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
There's a thick fog hanging on the ground this morning. The ground is still covered in snow and a light, cold rain is falling. Winter is here. And, so are my seasonal blues. I spend hours tucked under a blanket, caught up in the words of Edward Abbey, living in my own Desert Solitare.
I dream about blue skies, big mountains, cutthroat, and the warmth of the sun in the high desert.Read More
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
Snap! There it is, that moment every angler knows, and maybe the most frustrating part of the whole sport.
After spending some time, perhaps quite a bit of time if the flies are small and the air is cold, tying on your weapon of choice, your tippet snaps. It's a moment of grievance followed by profanity followed by frantically checking to see if you've fumbled the knot or if the tippet's gone bad.
Steps to Overcoming the Crud:
1) Wake up and try to feel like a human. Get coffee, get clean, put on real clothes.
2) Replace real clothes with sweatpants and t-shirt. Who are you kidding? You're still a zombie.
3) Take your vitamins and fill up your water bottle.
4) Assume position on the couch, preferably with an electric blanket and a dog.
5) Drink water.
There is an empty camp nearby;
I have a key. I cower there.
And watch the battle in the sky
Until the storm and day are spent.
The rain has stopped, but water from the roof
Drops sulkily. The stars come out
And still the way toward home is dark.
I stoop below the branches spreading
From the birches’ snow-white trunks;
The cobwebs hang like snares across the trail
And water lies in unseen pools along the path.
I’m glad, at last,
To see the village lights.
-Dana S. Lamb
There's a particular book I keep in my office, it's old and well worn. It was given to me a few months back, donated because no one else wanted it, but it was assumed that I would take it and give it a good home. I like to think I have.
Where the Pools Are Bright and Deep has become a staple for me because of the inspiration that it brings whenever I need it. This book is not one that you'll pick up and not be able to put down, in fact, I found it to be quite the opposite. Lamb has comprised the book, much like other angling authors, as a collection of short stories; but, these are not simply stories, more like a glimpse into someone's day. There's really no beginning and conclusion.
These one to three-page narratives, written alternately in both first and third person, are short enough that you can escape yourself for just a few moments, only to return to life a little wiser than before.
Lamb describes the life of angling from an older, more sophisticated place. He takes you back to the days of aluminum fly boxes, elite tonkin cane rods, sipping scotch, and the superiority of the dry fly eating brown trout. It's a nostalgic perspective, proving that fly-fishing will always be more of an art than a sport.
If you're looking for a book to pick up for a few minutes before you start your day, or after, I highly recommend Where the Pools Are Bright and Deep. I don't think you'll be disappointed!