Archive for the 'Flotsam' Category
I’ve cut back on my own tracks. I haven’t done that before, moving back to place I left previously. Last spring I moved back to Florida and in so many other ways, I started right back where I was a few years ago. I came back for a job and a future I thought I could predict. I have the job, but the future, as it will, has changed from what I thought it would be. My wife and I split up and I’m moving out. I’m rebuilding a life from the bottom up again and wondering what I’m doing half the time. Eight years ago, I was in the exact same spot, and there are times where I lay awake and wonder how I got here again. I have some great friends, one in particular, who has been there for me through this whole experience. There are times where I don’t know how I’ll ever say thank you in a way that conveys the depth of that appreciation. That particular friend is now going through her own hard time. I’ve tried to be there for her and tried to offer the same support and help that she has offered me. In the end that is all we can do for each other. Be there with a hand and a kind word and an open ear. Sometimes I feel like I am stumbling around, not sure of what I’m doing. I’m about to turn 35 years old, and I don’t know anything more than when I was 5 years old.
Coolness courtesy of the Library of Congress collection, the Works Projects Administration, and Lithgow Osborne, Commissioner of the New York State Conservation Department, 1933-1938.
Since ice-out the whole world’s brimful of water and overflows with each passing blow, it seems. Down low the trillium are blooming with wet feet, but nobody can tell whether the Hendricksons have read the memo, and we’re all standing around at the pull-offs looking sideways at each other and not daring to complain about too much water. When the sun finally emerges it’s instantly warm, and we groan and stretch and make note of the fattening buds on the branches, and oh did you see the stickjam blew out up there by the Wall Pool. Yeah, the pool that’s had a standing wave in it for weeks, right, and we’re off to have a look at this meadow or that little feeder, splash-crashing through widening potholes full of the same caramel-colored water that’s now carving off the oxbow up by Bill’s place. It’s enough to make a guy quit drinking just so he can start again.
On the way home there’s a guy in red-checkered flannel way out in his yard, reclining in a lawn chair next to his burn pile and smoking a cigar. Damned if he isn’t going to burn something. Viking points for hanging tough, flannel man, might not rain tonight.
After G_Smolt’s thoroughly tasteless post advocating bead bouncing with a bamboo stick, we felt it was time to get back on track, appeal to our literate readers and pull this place out of the gutter.
But then, well, we got distracted.
Capr fishing explained:
“Eventually, all gutters merge into one canal, and something kind of resembling a river runs through it. The channel was cut by the Army Corps of Engineers and runs over riprap from the basement of time. On some of the riprap are timeless pieces of plastic and other detritus. Under the riprap are things best left alone.
I am haunted, and sometimes a little scared, by urban waters.”
- Watch more Videos at Vodpod.
I recently had the good fortune of chasing epic bones with Field and Stream, Angling Trade and FlyFish Journal editor, Kirk Deeter. You can tell a lot about a guy by spending a day fishing with him, and Kirk is the kind of guy I would choose to fish with anytime – easygoing, but ever vigilant and all business when it’s game time. Yet there was one thing about Kirk that left me wondering, and required followup – his choice of footwear for the flats. Far be it for me to shirk my journalistic duties, so I got in touch with Kirk to get to the bottom of this.
Q: As a well-connected industry professional, you could obviously pick up the phone and have any top-of-the-line flats boot on your desk in 24 hours. Yet you choose a pair of Chuck Taylors instead. ‘Splain, please.
KD: I had to wear special orthopedic shoes when I was a little kid…and now I think that most of the flats boots out there look almost exactly like those orthopedic shoes did. So I just won’t wear ‘em. For the record, I don’t wear a helmet when I fish either.
Q: Every flats boot I’ve ever seen seems to come in light colors. You went with black. Is that simply because black is the most fucking metal color of the spectrum? Have you noticed an increase in your hookup ratio?
KD: I like black Chucks because they seem to camouflage my feet in the clouds of silt I kick up as I wade the flats. Granted, the fish are usually freaked out by the clouds either way, so I can’t claim a hookup ratio advantage… but I take comfort in knowing that the fish never know WHOSE feet caused the clouds… follow? And yes, I believe fly fishing and heavy metal music (or punk music) go hand-in-hand, in that you either “feel it and get it” right away, or not. Some people equate fly fishing with bluegrass, which is total bullshit. Fly fishing is metal (or punk). Chucking spoons is disco.
Q: I asked our research department to do a little homework, and they found that you can get 5-6 pairs of Chucks for the price of one pair of famous-maker flats boots. Are the rest of us taking crazy pills here?
KD: Nah… to each his own. But… A) Chucks function better than most wading boots when you cast from the deck of a skiff, B) Chucks dry faster, and weigh less in checked luggage, C) You get the same sole
protection from coral for a fraction of the price, and D) You never know when you’re going to get back to the boat ramp and want to pick right up with a game of H-O-R-S-E or some heated one-on-one for guide tips.
Q: The sun and the heat can do weird things to a person in the tropics. Have you ever imagined while wading around that you are Joey Ramone in your Chucks and that the mangroves are thousands of your adoring fans? Have you ever thought of putting a whammy bar on your fly rod?
KD: I had an adoring fan once, but we got married. On the Ramones fantasy… yes, but it’s actually more of a “Dee Dee” thing. A bonefish reveals a glistening tail, and in my head, I hear the bass player shout out “1-2-3-4!” After that, it’s all bar chords and amplified feedback (which pretty much describes my casting style). If the song isn’t wrapped in about 2 minutes and 7 seconds… I know I fucked it up.
My fly rod is my “whammy bar.” What do you call yours?
For one of the best places on the planet to give your Chucks a workout, hit this.
Glista’s lab exploded and now there’s stuff all over the place. Anyone?
Suggestions: Mambo Chicken, Defenestrator, Electric Lycanthrope
a lie, typically an unimportant one.
verb ( fibbed |fibd|, fibbing |fibng|) [ intrans. ]
tell such a lie.
fibber |fibr| noun
Doing our part to give bloggers an even worse name than we already have.
“Bad weather always looks worse through a window.”
- Tom Lehrer
Just cuz you’re in a drifter doesn’t mean you can’t do a little motorboatin.’ Jamie Briscoe unveils a new creation on the Madison.
“When all the dangerous cliffs are fenced off, all the trees that might fall on people cut down, all of the insects that bite have been poisoned…and all the grizzlies are dead because they are occasionally dangerous, the wilderness will not be made safe. Rather, the safety will have destroyed the wilderness.”
- R. Yorke Edwards
It would be a stretch to say that I’m comfortable with the fresh tracks on the bank beside me. Far from it, actually. The bear is undoubtedly still near. But concern for my self-absorbed comfort aside, it still somehow feels right. Having to frequently look over my shoulder puts me firmly in context; anchors me, to a place at least one notch down from the easy chair of my accustomed apex. It makes me more aware of my own complicity in all this, more connected to the semblance of a predatory act I’m in the midst of committing as I tie on this imitation, hoping to fool yet another of the many resident consumers in this place.
Warm and fuzzy notions of “nature” are just that, when you’re standing in the middle of it. It all comes down to predation, everywhere you look, at every level. Our largely removed perception of it is comprised of what we choose to sympathize with, and just as importantly, what we choose to ignore. Think of it from the point of view of the caddisfly I just watched being consumed without hesitation – think of how terrifying trout must be.
I look upstream, trying to spot the person I came here with. He is already out of sight, picking pockets and moving, as is his nature when he fishes. I look downstream toward the boat, survey the landscape that surrounds. If the animal were to make a reappearance, it would likely be in the open space between myself and the craft that brought us here, the sheer walls elsewhere funneling he/she(?) onto the wide gravel bar. I run through scenarios of what I might do if an 800-pound, territorial animal were to cut me off from the boat, all the while trying to simply focus on the task of fishing, but the fact is I can’t focus. Not entirely. I am alone here, out of earshot of anyone, an hour-boat ride from the nearest road. There is no cell reception. No magic button. I realize that if this is what is to happen, there would be nothing I could do.
This isn’t relaxing. But the truth is I don’t necessarily want it to be, either. In the end, I catch nothing. But neither am I caught.