I fished the Cedar yesterday for the first time, getting a rare day off work and not wanting to drive all the way to the Yak. The outing was quite nice with several cutthroat and rainbows brought to the net. I had the entire stretch to myself which was a pleasant surprise. As the afternoon rains arrived, I decided to head back to the truck for the trip home. No sooner had I exchanged my waders for pants and shoes than my eye was caught by something out of the ordinary. I believe it is called the aunt Millie principle. When you see aunt Millie, you immediately recognize her without having to individually register her eye color, hooked nose or the hairy mole on her chin. You’ve seen her so often that you immediately know it’s aunt Millie. Similarly, if aunt Millie is wearing her underwear outside of her pants, you’re immediately drawn to the unfamiliar finding. Such was the case with this character. Working his way along the shore behind me was a seedy looking male totally unequipped for a rain soaked outing on the Cedar, with the exception of an inappropriately expensive rod in his grasp. Having read all of the recent posts on fly shop thefts, trout poaching and vehicle break-ins, I felt obligated to nail this guy in the act. Lacking time to properly think, I closed up the truck and sneaked along the shore line to pursue the certain poacher and thief. To his credit, he appeared to know how to properly wave the stolen rod. This ability, however, was betrayed by his disturbing appearance in a stained woman’s poncho tattooed with remnants of the wet newspaper blanket he’d obviously slept under the last few nights. I continued to follow in the shadows until suddenly, to my surprise, he turned and started heading back my way. Trapped under a bridge with no chance of escaping unnoticed, I began to panic. The hair on the back of my neck stood at attention as he approached. Before eye contact could be made, I was greeted by the overwhelming stench of mildewy rubber and aquaseal. Vomit briefly refluxed into the back of my throat. Trying my best to incorporate a Clint Eastwood coolness, I greeted his “hey” with a back offish “What’s up bro”? I readied for the inevitable blow to my head but it never arrived. Instead, he awkwardly turned to walk away. Perhaps this meth addict wasn’t so tough after all? Sensing I had the upper hand, I started to get pissed off. I casually asked to see his fly, knowing damn well there would be an uncrimped barb staring back at me. I then began to blatantly follow him down river, almost daring him to catch and keep a fish. He actually hooked a couple, losing them at his side before he could slide his finger between their gills. I couldn’t take it anymore. I removed my shoes and started to march across the river, hoping to get a better look at his gear to see if it matched the recently stolen items from Anglers Habitat. He attempted to make small talk and I again gave him my Eastwood “How’s it going, bro”? I realized I was risking my life and began to retreat just as he cast to the exact location I had released a 16” fish only half an hour before. Not wanting to see the fish become dinner, I waded right through the hole and unfortunately slipped, keeping only my chin above water. Pissed, I pretended not to care and flashed my surprisingly not bleeding knee as I lifted my pant leg. At this point, I sensed he was more afraid of me than I was of him and I overtly stalked him down the river. Clearly uncomfortable, he finally left the river. I followed him up to his car so I could post his license plate on the internet. Being bad with numbers, I instead asked to borrow his stolen cell phone so I could simultaneously activate his GPS and dial the local authorities. He refused, rolled up his window and hurriedly sped off. By the time I got back to my truck I had indeed forgotten the license plate number. All in all, it was a good outing on the Cedar, but next time I will be packing my Sig. If any of you hitting the river come across some loser with a girl’s poncho covering waders resembling a patchwork auction item from a kindergarten class, be careful, breathe through your mouth only and call the authorities.