In the not too distant past, I was one of those smug twenty-somethings who prided myself on walking farther, floating longer, and staying later than other anglers to get my fish. I still think of myself as that angler, but the prevailing reality has changed a bit. It is a rarity anymore that I find myself with a whole day, much less an entire weekend free of responsibility, to spend at my leisure. The days of loading down the cooler, kicking the dog into the truck and taking to the river before dawn with no immediate plans to return are few and far between. Continue reading
It’s a problem…
“I’ve become an adequate tier almost by accident, and I’ve decided that many of the fine points of fly tying are lost on the fish.”
-John Gierach, Good Flies
That flowing mane and trim underbody. Those flashy accents. That trim profile and those perfect proportions. And those eyes. Those perfect little bead-chain eyes. Continue reading
You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough.
-William Blake, Proverbs From Hell
The picture is of the good old days. It sits on a shelf next to other photos, trinkets and memorabilia that few people have ever seen. The man in the small round frame holds a bass with a mouth big enough to swallow a fist. I know the size because his arm is one third of the way into the belly of the beast. Continue reading
I have never been able to seek out epiphanies. They dart across my mind like bats on summer’s last light, everywhere at once and nowhere in particular. My learning curve for fly fishing in New Zealand was spent swearing fish had echolocation and casting through air that would sooner yield me a flying mammal than a fish beneath the surface of the water. I thought I could fly fish, but it wasn’t until I made it out of Middle Earth that I actually became an angler. Continue reading
Tucker is almost quivering, sitting on the edge of excitement and instinct. I have his leash in my hand but we both know it won’t be used once we’re in the woods. We put on a show for my parents and say we will be safe, we will take water, we will go east if we get lost. I know what to say now so they won’t worry. One day I’ll be old enough to go on my own without telling them.
To spend so much time on a single body of water is to encounter every life-form that water supports.
–David James Duncan
I was born in Akron Ohio in 1978, and was bathed and baptized in the Cuyahoga. Continue reading
For all the time being stolen from us these days, I still find myself with plenty of time to wonder.
Once upon a time I obsessed myself with the semantics of my environment; Native vs. wild vs. invasive – words with simple definitions but complex meanings. I came to see the world before me as a poorly contrived concoction. The more I saw, the more I longed for what once had been – Nature left to its own devices for millennia. It seemed impossible to imagine. I could only wonder.
I have absolutely no idea where I am from.
I can take you to the house that I consider home, the woods where I used to wander and the pond from where I pulled my first bluegill. I can trace back my lineage to the early days of Cleveland, further still to my northern European ancestry and some long forgotten former family abode called Foulness Island. The latter is a real place, though I like to think I’ve avoided the literal translation. I can tell you all these things yet I cannot point to the stream or river where humanity first appeared. Continue reading