I have never tasted a rutabaga but certainly could identify one. Likewise, I have never heard the bugle of a wild elk but I would know it when heard. And I heard it, beckoning, from somewhere outside my periphery as I stood in the choked off part of the canyon. I scanned the cliff edge from left to right, like trying to find Waldo, but could not see the beast emitting its call. Pure compulsion moved me to find the elk. Up and down the stream I sloshed, my pulse quickening as attempts to climb the steep rocky walls became more frenzied. The last effort had been met with a cascade of river rock swallowing my feet and I was spit back to the water’s edge. Extracting myself I stood, hands on knees, sucking in unadulterated mountain air. Composure regained I was acutely aware of a large presence as a dark shadow enveloped my personal space. Slowly straightening my back found me nose to nose with a bull elk. I blinked and was blasted full in the face by a long powerful bugle. My eyes shot open to darkness as I sat up. The bugling continued until my surroundings were revealed by the soft glow of a cell phone as Whitney silenced the alarm. “Son of a bitch” I panted, and flopped back down.Add a comment
The main reason for my presence in Idaho was to leave it. The first day was essentially a bonus, a plus one to the three days that would be spent on a special Oregon tail water. Perhaps more significant would be the company that I would keep on those long days of technical fishing. A veritable all star lineup of female fly fishers would be on hand to tackle wary browns and any potentially comedic moment. Let’s just say I will never live down telling someone that their large arbor reel was sexy.Add a comment
Traveling for me is like Baby's Day Out, I am mostly hapless and filled with curiosity yet somehow end up where I need to be. When our building on its’ side was thrown from Phoenix to Boise I was a bit apprehensive, but when the wheels slammed down in the pitch of night I...still felt the same. Searching for my new means of conveyance took a mere five minutes and by some foolish clerical decision I was upgraded to a more powerful vehicle then quickly let loose into Boise to make several u-turns. As with all hotels the ostentatious carpet pattern seared my eyes while the nicotine tinged air whisked me back nearly a decade to a time when traveling athletics reigned supreme. I was granted a key at the front desk and headed to the second floor to meet some strangers from Facebook…Add a comment
The sun beat down on my skinny little legs as I lazily moved them in time to the different drummer in my head. The swing was hot on my bottom, causing mild nausea; the chains searing in my grasp, nearly altering my handprint. I slowly played with the grains of sand on the top of my shoes, navigating them like marbles in a labyrinth. “Why won’t you just tell me?” My drummer stopped mid bar and I was forced to address the question. We sat on the swings during third grade recess, Allison to my left. Even at this young age people were compelled to tell me things of a secretive nature. Perhaps I had a trusting face, one can never know. This being the case those not in the know felt they had the right to the knowledge. “Come on, if you tell me I will be your best friend…” crooned Allison. I didn’t want to tell, not only because she was a noxious twit but because it was not my secret to tell. I turned to face her with squinting eyes and a blank stare. Sensing I was Fort Knox Allison stood up and screeched “Secrets don’t make friends!” before running off to join her gaggle of hens. Returning to my sand I thought about her little threat, and that she had missed a key point. Revealing other’s secrets certainly made friends, just not the kind I cared to have.Add a comment
Don’t talk about fight club. First rule of fly fishing in Arizona? Don’t talk about fly fishing in Arizona. I hate this unspoken rule. Who am I kidding, it is a completely vocalized “rule.” Write about a location and fear for your life. Talk about a location and be prepared to be ostracized. While I don’t fish for the benefit of others I would still like to be able to have a casual conversation or be able to post without being vilified. Fly fishing is what makes my life good and I want to be able to be open about that. I am not a closeted fisherman. I’m out! I fly fish, and I am going to talk about it. Who else will listen to our stories, if not each other? Spouses and friends give you the congenial smile and nod while you think you are regaling them with the greatest fish tale ever told. So we turn to the forums and blogs, the places that offer asylum to like-minded souls. The one group of people who you think would support your endeavors, in fact are the first to condemn you.Add a comment
Kristen and I hit the San Juan in New Mexico for the Superbowl weekend for the 2nd year in hopefully a long tradition of fishing the San Juan for the Superbowl.
In the week leading up to the trip we were keeping an eye on the weather pretty close, and things went from Sunny and Warm to "Ice Pellets" and every kind of weather pattern in between. Thursday when we left there was a 40% chance of rain in the evening Friday with scattered clouds both Saturday and Sunday. That wasn't the case...Add a comment
I have been pretty open about my EOB status, yet as of late I have been merely talking the talk. Sure, I fish for carp but that really isn't broadening the horizons much anymore now is it? When presented with an opportunity to chase a species that had not even taken the briefest of strolls through my mind, I jumped at the chance to walk the walk. I met up with Ryan Russell, a recent re-transplant to Arizona, who has been setting his sights on the more obscure and unsung fish of the Grand Canyon State. He, along with friend and owner of Sedona Fly Fishing Adventures, Brian Mowers, previously had tremendous luck at the spot we would be heading to, information that did nothing to quell my excitement. After stuffing the unruly long object that is my rod tube into the bed of Ted (the truck) we headed north, Ted’s luscious matte black finish absorbing all the UV the sun could muster.Add a comment