The Onion Field Karma...

Discussion in 'Trip Reports with Pics' started by dryflylarry, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. It was September 12. I headed out for my annual Idaho fishing trip for 3 weeks of chasing trout. The camper was loaded, new tires, oil changed, etc. I headed down the highway. Past Pendeleton and beyond Baker City where I crashed for the evening from a long drive for a young old man. I woke up refreshed and headed out. I decided I would head to the Owyhee River and spend a few days fishing for brown trout before heading to meet my friends in Nampa. I usually stop there either on the way to Idaho or the way back for some brown trout dry fly action.

    I think it was about 11 AM as I cruised through the onion fields and the wonderful aroma permeating my nostrils before approaching the entrance to the canyon. The harvest was underway. As I approached the entrance to the canyon, I decided to stop at the last onion field and take a few photographs of a field with the hills in the background. I had never taken any photos in the past, so it seemed like a nice thing. As I crouched taking the photos, with a wonderful perspective of the onion rows, two onions spoke to me. “Take me”. “Take me”. I pilfered them and threw them on the floor of the passenger side of my Dodge diesel truck and quickly drove off. And, that’s when my troubles began.

    Poof!!! Cssssssssssssssssssssssss… The sound I feared. I was down the road about ½ mile and 30 minutes from my fishing destination. The air was rushing from my rear (brand-spanking new B.F. Goodrich tire!) tire. And I said, “What the f..&*%$%C#@! You must be kidding”. Nope. The rear left of the camper quickly lowered to the flat tire mode elevation as I pulled over. Flat.

    Now, when was the last time you changed a flat on a big ole truck tire? Well, I did it for the first time about a month previous to this trip. Mother of god! Those suckers are heavy for an old man with a bad back. Trust me. I swear they feel easily like 100 pounds that you have to lift back onto your studs from a squatting position to remount those suckers. So, I get the jack out of the truck and proceed. 1st Step, put jack crank together to lower the spare. I “barely” made the clearance necessary to get the jack handle to clear my overhanging 9-1/2 foot camper from the back of the truck…..barely! Then lowered the spare. I loosened the lug bolts, and did a little sweating to crank the rear of the truck and camper up off the ground. Needless to say, all the “young bucks” drove on by as I was having fun, not offering any help. Just as I got the truck ready for the changeover to the spare, some nice old duffers 10 years older than me stopped and asked if I needed any help. I smiled and said you are just in time to help me lift the heavy spare back onto the wheel. “It’ll only take 2 minutes” and you’ll be off!” Luckily, it was true, I thanked them, and they were on they’re way. Only old men will do that…. Right?

    Thinking I couldn’t afford another flat with no spare, I headed back into town about 30 miles to get the flat repaired. There was no Discount Tire store (where I got the new tires) so I stopped at the local Les Schwab. Great guys, but, ... “I’m sorry sir, your tire is not repairable”. Oh crap. To make a long story a little shorter, Discount Tire said I could buy a good used tire from them for the rest of my vacation and they would replace it when I got back and reimburse for the used tire. (They did.)

    So I headed back through the onion fields, into the canyon, found a campsite and proceeded to fish a few hours or less before dusk. I caught several nice brown trout. I got out of the cold river and felt a little chilled. The right knee area of my waders was leaking! My knee and leg were wet. RECAP: So let’s see. I had a flat, I drove 60 miles to get it repaired, it was unrepairable, and my waders leaked the first fishing day out.

    Next morning. I rolled out lazily and proceeded to put the coffee on. I LOVE coffee in the morning. I proceeded to light the stove in the camper. What??!!!! I’m out of propane??????? Yep. “You must be kidding”, I said to myself. (I had thought I had only used 3 days worth of propane on previous camping trip and knew I would have enough for 3 days before refilling. But, I forgot I had gone on another 4-5 day trip also on the same tank.) Shit happens. I drove 20 miles to get some propane, and back to fish, for a total of a good 40 miles.

    So, I fished for the next two days, caught nice browns from 17-21 inches. Things were looking up. While fishing for two more days, I started thinking about my “bad karma” that had been revealing itself since I stole the two onions. As I left the canyon, I started thinking more and more. “I better return those two onions to the onion field”. As I approached the field I became somewhat nervous seeing the onion farmer not that far away from where I was about to stop. But, I stopped and “hastily” threw the two onions back into the field and sped off down the road. “Ah yes, relief. No more bad luck for me”. But, after heading to the freeway and to Nampa to meet my friends, I had burned up about an additional 150 miles worth of diesel. (Average diesel there in September was $4.39-$4.59 gal.)

    I fished one of my favorite streams in Idaho, no hatches going on, and my luck was the worst in 10 years. I drove to the Salmon River up near Stanley, did fairly well for several days, and headed back to the same stream for another week. As I was half way back to the stream to fish it again, it began to rain. I turned my wipers on. Shortly thereafter, the driver’s side windshield wiper broke. Stopped! &%$^*@%$& I thought, “Oh, that oughta be a $300 fix”…. Shortly thereafter the rain stopped and I let that one ride until I headed back to Washington.

    I fished with one of my friends Joe one day (he fished the pool the day before with great success). One fish to hand. I said, “I don’t know what the problem is, must be those damn onions I stole. I threw them back in the field”, I said. He said, “Well NO wonder you’re having bad luck, you mean you didn’t place them down gently back in the field?” “Nope,” “There ya go…” And so it went. The annual fall fishing trip this year left a little to desire on my favorite stream.

    The bad karma did not end there. I got home safely and didn’t even need my windshield wipers back into Washington. Of course, when I got home, I discovered that rather than repair a small part on my wiper, the stupid Dodge dealer wanted $225 for the part not to mention replacement labor. NAPA doesn’t carry the part either! “I’m sorry, only Dodge makes that part sir”. &^*%%$#^#C@ At the moment, I am trying to figure a different way to skin that cat.

    Speaking of cats. So I left my friends house early one morning very shortly after I returned from Idaho, all anxious to see if I could catch another coho off this new beach I had found. As I left my friends house, a black cat crossed the road! Oops. Naw, no problem. I drove a long ways that morning to get to the new beach. I get my waders and gear set up. I walk down the beach to the spot. As soon as I get out there, a guy calls out from his house, “Hey, you are on private property.” With great politeness I asked if I could fish. “NO”. More bad karma? That was the 2nd time in 30 years I had been chased off a beach.

    What next?

    I still own a home with the ex-wife that will be up for sale soon. She calls me the other day. “I think the heat pump isn’t working right.” I called a repairman for service. He claims the compressor is going out. So, for the price of a new compressor I figure might as well buy a new heat pump as a good sales pitch to a potential homeowner. So, I’m getting off cheap at $4,000.

    I did get out and get several nice coho one day after being back from the trip, so perhaps my luck is changing........?

    My Advice: Don’t ever steal onions out of an onion field !!!! ----- dryflylarry

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  2. I liked your write-up! since I fished the "O" this spring it would of been nice to read what hatches were out this time of year. the bad karma thing was quite funny to read about. in the early 80's a friend and I grabbed a 50 pound bag of onions and potatoes on our way to hells canyon and had a great trip but we were young and stupid so I don't think karma scolded us on that trip. If I tried that today I know it would be game over! I HATE BLACK CATS!
  3. Mark,

    I was getting them on size 18 & 20 PMD's and a PMD Emerger pattern I tied up. It wasn't a fancy emerger, but if you like I can drop a couple in the mail to you. The dang thing worked fairly well.
  4. Larry, love the story of your trip. Sorry for the bad luck. I'm not a believer in your onion karma though, much like the banana fairy tales. I think that you have convinced yourself that those two onions contributed to your series of coincidences. I think you should recalibrate your thought process to thinking that tires go flat out on bad roads in the middle of nowhere, guys that fish more than they can remember use more propane in their campers, not all fishing holes produce the same results on consecutive days and heatpumps in homes don't last forever. You are living the dream, friend, and many of us wish we would have shared in that adventure.

    Not sure if I'm in the old or young category anymore, but I've stopped to assist in tire changes for many folks on trips. I figure that helping someone out in the middle of nowhere might garner me some of those karma points...because, to some degree, I do believe that much of what we do is connected.
  5. Why get onions from the fields, they fall off trucks all over the place down there. My wife and I picked up a dozen in about a hundred feet of walking. Love big Walla Wallas.

  6. Thanks for the offer! I have a few spring creek pmd's in the box ;-) they didn't seem to be all that picky of fish this last june when I was over. If they fought harder I would hit it more when over that way - but I thought they were PUNKS - fun and pretty but PUNKS. don't even know if I will make the effort again for them. but I know my daughter would love camping and working that little river for brownies so who knows! Thanks for the hatch tip.
  7. Hey Mark. I pretty much agree with you on that one. I'll take a rainbow ANY day. Occasionally you can find a good brown that fights, but not even close to a rainbow huh. A couple years ago I nabbed a couple 18 inch bows out of there that were SO hot, they were like rockets. I wasn't trying to impress anyone with the pics. Just noticed the title of this section says "Trips with Pics", so I added them! Ha.
  8. I liked the pics! I was over at malhuer res. couple weeks ago camping (only about an hour away from the owyhee river) great res. for bows. also am going to learn buelah res. this coming spring - big bows going over twenty inches. this fall lake trip was nothing like the spring trip I took, but I mention these res. because they could work as back-up on a trip that far away. that is if you enjoy lake fishing with bows to 20in and a few over that to 6 pounds! average fish this year over in those res. was 14 to 20 inches with most in the 16 inch range.

    I also loved the Owyhee river canyon, and the ease of fishing in that little river. hard to beat dry fly fishing to the sound of chukar and quail, for fairly "large sipping browns"

    Next spring I was thinking of going to malhuer for about 5 days, then when I have to go come out of the mountains (ontario way) to head to buelah res. I could spend a day or two on the owyhee river for those browns again since it is so close to the route I would be taking and my friend from Idaho could meet me there. I also have another friend that has a farm not far away from the river, well about 30 minutes. I LOVE IDAHO!!!
  9. great story and pics. I had to change a tire on my SUV this summer and you're right, those big tires are a pain to lift. Glad those "old guys" stopped to help.
  10. Larry, If you ever go to Hawaii for a vacation, DO NOT take any lava rocks home with you, especially from the Big Island. You do not want to anger Madame Pele, the Hawaiian volcano goddess.
  11. Ha! I'll remember that Jim!
  12. Yike's! Ill begotten onions!

  13. Great report Larry. Those were some small dries you were using
  14. Now I know why there has been no report
    on your annual trip. Glad you survived!

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