Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Running the numbers

I have used this image without permission, but it should be clear that I expect no monetary gain from its use.  Quite the contrary, in fact.

Though we have yet to provide details, it's probably apparent to most readers that our June fishing expedition didn't produce the kinds of fish - numbers or size - that we'd hoped.  Even now that the river flows are in check, fishing has not been good.  Fishing in New England, where New English Jonny lives, can be unreliable as well.  To insure success and reduce the pressures of planning, we intend to make our next get together in Iceland.  Jonny and I are both Atlantic salmon anglers, but Iceland will be new for us.  I think it will be a lot of fun.

A trip like this will not be without its challenges, though.  I was listening to a recent podcast about Icelandic salmon fishing wherein the interviewee mentioned that it costs an outfitter about one million dollars to rent a stretch of river...for the 90 day season.  Not surprisingly, then, the cost to an angler for a week of such fishing is quite expensive; it sounds as if about $15,000 for a few days of fishing is the going rate in today's dollars.  One should also budget in the costs of travel.  Iceland is an island that is farther from Indiana than is the moon.

This is going to require some planning, but hear me out.  First, I can't afford it right now.  But I've looked at my current income and that bit of it which might be called "discretionary" and I've run some numbers.  If I am religious about putting it away each month, I can afford the trip in about 40 years (let's say the year 2054).  I will be in my early 80s then, Jonny a bit older.  But we'll be retired, so time off work won't be an issue.  (And there's very little driving, Jonny!)  Now, if you've been paying attention you may have realized that I failed to account for inflation.   Doing so does complicate things, but in my earlier calculations I had figured in college tuition for both of my children.  In a fortuitous turn of events, though, my older ten-year-old child informed me that he's decided not to attend college. "Damn right!" I agreed.  And the younger one, the eight-year-old, has no chance of getting in anywhere.  The new numbers suggest the trip is, once again, within reach - still in the year 2054, but again, do-able. 

Even without the bothersome worry of college tuition, the numbers suggest no more fishing between now and then: all funds must go directly into The Iceland Trip.  Maybe I can fish until all of my current supply of flies and equipment has been lost, stolen or broken.  Anyway, there will be hardship all around. Divorce is inevitable.

But all is not lost.  It now occurs to me that if we can get at least some proportion of our 98 followers (97 if you consider that Jonny accidentally listed himself as a "follower" of his own blog) to consider chipping in and joining us for the trip, we can do this thing - by 2050 if half of you chip in, and by 2040 if everybody does their part.  We will provide "Angler's Culvert" hats.

Now I know at this point most of you are saying to yourself "Brayshaw, I am virtually certain that I am all in, but I have a few lingering concerns."  I'm not particularly interested in them, but if it will help, I will leave you with some more numbers.  According to the interviewee, in the last season they landed just under 3,600 salmon during the 90 day season.  In fact, at one point he says, sounding not even the least bit winded, "This morning, we hooked 22 and landed 14.  We get them with single-hand rods on size 18 flies."

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


We are clearly too busy to write anything here. But way back in June we did have what can accurately be described as an interesting road trip to Indiana; a time that was undoubtedly therapeutic. More accounts will be written. There are also some photographs.

More T? 

In the meantime, Steve Zakur has more time on his hands and has already written two excellent articles describing our road trip to Brayshaw's India.

You should read the stories in Hatch magazine - the outbound journey here and the homeward dash here

If you don't already, you should also patronize Steve's blog, Sipping Emergers.

You will just have to wait for what happened in the middle, probably when the three of us have the faintest idea what went on.

Fishers of men


Monday, June 2, 2014

Journal Entry: June 2, 2014.

Journal Entry for June 2, 2014:

We’ve been in the Indiana Territory for many months now, and progress has been made but it’s still unclear whether the outpost will be ready when English Jonny and his Sherpa porter arrive. There is some confusion because Jonny is unaware that the Indiana Territory is, in fact, west of his New England home.  Like most Brits and Great Brits (and unlike that of most Americans) Jonny’s grasp of world geography is tenuous at best.

Jonny departs; heads west

Heads east?

English Jonny on earlier trip

But his porter is the one they call “Z”, who is reputed to be good and can speak and write English. 

The one they call "Z" brings whisky

I have secured wood for the fire pit and believe there is enough.  Recently, I set out in the hopes of finding meat and was pleasantly surprised when, instead of the weeks’ long journey I was expecting, I found a trading post just 15 minutes away.  The meat vendor would not accept beads or several beaver pelts but would take only cash money. I had some and was able to procure the rib portion of a hog.  With my Bowie knife I made short work of the portions and, having produced fire, was able to cook it.  Unfortunately, I fear it will not last until Jonny and the one they call “Z” arrive; we will probably have to procure more.  Whisky stores appear sufficient at this time, though the men* continue to drink them at a pace that must be checked if we are to have enough. [*Editor's note: there is currently only one man at the Indiana Territory outpost.  It's Brayshaw.]

The women and children here are pleasant enough and work hard, but the demands they place on my time are remarkable.

I have tried to convey the gravity of the situation to them, but so far they seem unwilling or unable to appreciate the importance of scouting new water routes and tying flies.  

I can only hope they will be able to fend for themselves once Jonny, the one they call “Z” and I begin our explorations, lest we return to find the outpost deserted or, worse yet, occupied by the natives.

We have seen no bears yet.

Monday, May 26, 2014


May is best. The in-laws live on the border of CT and NY. After a delightful supper with Z and his bride the evening before, it was brook trout in the yard and wild brownies in the hills of the local Reservation. After recent rains and falling, stained streams, the fish were more than willing, as they usually are in May. But first, we'd sharpen up at our Guilford pond.

Traditional verge cutting in Guildford, CT.
Size 12, long shank, 2x strong.
First of the year. A good one.
NY reservation turkey
The sky held.
As perfect a stream as I know.
Wild brown trout

Scenes from the Reservation, NY

The Old Oak, down but still there.

Wild brownie.
NYC tap water.

Back in the Yard.
A Native.

English Jonny, in clover.
Yellow Stone.

Large, Wild Eastern Brook Trout.

I married well.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014


It’s interesting to consider that at the very same time that Jonny’s coastal stripers are beginning to wake, our own land-locked cousins, the white and yellow bass, are doing the same. Their small size and willingness to bite give them an innocence one doesn’t tend to associate with their salty kin, but as I said a year ago and repeat here now: the spring bass run is exactly as it should be…more so after a winter like that we just had. 

I’ve yet to luck into any large whites – the egg-laden females that can be 16 inches or more and push two or three pounds – but a few of this spring’s fish have been better than last year’s, and the few yellow bass I’ve caught have been quite impressive (for yellow bass.) Today, though, the fish were hard to come by. My wife and I spent a leisurely morning on the stream, her mostly after warblers and I after bass. I managed just two, but together she and I saw just short of a dozen species of warblers (Yellow, Yellow-rumped, Bay-breasted, Palm, Blackburnian -my favorite, Prothonotary, Magnolia, Golden-winged, Chestnut-sided, Yellow-throated, Waterthrush and Common Yellowthroat).

Yellow bass are handsome

T.J. Brayshaw is handsome

It's how I roll (cast)

This Prothonotary came in close

What you usually see