Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Best in Fly Fishing Media

Given that print media has taken a dive over the past decade or, there have been some excellent on-line publications such as the latest issue of This is Fly.  The other good internet publications and the first of it's kind was, Catch Magazine.   Not only are these new internet magazines refreshing, they are free, they don't write biased and worthless product reviews, and the vivid imagery simply pops from the screen. 

But all is not lost when it comes to good fly-fishing print media.  I must give a shout out to one of the few good newsstand fly-fishing rags, The Drake; still the best magazine in print and worth the paper it's printed on.  There are others trying to carve out a niche in fly-fishing, but to date none match the creativity or whit in writing or material that The Drake brings us.  I just wish they'd put it out more than a few times a year.  

Check them out!  Good stuff when you can't chase your favorite species with fur and feather, or need a good fish fix at the office!  Enjoy.....  

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Old Man

My kids made me music CD’s when they still cohabitated the house.  They were affectionately labeled “Old Man Mix”;at least I believe they were.   It was good stuff: Neil, Hendrix, Allman Brothers, Peal Jam, John Butler,  Ben Harper, Dylan, Marley, blending musical transitions of the years we shared.  Those mixes accompanied and still do many a road trip resonating most harmoniously with windows down, a waft of fresh cool air swirling about the interior, with the smell of fresh cut fields permeating the senses. 

Coincidentally, about the time these musical medleys emerged I encountered a mortal reconciliation.  Seated quietly among the flowing grasses and wildflowers on the banks of the Henry’s Fork waxing in the afterglow of a memorable morning, fully absorbed in the rivers encompassing beauty this disturbing contemplation eroded the tranquil moment; how many more years do I have left to fish these waters?  The thought set me upright, fractured any sense of contentment I was experiencing, left me perplexed, distracted and contemplating a timetable of life past and present.  I still vividly recall that moment.    

Not long after that, the reality of that intrusive thought sat before me; flesh and blood.  He was a rather distinguished gentleman with graying hair, full mustache with a shouldered slouch creeping into his once erect posture.  There was a hint of brightness to his eyes, but the realization of life’s mortality had eroded some of that.   His presence and our ensuing conversation affixed emotions of my own fresh ponderings.  As we talked, a mounting sadness permeated the room. 

My friend had come to the end of his fly-fishing life, a life once filled with vivid anticipation and adventure on the worlds waterways.  In his hands were his tools of the trade; rods, and reels of an era gone by, each with their own narrative, the test of time worn well into each unique piece.  A vest tattered lay limp across his nimble legs.  With sadness he handed these items over to me to sell, knowing that family nor friends would give them the considerations he felt they deserved.  Quietly I watched him leave, those encroaching thoughts resurfacing from that reflective morning.

Shortly after this, my father passed away.  It was expected, yet the suddenness of his demise challenged any preparedness for his departure.   Just before his passing, seated upon the bleached remains of a once towering cottonwood in a steady British Columbia rain, writing phone numbers in the mud in an effort to try and reach my father after he was hospitalized, made the distance between us infinitely long, yet I was thankful for the brief solace this country afforded me knowing what ultimately lay ahead.   What more fitting of a place to prepare for such matters, to garner life’s realizations, reflect upon a man you’d only come to truly know not all too long ago and in between ones own destiny. 
Much has changed in my life since that moment several years ago bathed in sunshine while contemplating life.    Fly-fishing now lends occasions to wander the world’s waterways with a more contemplative outlook, where the catching of fish is no less celebratory, but overall yields to a smaller gesture of fulfilling circumstance.  Given the fortunes of my time, each outing bears an enhanced significance, each wandering however brief more poignant, each fish appreciably unique more noteworthy.  Similar to the older gentleman who I had shared that introspective moment, there is a growing appreciation for time in general, especially time on the water, and to fish for the simple pleasure and solace it affords the just reward.  

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Anglers Sue for Stream Access

It was bound to happen sooner than later, a law suit in dealing with Utah stream access.  On November 13th, the Utah Stream Access Coalition filed suit challenging the merits of HB141; a recently passed bill that took away the public rights to access Utah's public waters. Check out this story by the Salt Lake Tribune for additional details. 

For all anglers this creates an opportunity to put in place stream access laws that were supported by the Utah Supreme Court in July of 2008, however it's not a time to sit on the side lines and wait to see how this all works out.  The Coalition is going to need participants and it must raise significant monies to support these actions. Visit their website or follow them on Facebook to see how you can be apart of this historical action.