Mommy, daddy and the dog all came to participate in the Felsenthal Bream Fest bream fishing tournament. While dad and dog look to reel 'em in, mom peruses her iPad, Kindle, or whatever it is. Nothing like domestic tranquility on a beautiful spring day.
Sunday, June 9, 2013
For this epistle we take a look at the followers of Isaac Walton in and around Felsenthal, Arkansas. You don't pass through Felsenthal going somewhere else: It's the end of the line. Kinda like a land-locked Grand Isle, Louisiana. For outdoor sporting aficionados, Felsenthal approaches Nirvana. The town's website rightly touts the community as "The Really Great Outdoors."
These dudes, no doubt dissatisfied with their last spot, are heading to the next one as fast as they can get there. Besides that, leaving that rooster tail behind you is a hoot.
Most days, the population of Felsenthal hovers between 150 and 160 good souls, depending on who is going grocery shopping, seeing the doctor, or any one of dozens of other mundane reasons for temporarily departing the peaceful environs of the community. Memorial Day weekend, all that turns around. The town's population skyrockets. Probably a thousand or more folks come that weekend to participate in the Felsenthal Bream Fest, a festival and bream tournament.
Bream like cover as a natural defense, and the waters around Felsenthal offer plenty of old growth cypress. This pair work the trees like they've been there before.
The namesake of the tournament, the bream, familiar to virtually every Southern good ol' boy as the first fish they ever caught, is a scrappy little pan fish who puts up about the best fight, ounce for ounce, as any other aquatic critter. The waters around Felsenthal are well, brimming with bream, so it is a likely place for the tournament.
In this part of the country, seeing something like this draws the following commentary: "Boy, that's a nice mess-a-brim, wheredja catchem?" "Outta th' water." "Oh."
The Felsenthal Bream Fest is truly a family affair. While the anglers are dragging in bream, the girls are traipsing across the stage in the Felsenthal Bream Fest Pageant.
There you have it: Sugar and spice and everything nice... and bream fishin.' How could it get better than that?
N O T E S:
Most of the time, there is more to the Photo of the Week story than can be told in an essay. And most of the time there are more pictures to be seen. Presuming that some folk will enjoy being privy to this trove of information, I have created a blog, “Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind,” where I am showing and telling “the rest of the story." There are also some blatantly commercial mentions of some of the things we do to earn our beans and taters. Click on the Weekly Grist logo and go to the blog. — J. D.