. I definitely wasn’t up for rowing anyone down the river. I’m not sure why we didn’t pull the plug on the whole operation, because frankly everyone was feeling gamy and the general mood was pretty sour. But for some reason we decided to pile four adults plus Little Chick into one skiff.

About fifteen minutes into this debacle, it was pretty clear I was either going to faint or throw up. So I scooted up to the very front of the boat and curled up in the fetal position on the floor. The knee-lockers had been removed so whenever I did open my eyes, I had a clear view of the bright blue evening sky and my mother’s fly line whizzing back and forth over my head. I probably should have been in a hospital with an IV at this point, but hey, she was keyed-in on rising fish that were keyed-in on caddis fluttering all around us.

Eventually my team took pity on me, albeit begrudgingly. We rowed back up to the ramp where we put in, canceled our shuttle and raced home. I don’t remember much else except shivering in bed and waking up the next morning with the worst headache of my life.

Needless to say I was benched for the next few days.

To cheer up the heat stroke victim, Little Chick had her own stroke of genius. She recruited my mother, and together they announced we were all going to bake cupcakes. Ugh! Normally I don’t get involved with the grandmother-granddaughter cooking adventures (I am not at home in the kitchen) but I was bored out of my mind and decided it was better to bake cupcakes than to bake myself in the sun again.

Strangely, we all got really into it. I can’t think of any activity, other than fishing, that would have kept the three of us bicker-free for three whole days. My mother and Little Chick did all the cooking, and I was the master decorator. I focused solely on fishing-themed cupcakes, and I have to say, I think I discovered a latent talent. Who knew I had such skills with icing?

For days we went all over the canyon delivering our fly-fishing cupcakes. Everyone was very polite and mustered up the proper gratitude, but I’m pretty sure they were whispering behind my back, assuming I’d finally lost my mind from the heat.

Perhaps. But tell the truth, who doesn’t crave a little sweet treat after getting baked on the river?

Plus, these cupcakes were medicinal.

24 Responses to “Getting Baked”
  1. KBarton10 says:

    I’m knee deep in a riffle gazing intently at my fly, and some little waif tugs at my vest and offers me a cupcake?

    Outside of the “minor” difference in years, I might just propose on the spot.

    Naturally some huge fish will pick that precise moment to eat my fly – and I’m juggling a sticky cupcake, a fly rod, and trying not to swear fiercely…

  2. Wook says:

    My memories of Craig are marked by 95-degree heat, forest fire smoke, big pig fish, sleep deprivation, dehydration, rafts of bikini girls offering me beers, a burbot and a big sign that said “Hookers”.

    I don’t think I’d have blinked at being offered a cupcake.

  3. this is such good feedback! maybe next summer I’ll make more fishing cupcakes. we’ll expand the offering at my daughter’s lemonade stand that she likes to do at the Craig Boat Ramp. she sets up directly in front of the latrines.

    Wook — your description of Craig is spot-on, not much has changed. Except Hookers is now Izaaks and we’ve added another flyshop. Other than that Craig still has big fish, wonderful people and the greatest bar in the world…

  4. Uhh, “Got Weed?”

    Can we assume that wasn’t Little Chick’s doing?
    And did Scott rods pay for that high-qualit cupcake product placement? We hope so.

    The rainbow trout pattern cupcake was a thing of beauty though. I’ll take a dozen Brookies please.

  5. TC, where is your mind? of course the ‘GOT WEED’ was in reference to a few late summer weeds that were starting to accumulate on the water. (yes, my mother was horrified that I did that one, and yes, it was a big hit at the Trout Shop)

    the boys at Scott actually have that picture of their logo cupcake. I’m still waiting to see if they are going to put it on their website.

    in the meantime I’m going to have to start practicing Brookies out of icing! hmm, do I smell an alternate revenue stream?…cha ching.

  6. TCWriter says:

    Scheez, the title of the post is “Getting Baked” and you’ve got a “Weed” cupcake reference (try the baked goods, nudge, nudge, wink wink). I’m only human, though apparently a pretty low variation of the species.

    I’m going to slink off now.

  7. oh no TC, I didn’t really hurt your feelings did I?!? I think the insomnia has gotten to you. but of course you were right on the money! hopefully my references are both unapologetically rampant and deliciously unsubtle

    and I don’t think your feelings are really hurt at all — you’re just messing with me!

    nonetheless, free cupcakes for you. what the hell, free cupcakes for everybody!

  8. TCWriter says:

    No, you didn’t, but a dozen brookie cupcakes would go a long ways towards healing the non-hurt…

  9. Wook says:

    …blizzards of bugs, stunt driving, goddam prairie dog holes, dry lightning, a guy we called the “midge wrangler”…

  10. Wook — your description is starting to sound eerily familiar. I think maybe I’m the one who gave you beer on the river

    TC — the first dozen brookie cupcakes have your name on ‘em

    Beer & Cupcakes. sounds delish.
    (and they say I can’t cook)

  11. Wyatt says:

    I’m gonna go on record here and say that I am “pro cupcake.

  12. Wook says:

    “Hookers is now Izaaks”

    As I recall, the Hookers sign had no apostrophe. Long day on the water with many beers and not enough food & water, and this became the source of great hilarity.

  13. dmj says:

    How about a tamale cart at the put in? And, on another subject, if Scott is slow on the uptake, how about Winston or Sage?

  14. Dash says:

    I’d be scared to eat one of those out of fear of destroying a masterpiece. Mad icing skilz!

  15. Kentucky Jim says:

    I dont’ know what Izaaks are, but I think I’m too old for ‘em.

  16. Dave - SLF says:

    I’m guessing it’s a derogatory term for hookers.

  17. Kentucky Jim says:

    Oh, I thought they were something different. That changes everything.

  18. OK Brookies are the char of the underground (although my dauther is named Brooktrout) mine blog is the sea run cutthrout, so I want some of those on cup cakes. PLEASE.

  19. margaret says:

    forget the latrines, we will hook little chick up at craig trout camp, lemonade and cupcakes drive through.
    hard to believe how hot it is during summer when there is snow on the ground right now!

  20. that was a great idea. The people you gave the cupcakes to may have at first thought you had gone off your rocker but after a while they will thihnk what a great idea.

  21. You gotta love a great idea. these are the things that you can only do with daughters. i could see my daughter wanting to do the same thing and getting a big kick out of doing it.

  22. Fly Fish Chick,
    You are lucky you didn’t end up getting airlifted to the hospital. I was raised in Florida and have seen many tourists become to the heat BUT I did something stupid in Portland, ME 2 years ago.
    Coming up from California to see my sister during the 4th of July seemed like a good idea at the time. Who would have known that by me coming I once again brought a wave of heat from Southern California. My sister has a nice typical 3 story Cape Cod style house but only her bedroom had A/C.
    The first night I laid in the 77 degree bed sweating thinking I could be back in California with my A/C cranked down to 69 degrees. Just like Texas, it may get hot but we have amazing air conditioning.
    The next day we were going to her favorite little local place for lunch and it had a sign that said, “Closed from heat, no A/C here, will reopen when we can not suffocate in the building.”. It’s amazing how those us from down south get used to air conditioning.
    By the way, your cupcakes are awesome, thanks for sharing pics with us!!

    James Mason
    Helinet Aviation, where we save lives with helicopters

Check out what others are saying...
  1. [...] I can recollect, the but post I’ve for ever done on my cooking capabilities was adjacent to my flyfishing cupcakes. And technically I didn’t cook them, I well-deserved [...]

Leave A Comment

CommentLuv badge

FFC Archives

Don’t Be A Stranger:

EMAIL: flyfishchick [at] live [dot] com