It was one o'clock on Friday afternoon when I heard about the 416 fire in Durango. I've checked in with friends, kept up with the various social media feeds, and listened attentively to the local public radio station. Last night I asked the universe to kindly send our evening thunderstorms out West for the remainder of the week, but so far my request has been denied. As of this morning, the 416 fire is covering 2,402 acres with 10% containment.Read More
As the wind whipped through the valley a slight shiver crept up my spine. The sun was out, but the high wind created a chill in the air and an adversary that an east coast fisherman is not used to. The smart, strategic decision in this particular situation was to fish below water with a sturdy rod and heavier fly. However, I have never been accused of being smart. My attention was not focused on the wind, but on the tiny little bugs floating on top of the water and the little dimples that soon followed. I'm easily distracted by bugs. And so with my fiberglass rod in hand, I tied on a small, yellow back fly.Read More
In Western North Carolina, there's really no need for a 60-foot cast, you'll just end up catching a laurel. My preferred weapon of choice is a size 16 dry fly and a 4 weight fiberglass rod. Ninety percent of the time a double-haul is only used to show off.Read More
From tiny brook trout in the Blue Ridge to giant lake trout to more cutthroat than we could stand; adventures around the corner to road trips across the country; the ability to create custom rods and a whole rod bag business.Read More
This year has been a year of discovery, cultivating new friendships, and inspiration from those around me. With 2017 coming to an end, I figured that I would make a short list (in no particular order) of those that have impacted me this past year.Read More
Rainy Days and Notes From The San Juans
Saturday I was looking back at our time in the Southwest. The weather here was rainy and cold, I had no desire to get out in the crud, and so I spent a lot of time looking through the photos I had taken. That's when I remembered our trip to Pagosa Springs.
If you're ever in the Southwest, I highly recommend it. Maybe not the "hot spring theme park,"(no judgment if that's what you're into, it's just really not my speed) but the rest of the town is pretty cool. It's nice to walk around the antique shop there, you could find ANYTHING in there, and Riff Raff Brewing Company had some of the best brews I've ever had (El Duende Green Chile Ale is to die for!!!).
However, when we first arrived the temperature had dropped from the upper 60s in Durango down to the 40s and raining by the time we got to Pagosa. Not the best day to walk around outside.
Eventually, we stumbled into a little fly shop, Let It Fly. Jacob was sorting through the flies, examining patterns that haven't made it to the East Coast yet, scooping up what he didn't think he could commit to memory. That's when I discovered a small bookshelf. I sorted through old issues of Gray's Sporting Journal, well-worn fly tying books, and guides for fishing the Piedra that outdated me. And, that's when I found them, two books by Steven J. Meyers. I gathered them up, immediately paid for them (I wasn't entirely sure they were even for sale), and started combing through Notes From The San Juans directly.
I've mentioned many times before that Mr. Meyers is one of my favorite fly fishing authors and Lime Creek Odessey may very well be my favorite book of all time.
Like his other books, Notes From The San Juans is a collection of stories, some being explicitly fishing stories, others merely tying in fly fishing to life. There's a specific chapter in the book which describes his time working in a mine, out of necessity to remain in the San Juans. At the very end of the chapter, he states, " It's not just mining San Juan county that's given me that perspective. I like to think that fishing has helped a bit too. I once worked in an office in New York City and I'm not sure that mine was any darker. Fishing taught me that."
Having worked in the corporate world, having lived in that office, and then dropping out of it all, I get you, Mr. Meyers.
Need an excellent collection of fishing stories? A few that will make you laugh and make you cry? Pick up any Steven J. Meyers book, or better yet, pick up Notes From The San Juans.
It was a Sunday afternoon at Animas River Brewing. The Broncos were on the TV and it was packed. People were covering every corner of the place, from out on the patio to huddled around the bar, just finished with their morning bike ride, trail run, or just families getting out of the house for the game. Jacob and I spotted our fellow anglers and squished in beside them. Pale ales and IPA's started flowing and so did the fishing stories. We heard about a recent trip to Honduras and the sound your reel makes when you hook into a permit. Plans were laid out for an upcoming trip to Belize this winter and how someone could make their way there through various channels from other parts of South America. Guiding, clients, and debates on float boats soon followed. Eventually, a few beers in, we broke out the map and began narrowing down just where in Durango Jacob and I needed to fish.Read More
And, here's the thing about nature, it's always there to welcome us home with open arms.
So, here's a little Monday motivation for you, to remind you that the mountains are still there and so are the fish.Read More