The Meetup

The Meetup, or the start of GFW is not really the start. The start is months in advance in the obligatory text chain. To be fair, this text chain really keeps much of GFW ongoing throughout the year. Now a sacred tome, that can be used to pass the time on crapper and gives you a side splittingly funny read, the Text Chain is a relic that will one day be as sought after as much as the Arc of the Covenant.

In this chain, about one month out from The Meetup, it begins. The Boys start texting all of our inside jokes, and getting amped up. A signal that this year’s debauchery will be even better than the last.

Then about two weeks out, people start talking logistics. Now I don’t know if you have tried to get 6 guys on a text chain to agree on road trip preparations, but it is similar to six 10-year old boys trying to agree on what to redeem all their arcade tickets on. This is chaos, nothing is achieved, someone’s feelings are hurt, and they all end up with an overpriced handful of bubble gum. So some side conversations happen and we figure arrangements out.

One week before The Meetup, there is one guy without fail (never the same guy), who is the first to text out “One Week Boys!!! I can’t f*cking wait!” Everyone texts overly excited expressions as if they didn’t know, but really they have just finished their third repacking of their gear this week. The boys are stoked.

The few days before The Meetup, people start chatting about food and what to pack. We usually have one guy manage all of the food, so the bill is easier to divide at the end of the trip. But this is when the phone calls start happening. You can’t clarify enough how excited you are. You call one guy just to make sure he is still going and not to forget his waders. You ask if they have intel on what flies to use, and if they looked at the water levels, not that either will actually effect your mediocrely-skilled-self catch anything. Also, do you know what the weather is going to be like? In a lot of ways, pointless conversations. But, its comin’, and you can’t contain yourself.

The day before The Meetup, everything goes quiet. Kind of like eating dessert before dinner, it would ruin the pleasure of what is to come. You only talk to the people you absolutely have to, to make sure you have a seat in the truck or confirm where to meet. Otherwise, radio silence.

That night, you can’t sleep. You just keep checking the clock, but 10 minutes seem to take one hour. Brutally slow.

Then 4am comes (the earliest I can justify to others in my house as the start of the day), and I am out of bed going through my stuff. Waders. Check. Rod. Duh. Socks. Damn, I should probably throw in a fourth pair, why not?! By the sixth time I have checked my gear I have it all (I will ultimately forget my phone charger, and be annoyed. “Bad cell service” I will tell most).

Now with this description of the lead up to The Meetup, as well as this year being the 27th year we have done this trip, you would think we act with military precision.

You would be wrong.

We are supposed to meet at Platte River Outfitters in Bailey, CO at 10am. We don’t. Some guy has “one last thing for work” he tries to get done. Another’s wife wants to make sure he the gets the fire alarm batteries tested and changed (seriously, haven’t you heard me talking about this day all month?!). Another just noticed on his alleged sixth run through his gear that he needs new leaders… stopped by the shop.

So it is now 11:15am, and we are generally assembled.

But there is always one guy, 10 min behind. Where is the decency?! So we sit around in the parking lot, small talking. Waiting. Then he rolls up. And we start piling on the shit.

Pro Tip: Don’t be the last guy to The Meetup, because the wrecking of your pride and ego will be the starting gun. The signal that GFW has begun.

Fish on, bitches.

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