There’s a set of steps on our favorite river, right at one of our favorite holes. I’ve found that the second step is wonderfully perfect for eating a nut and banana sandwich, sipping on a cold beer or just enjoying the views. These steps are a spot I’ve used to warm up. The spot I was bitten by a brown recluse spider and the place where I watched Jacob catch one of the biggest browns I’ve ever seen. This is where I’ve met strangers traveling by on the trail, where fellow fishermen have plopped down next to me for a quick chat.Read More
t seems that Jacob and I have started our own, very unique tradition. For a few years now, we've bypassed the conventional expectations of how we're 'supposed' to celebrate holidays. Instead of gathering with those we hardly speak to, consuming enormous amounts of food and pretending to show interest in a game we care nothing about, we head to the river. Many people scoff at us, while others feel sorry for us (assuming we have nowhere to go). I expect to some folks it is rather strange, but to us, it's pretty perfect.Read More
When you stray or sit and take your ease
On heath or hill, or under spreading trees,
Pray leave no traces of your wayside meal,
No paper bag, no scattered orange peel,
Nor daily journal littered on the grass;
Others may view these with distaste, and pass;
Let no one say, and say it to your shame,
That all was beauty here until you came."
I've driven past this sign half a dozen times. I always make Jacob pull over so I can read it, admire the flowers growing around it, and feel the breeze flowing through the mountains. Winding down the dirt road I always ask aloud; 'I wonder who wrote that?' And, I forget I've wondered just as soon as I say it. The sentiment, the lesson, is what always stuck.Read More
I've got a song that I hum when things get difficult. When I get tired on a trail, frustrated with life or just when I'm thinking too much. I'm not sure when I started, but I think it was some time during college or right after. It's a song by the Duhks, Down To The River. A slightly folksy tune, a lotta bit of Cajun, and a little bit Irish jig. I imagine that if I ever endure anything extremely troublesome, let's say childbirth, I'd sing it at the top of my lungs.
This weekend Jacob and I headed out on my first big adventure in a long, long time. A good hike, paired with lots of high country brook trout is the perfect combination. I can't begin to describe how sweet the pine trees smelled during the hike or how refreshing that cold mountain water felt on my feet. There certainly aren't words to characterize the tug of a native brookie on the end of my four weight.Read More
One of the first lessons I received when learning to fly fish was confidence. "You've got to have confidence in that fly, in yourself," Jacob's words have remained with me all these years. It's why I fish certain patterns, choose long casts over short rolls and why I move through the water the way I do. It's all about where my confidence lies.
It's a funny thing when you lose your confidence. Perhaps you've spent some time off the water or had one too many bad trips. Maybe it was caused by a harsh word or unfounded judgment by a fellow angler. Then again it may have just disappeared and you have no idea how it happened.
For a while now my life has been filled with surgery, doctor's visits, high water, and more doctor's visits, with strict orders to stay out of the rivers and off the mountains. My body became fatigued during the process and my mind weak, resulting in a catastrophic lack of confidence.
My fishing career began like most others, dunking worms. Just a couple of years old, with pigtails and bangs, pink spinning rod, and a squirming creature at the end of a hook. My grandfather was a proud spinner fisherman, never picked up a fly rod and never wanted to. He got me out on the water; he was the reason I developed a fascination with fish. But, my tender child heart soon turned from fascination to complete horror. Not only was I to rip worms in half, but then we were hooking a fishing for our sick human pleasure? Um, no thank you. At the time, as far as I was concerned, my fishing career ended at the young age of four.Read More