Sunday, June 8, 2014

Some crap I wrote a long time ago....I thought I was busy then. Ha!

My feet are cold and move through the gin clear waters like two frozen cinderblocks attached to my hip with 2 x 4's. I try hard to stalk through the crunchy, brown, winter woods without the forest clearing THUD...THUD... of a city boy who, try as he may, only gets to spend as many days a year in the wilderness as he has numb and cracked fingers on his red, frozen hands. Moving quietly through the river is even more of a challenge with giant, Frankenstein-ian, week's salary gone, brand-name, all the doo-dads and technologically advanced, waterproof wading boots-that only serve to separate me from feeling the uneven and lively streambed. It's like being in a sensory deprivation tank from the waist down, and makes it hard to slip silently into the water as I crunch and bump my way up to the next hole. The fish are surprisingly not disturbed today, as it has been cold and snowy, and has cooled the river and filled it to it's banks. There's still several inches of snow on the north banks and ice collects on the fringe of tiny waterfalls. The fish are down deep, and nearly motionless. Later in the day the sun will warm the stream, and give insects a reason to live, as they emerge from the cold depths to sacrifice their short airborne lives with no thoughts but the survival of their offspring and their species. But, long before the insects rise, procreate, and fall in exhaustion to feed the awakened trout, I will be gone, not able to return for what always feels like an eternity. A previous engagement calls, as it always does. Life these days mostly seems like one previous engagement after another, with barely time to reflect before the next is due. They compound, and multiply, and procreate until life is nothing but a frenzy of previous engagements, one after the other, only relenting for so long to allow us to catch our breath enough to keep breathing.

Gettin the band back together....

Sort of... It's been nearly a year since I've set foot in this derilect single wide of personal expression that houses more than a few of my hopes and dreams. No doubt, they're stuffed into a twisted up hefty bag that's stuffed into the nether regions of the undercarriage of the leopard-print-duvet-covered waterbed that once was the master bedroom. Just four walls and the motion of the ocean...with leopards...Rrrrrroaaaaar. It's there. I generally know where it is. But, draining a waterbed, and dismantling a room is quite an undertaking, so there they've sat. Dusty. Rusting. Somewhat sad. But waiting. No other choice but to since they were trapped between 200 gallons of water, an 'oak' frame, and bags and bags, and bags, of cut-off jeans. 

My life has changed significantly since I started this blog. The focus of my life has changed significantly since I started this blog. My near future looks exactly nothing like I thought it would just a couple of years ago. It's not necessarily negative or positive. It just is. It just is my life, and it just keeps happening to me no matter how defensive my posture is. 

I love to fish and I love to tie flies. I don't love them as much as my family, which is why I've rarely done either for the shortest longest last year of my life. I have realized that although I've had lots of hobbies, or even hobbies masked as career pursuits, in the past that consumed all parts of me while in motion... I've realized that none of them stuck except for tying and fishing. I can't shake it. I'm far beyond the obsession I used to find myself buried in. Buried to the point that I couldn't focus on the truly important things. It's now decidedly a hobby, and one I pursue when the day is done, and the trash is taken out, and arrangements are made. That's my reality right now, and I happily accept that reality. 

But that doesn't mean I can't tie flies and share them with the zero faithful followers of this waste of bandwidth that is BigFish Fly Shop. I do get to wet a line and there...sometimes. Maybe. So, I will share these things, why? I haven't a clue. But, share I will. and there...sometimes. Maybe

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Photo Dump

Not much time for fishing these days.....or typing words. Life is busy busy. We made a temporary move back to the giant parking lot, and life is full on minute to minute. Like extreme sports? Have 2 kids within two years and uproot your life as many times within those two years. Your head will constantly spin, and you'll get surprise adrenaline shots just when you think you'll fall asleep pushing the grocery cart. Every day is like base jumping. Almost exactly like that. I've never done that, but, you know. Tired people and analogies don't blend well together. Anyway, here's some pictures. I think I've been fishing twice this year.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


with Gus....

Gus is my 7 year old fishing buddy. We went on a smallie float last summer with his Dad, and Gus came away wanting to try fly fishing. One day after school he spied his Dad's old fly rod waaaay up in the barn rafters, so he climbed on up there and got it. The rod was/is broken, but Gus went to mending it with some duct tape, found a reel with some line on it, and was casting in the yard when his Dad got home from work. His passion only increased between then and xmas, so Santa dropped a new setup down the smoke hole. I was able to get away for a few hours last weekend and got him on the river to fish his fly rod for the first time. We couldn't get the fish to cooperate for him(aside from the expired brookie with a rubber worm stuffed down its gullet), but he got the hang of casting(in the wind with high water and no waders), and chose to not catch fish on the fly rather than get his spinning rod out of the truck. He's gonna be good. Really good. And it won't be long. I hope to get out again soon with Gus.

with Kyle....

Kyle's gotten to be a good friend real quick. He lives the next county over and we've been able to get out a few times over the last few months. We have fun. We enjoy spirits. And, we both love smallies. I finally got to fish some really interesting smallie water that he's been fishing for a long time. It was a good day, and I got to meet and fish with Larry Litrell of Mystic Fly Rods. It's always a good day with Kyle.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Stuffs and Thangs

Well, it's been a busy week. We finally welcomed our daughter, Alice, into the world last Friday morning at 11:43AM. After watching my wife go through two loooong natural labors I am sure that she could kick my ass any day of the week and my admiration and respect grows for her even more every day. Everybody is happy and healthy and home. We're settling into new routines and re-arranging furniture.

I somehow managed to make it to the tie-one-on-athon Sunday. I have no idea how that happened, but I'm grateful it did. I had a blast and got to sit at the time out table with the trouble makers. I took almost no photos, so I've been stealin' 'em when I see 'em. Please and thank you.

I somehow managed to pull off winning the big fly contest. I have no idea how that happened either, although the jar of strawberry preserves may have had something to do with it. I won a really nice raft/drift boat anchor and promptly traded it to Brad for a lovely handful of dinosaur feathers and some swag.

Tying time has been minimal for me the last few days, but I will be posting some more of those feathers tied on hooks directly. Gotta go. Doodie calls!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

OM; The Chronicles of Peeber, Part 3

There’s something about a new boat that chemically changes the way my brain works. Since I’ve never had anything close to an actual ‘new’ boat, I’m forced to immediately assess repairs, and fumble my way through most of them since a new boat represents new problems… challenges….new additions to the scrap metal pile. I rush through basic repairs. It needs to float. It needs to run. It needs to get there. NOW. There’s no real long view or manifest destiny at this point. It’s all necessity. It’s all primal. I work fast. I neglect responsibilities. I neglect sleep. I neglect food. I neglect my wife and child. All I can do is fix. Chain smoking. Beer guzzling. Midnight. 2 AM. Fall into bed. 7 AM. Fix…..fix, fix, fix.

After a few days or weeks, I emerge into the spring/winter/fall/summer midday sunlight and yawn, stretch, and change my underpants. I can breathe for a few minutes. Time to re-group. Time to patch things up with my wife and son, and reflect on why the hell I was such a crazed lunatic the last little bit. It’s a short break, inevitably, and the lunatic returns promptly. He shows up after the family has gone to bed. He gives me refuge during work, dinner, and bath times. He is exhausted, but rests only a short while before regaining his strength. He begins his paced return in the form of Google. There’s a funny thing about having access to millions, or billions, or trillions of images via the internet……you can have the damndest time finding a single one that represents what you’re actually looking for. I know for a fact that I am not that original of a human being. Everything I’ve ever thought or manifested from thought has likely been thought and/or manifested hundreds, no thousands, no millions, billions of times before. It all comes down to knowing what to look for, and allowing yourself to see what is right in front of your face. Out comes the designer lunatic. He’s silent. Can’t afford to waste energy on moving his mouth to make sounds. He can’t afford to waste the energy to get off the couch to go to bed. So there he sits….still….silent….and absolutely mad. If I were to apply the same focus and dedication to any other part of my life that I do to fixing up a 400 dollar jon boat…..well, things would be pretty different.

Before I’ve even procured this particular boat I’ve been furiously formulating its existence in daydreams full of clear summer day secret flats pulsing with bait, waterfowl, and giant goldfish. The boat races smoothly through the upper reaches of some river chain lake, far from the ski boat wake and the bass fisherman’s trespasses(they’re always up earlier than me). I and it are free to zip around blind curves as the lake narrows and begins to appear as it once did…as it always did. Herons grawk and lumber into disgruntled flight as we temporarily break the silence and solitude of the ever-narrowing river inch by inch, foot by foot, mile by mile, entering deeper and deeper into wilderness, deeper and deeper into solitude. Standing on the bank listening to a 30-year-old outboard humming, then roaring, then screaming past in the wilderness is an awful experience. It’s trespassing at its core. It robs all other sounds and sensory awareness for the few seconds or minutes that it’s present. It leaves a wake behind that feels imminently destructive, as though it will forever alter the untouched banks of the wild river, and send all aquatic life fleeing in despair. Being in the boat has an unequivocally opposite sense of that same experience. That humming, now roaring, now screaming 30-year-old outboard is all OHhhhhooooooooMmmmmmm……… It wipes out all possibility of thought. You’re left with visual and tactile knowledge only. The brain’s only function is to admire and react. There is no thought about steering or navigation as your arm, the tiller, the boat, and the river feel as one, guiding the vessel upstream as effortlessly as a leaf glides down. There is no reading the river. The river is reading you.

That is why the furious, feverish, nuthouse of a mechanic and designer exist. They will work tirelessly to the brink of physical and mental exhaustion, push wives and clients and bosses and friends and children to the brink of total frustration, loneliness, desperation, anger. They will leave everything else in life behind for the possibility of startling a heron and a nice breeze on their face.