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Bobby Bass

The Creaking Floor

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The Creaking Floor, a Fire Ring Story

This time of year we are deep into making plans for fishing trips for the upcoming fishing season. Since I have been fishing for more years then I am willing to admit I have had a few fishing adventures. There have been good trips and so so trips and trips that I don't even want to remember but they all seem to have something in common... A creaking floor. My house is an old house better than a hundred and twenty years old and no matter what we do to update it we will always have creaking floors. So every fishing trip starts out with getting out of bed and walking across the creaking floor to the creaking floor of the bathroom and then trying to make it quietly down the creaking stairs to the waiting truck and boat on the creaking trailer.

When we go on our fishing trips I am always looking for that creaking floor that tells me the floor has been there for a while and has some stories to tell. When I was younger trips were made more often. During the winter we would book a cabin at some lake we had never heard of and then come early summer we would be on our way. It got to be that as soon as I entered the cabin I would walk across the floor and listen for the tell tale creaks of well-worn traveled floor. Some of the cabins didn't make a sound, plywood floors nailed over heavy wood joists. Others would creak and pop as you walked across. These were the floors made from slab wood and attached to logs that mice had chewed on. Funny these kinds of floors were on lakes that we always did well on.

From modern cabins with running water and carpet on the floor to "Rustic" cabins where you had to be careful where you stepped the creaking floor has always been a sign of good fishing for me. Maybe the creaking floor is just something you grow comfortable with as you age. No one wants a creaking floor when they buy a new house, they want it quiet. They look at a creaking floor as a sign of something wrong. I look at it as a sign of something used. Might be the reason why I creak so much. I get up in the morning and my bones creak. Not much I can do about it except think about why they do, creak that is. Hauling canoes on trails far away from roads make my shoulders creak. Cranking on the trailer winch pulling the boat up at dusk from a little lake tucked away out in the middle of nowhere might be the reason my back creaks. Knees creak from maybe to many miles walking tote roads and stepping over down trees covered in fallen leaves. Chasing new pups through wet ditches and watching their parents work cover might be another reason. Hips might creak from riding in old well-worn pickups with bad springs on washboard roads. Or sitting on old wood planks for seats in the rowboat bouncing in a walleye chop.

They might creak like them wood floors, they might have gotten older and have settled some. Maybe the weight of all them good memories make them creak. My big old lab Bud struts across the floor in his old man's gait and the floor creaks under him. I am sure he has a lot of good memories and maybe that is why it creaks for him. They say the creaking wheel gets the grease but when you grease it, it does not go away, it just gets quiet. It's still there just like all of them memories you have, just sometimes you need to hear a little creak to pay attention again.

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