Archive for the 'Laser Awesomnality' Category
The long Alaskan winters leave plenty of time for folks to pick up immoral habits…drinkin’, cussin’, foolin’ Around, cooking West African cuisine, and learning to play the fiddle are but a few of the “darkest season” vices floating around our little coastal village as of late.
To these, we can add one more scourge – Traditional Fly Tying.
The Gonger has been holed up in his bunker near Neil Creek for quite awhile, making the neighbors wonder, “What could he POSSIBLY be doing in there?”
Wonder no more.
“Thread” - An impressive body of work at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum until Feb 23rd.
From a Drakemag.com fly swap to a good idea to a worthy cause to this remarkable item for you to bid on to benefit Casting for Recovery.
And just in case that’s not enough to esplode yr brains, Robert Meiser will custom-build you a 13′ 6″ Highlander Classic S2H13068C-4 spey rod to your design specs.
Uncle Joey the Fixer reckons this package at over 6 grand, so gwan over here and bid often. Because screw cancer.
Anticipation noun (an-ti-sə-‘pā-shən) – the act of looking forward; pleasurable expectation; visualization of a future event or state.
“An emotion involving pleasure, excitement, and sometimes anxiety, fueled by expectation”
The seat-belt ding on the plane elicits an almost Pavlovian reaction from me every time I hear it in this particular airport. The mental fire lit over the course of a long, cold winter has become an inferno, and the menialities of trip prep, the handling of the rods and flies like icons and fetishes, have done nothing but fan the flames. Now that all obstacles have been overcome and I am about to hit the ground running, I have to fight down the overwhelming and startlingly involuntary urge to salivate.
Expectation noun (ek-spek-‘tā-shən) – the act or state of looking forward or anticipating; an awaiting.
“A belief that is centered on the future, and which may or may not be realistic. A less advantageous result gives rise to the emotion of disappointment. If something happens that is not at all expected it is a surprise.”
On the blurry ride up to the hop-in hole, the built-up stress and anxiety only add to the queasiness of a hung-over mind and body. As I wind the throttle up, I feel the break in the process – the visualization placebo that has been silently looping in my brain, running on last years collective memories and photographs, is about to be replaced by the crunch of gravel, the scream of gulls, and the vicious yank of this years first fish.
Disappointment noun (dis-ə-‘pỏint-mənt) – the act or an instance of failure to fulfill the expectations or wishes of; to defeat the fulfillment of (hopes, plans, etc.); thwart; frustrate.
“The feeling of dissatisfaction that follows the failure of expectations or hopes to manifest. Similar to regret, it differs in that a person feeling regret focuses primarily on the personal choices that contributed to a poor outcome, while a person feeling disappointment focuses on the outcome itself.”
Why does losing a big fish sting so much? The wailing, the gnashing of teeth, the despair and anguish over these brief connections and sudden departures, all for a fish you were going to release anyway. As the spray and smoke clear I replay the dance in my mind, searching for the fatal flaw in my technique, the disturbance in the force that leads to this dreaded outcome. I know they are just fish, and fish are supposed to be a bonus, but I’ve come too far too many times to keep believing that.
Tranquility noun (tran-‘kwi-lə-tē) – the quality or state of being free from agitation of mind or spirit; free from disturbance or turmoil; unvarying in aspect.
“Serenity of the body, thoughts and consciousness on the path to enlightenment. Interpretation of the word “tranquility” is typically linked to engagement with the natural environment.”
The Game starts to numb a fella after a few days. The initial flurry of excitement after the opening bell has settled down and the transition to deathmarch isn’t quite complete, but it is on the way. The routine is settled into: out of the boat, top of the run, cast, swing, step, repeat. The metronome ticks away in waltz time, 3 steps and a cast written on the sheetmusic of the river and played on the line as it arcs though the water. Every now and then the rhythm is broken by a tug or a small fish, but for the most part the anesthetic fog rolls in and the runs and days start to blur.
When it happens, it happens quickly, and there isn’t time for anticipation or expectations of outcome. The die is cast at the first surge of line off the reel, and there isn’t time for critical application of technique or theory – the hook finds purchase, or it does not. I get lucky, the hook holds and a new dance has begun. Time slows and focus narrows, and all is lost but a thin, crook’d finger pointing a fluorescent line into the flow, indicating the ever-changing location of my dance partner. Several nerve-fraying runs, many unexpected changes of direction later, there is a wash of relief as the fish enters the net.
This, I realized, is why I come up here to be angered and humiliated by fish. The intense feeling you get when holding one of these dinosaurs is worth all the anxiety and disappointment, the soul-searching and self-loathing that accompany a missed opportunity, a blown shot. This is the fuel that lights the fire in winter, the memory that fans the flame all spring, and the blaze that draws me back again, year after year, to have my fishing self-esteem crushed repeatedly just to get the chance to pick one of these creatures up again.
With the release of the fish comes a release of tension, an awkward display of emotion usually reserved for different times, different settings, different people. I sit because I can’t stand, and I stare because there isn’t anything left to focus on. After awhile, I get up and start the cycle all over again.
While scooping out the cat box this morning, our IT intern noted a few curious search engine phrases that have landed folks on BWTF in the past couple of months.
SEARCH TERM (FREQUENCY)
Trash art (39)
Bigfoot sightings (12)
Santa weed (9)
Better not disturb mah fishing (8)
Rose Wylie (7)
London water park (6)
Bitches and weed (6)
Quotes about boys being pricks (5)
Tasteless asshole pic (5)
Bird leg (5)
Good weed v. bad weed (5)
Meat slab heart (4)
Screaming reel alarm clock (4)
Dirty hippie (4)
Green butt piggy (4)
While we’re not really sure what any of this means from a search engine optimization standpoint, it does beg the question:
Who are you people?
Combining the two things I like most; Montana and a mean techno beat.
A must visit for anyone who has read any works of Cormac McCarthy:
“The man laid there in the village square for three days and nights and took no food and spoke to no visitor. The older villagers said that the man should not have eaten the taco and no sane man would do so and the price of such folly was known to all.”
Hey settle down. Tonight it’s the complete Guy On A Buffalo saga from those scamps at The Possum Posse, featuring bears, bushwhackin, reprisal, orphans, straight-up cougar maulins, wolves, creepin coyotes, raccoon dumplings and revenge. You’re welcome.
Guy On A Buffalo
Episode 1 (Bears, Indians and Such)
Episode 2 (Orphans, Cougars & What Not)
Episode 3: Finale Part 1 (Origins, Villains & The Like)
Episode 4: Finale Part 2 (Rehab, Vengeance & What Have You)
Break yo gun onna STUMP!
Got this shot from the BirdDog last night; the weekend’s final tally and it’s damn impressive. I guess unlike steelhead fishing, morel picking is about numbers. A few Mason jars loaded with dried morchella tastes like sweet, reminiscent paydirt next winter when it’s time for dutch oven elk stew around a winter campfire. An old friend I wish I saw more often once described camp food as ‘not needing to be very good, just fairly hot.’ and I tend to agree, but elk and morels defy rules of convenience.
This here’s about triple the load his basket held when we last saw him Sunday morning, knife in hand, the look of mushroom bloodlust scanning those wet, southfacing slopes and thinking maybe. We said our goodbyes around 10 am. He cracked what was left of our Tallboy stash from a weird, cool party/sorta Dead show named the Goose Creek Massacre even though we were no where near any Goose Creek, and then he headed off toward another a patch of Grand Fir. I’d guess he stayed in that Fir cove for a few hours to find a stash like this. But that’s when morels and fish are the same. Like steelhead, you never leave mushrooms to find mushrooms. Never.
I’m late to the party on this one, but maybe you are too. Heads up. Been wearing out The Holy Coming of the Storm by Cahalen Morrison & Eli West. It’s been getting heavy, heavy rotation all winter long down here in East L.A. To the NW folks: these are your neighbors (Seattle is where they reside), so go see ‘em. Sounds like they were born in a gotdam holler in West Virginny. Shit fire! They are good.
Three new scalawags have joined the ranks, you might spot them before we get around to introducing them. This is because we’re lazy and forgetful, and fishing season is warming up and we’re sorta distracted. Enjoy.
Not a biggiant fan of the ubiquitous borrowed creativity/identity, link-and-go horseshite so prevalent in the FaceBlogger copycat tutorial on Narcissism for Virgins 101 these days, but fuck it: some shit’s actually that good, there’s still a few days of winter steelhead season left in this old man, time’s of the essence and anything funny enough to make double-dark Stumptown french press escape my nose has to be positive for the world.
Rock chucking + strategic potato placement + a 180° No Comply = Best thing to come outta the fly fishing industry since Salty told the robots they don’t need $50 Abel nippers to cut 7X.
Gotta admit, when I see flood footage of the local river like the stuff below, I can’t avoid wondering whether this is the douching that magically scours out and uncovers the old legends. The greatest hits. After-work, stand-by runs revered for consistency and still talked about some 4 and 5 years after they evaporated like the use of long-belly flylines in the Northwest.
All hail the legendary bounce of Last Chance. Pour one out for that one, sonofabitch rock in the Buffet Line that either kicked out a buck or stole your fly. 9.5 Rock’s soft seam above the old Picket Fence. And Dyack’s. The sweet, sweet poonanny of Dyack’s tailout.
Those of you who know the names knew the soft water that held the reasons.
May next week’s riverine explorations bode you well stains, and all eyes on the sweepers. She’s gonna be a new river. Again.
I got a few days of shooting birdies in before Christmas. We all started to get agitated at Trigg this one morning when he wouldn’t get out the watering tub. Turns out he was on point. Soon the other two joined in on the action.