Friday, January 20, 2012

I Love Thee Like A Carp

Not to be outdone by the tender words of the lovely Erin Block, we note that Zakur and Quill have been waxing their lyrics these past few days. Bravo! Well, be damned, if our very own TJ Brayshaw hasn't sent me his poetry this fine evening. Inspired readers are encouraged to submit poems of their own, and we'll select a winner based on our own criteria of what the best shit is.

Fuck Steelhead

It matters not the fly I have chosen
Since the rivers are blown out or are all frozen
And so I admit
Once I've finished my fit:
With large steehead I'll not be posin'

I Love Thee Like a Carp

With these carp I feel a connection
Those lips give me cause for reflection
I can't get enough
Of that scaly stuff
Is it wrong that I have an erection?

Not Fishing on Sunday

My double haul's perfect, my mending inspired
The backing is fresh, the guide has been hired
I work late on Friday, lest I get fired
In housework the next day, I'm totally mired
Now Sunday is here... but I'm too fucking tired.

The Novice

Your passion is real, your commitment sincere
You've learned how to tie, you've got all the gear
But please don't forget
That your ears are still wet
Since you've fly fished for what? Just one fucking year!

Old English, up a tree again.

The Guy We All Know

The jacket is "Simms", it fits like a tux
Your Charlton reel costs twelve-hundred bucks
Yet despite all that money
(It's really quite funny)
You don't even realize: your casting still sucks

English Jonny

There once was a fellow from Guilford
Who fished from Rhode Island to Milford
At night he would go
Where the Culvert doth flow
This time from his family, he pilfered.

[Two of these limericks were published in slightly different forms in the Fall 2013 issue of "The Drake" magazine.  Thanks to Tom Bie and "The Drake" for putting it out there.]

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Adopt a Culvert!

With great excitement we announce that The Culvert has received national recognition from Orvis and Trout Unlimited! Readers will agree that A healthy Culvert is a Healthy World. So we are delighted to commend these efforts and encourage you all to join this worthwhile initiative, for the good of an Angler's Culvert near you.

Eventually, all things merge into one, and a Culvert runs through it. 


Monday, January 16, 2012

His Class 1: A Plog

The quandary was answered by the forecast of -3 overnight and single digits through Monday in Pulaski. I took Heaven and left Steve and Bob to Hell, where they hooked and lost 2 and 1 steelhead, respectively; a typical return for January. And so to Heaven - The Mill River in Easton, CT. A Class 1 Wild Trout Stream that was every bit as tough as it was meant to be this time of year. In May these streams are jumping with their designated "abundant wild trout". In January they're black and cold, but mighty pretty.

This being the stream where The Great Man plied his angle, I won't compete with words. Besides, I'm completely shagged out in that wonderful way I always feel after a day on a winter trout stream.

First act. The heads tell you I hadn't had coffee yet.

Wet dogs came along for the ride, this day.

The Handsome Modern Angler. I spelled it right because my wife is standing here correcting me.

Pretty water on the ol' Mill.

It was so cold.
My net took a stiffy. I wondered in a non-existent, whimsical way how cold Steve and Bob must be.

Highland Park isn't litter. And I wasn't fishing the Usk.

Highland Park II.

One fish dropped before lunch, and back to the Sube for tucker with the dogs and more Highland Park.

I'm surprised I could see. A bloody good Brookie from a Class 1 "Black Diamond" in January.

Nothing prettier swims.

My favorite size of trout stream. Medium.

Nurturing the Dalvey.
A sort of Highland Park.

Happy Birthday? I should co-co.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

A day on the water

It was sunny and in the low 20s 10 days ago. It was 55 and sunny eight days ago, so Seth and I fished.  Now, it's in the low 20s again.

Brayshaw reties his leader....again.


Bass fishermen lip bass.  Apparently, trout fishermen do not.



Late sun

Even later sun

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Next Monday I can drive a 12 hour round trip to stand in 22 degree snow-filled air for a waffer thin chance that I might hook and lose a single steelhead. This pittance we'll call a good day, and for a while, perhaps enough time to carry me half-way home, the drug will keep me "up". The iced guides and sweaty neoprenes will just have to be. I'll have hand and feet warmers provided I remember to add them to the long list of shit my life will depend on in frozen hell. Bring on the combat with other anglers for the right to chuck'n’ duck - rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat, ex creta, ex creta, ad infinitum - through the precious few holes where a steelhead might lie this time of year on the upper reaches of the Salmon River, Pulaski. If I take a single pee break during the only five minutes the fish are biting, I will certainly hook nothing and I just don’t know how to work this out. Highway burgers and the feeling of less than good, wholesome, fly-fishing fun. Gas. More gas. Expenses. Physical fatigue for the following two weeks will compete with a persuasive clinical low for my selection of medication. I'll recall the first few months of my first born child (in lucid moments I can do this voluntarily) and the painful memories that I know, with certain fear, will be magically obscured as my genetics compel me to do this again and again. Rinse, repeat.

Hell, on a mild day.

Or, I can tootle merrily along in the style of Ms. Marple (I drive an old Subaru wagon) to a wild brook trout stream and fish the warmer CT woods. Very pretty. Secluded. A good chance I'll bring a fish or three to hand, this day. They will be laughingly small in a very respectful way; and they will be wild and small, so I'll cast myself as the dandy Artisan that I really am. I'll luncheon on home-prepared fare and soda pop - I'm so cozy in my car I'll take humorous picnic pictures for future publication! The cost will be nothing more than the price of a delicious stoagie, the white smoke from which I see now, wafting Prozekly on the silent winter air as I give brief pause to dry my No.12 Dave's Hopper and presently greet the bluebird that has just settled on my left wading boot. It will be lovely and I'll return home, accomplished, in time for tea with my radiant wife and beautiful children.


Split-shot: check.
Stanley's ice-off paste: check.
Hand-warmers: check

......I'll see you in Hell.


Monday, January 9, 2012

Steelhead Season: Gear Review, No. 7

Like much of the country, we've had an incredibly mild winter so far, so whereas in a normal year the steelhead fishing right now might be nonexistent, this year is different. As such, this is a goodtime for another unbiased product review geared toward the steelhead fisherman. I am qualified to perform this review.

Today, we review the G.Loomis 9 foot, 9 inch 8 weight GL3 fly rod case.

My small children jump on and off of the couch, despite that it angers me. Yesterday, I flipped the couch over. Of the fourteen springs under my couch, only five still remain attached. As a result, when one sits on the couch, that sinking sensation is real: you will be hard-pressed to get up without assistance, no matter how physically fit you are. It seemed that reattaching the springs would not be simple, and with my limited tool kit, essentially impossible.

And so, I cleverly used two nylon tie-down straps to secure the G.Loomis 9 foot, 9 inch 8 weight GL3 fly rod case into place, essentially holding the broken springs against the underside of the couch, where they belong. The fly rod that is normally housed in that G.Loomis 9 foot, 9 inch 8 weight GL3 fly rod case is a two-piece fly rod; hence, this particular rod case is the only one I own that is long enough to accomplish this task.

Despite my optimism upon completing this task, we cannot give the G.Loomis 9 foot, 9 inch 8 weight GL3 fly rod case a perfect review because, despite a clearly noticeable improvement, the couch does not feel "like new".

Also, my five-year-old jumped off of the somewhat springier couch and landed on my G.Loomis 9 foot, 9 inch 8 weight GL3 fly rod, which was no longer in its case, thus snapping the rod cleanly.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Making love in a canoe

Here is an American Beer Menu [sic]. It has not been Photoshopped, but is an authentic beer menu from the otherwise entirely despicable River House Restaurant, Pulaski, NY (which you should check out if paying lots of money for dreadful service of really bad food is your thing). As your eyes testify, the list contains nae beer. The 23 lagers it contains are so similar you won't notice one from t'other, but care not friends; because they are all very poor. My mother-in-law said that they taste a lot like making love in a canoe. Not what a son-in-law most wants to hear, but she is right.  

American "Beer"

noun / beer/bi(ə)r/

An alcoholic beverage usually made from malted cereal grain (as barley), flavored with hops, and brewed by slow fermentation.

noun / lager/ ˈlägər/

Originally a German beer, effervescent and light in color and body, now made in immense quantities in the United States. A lot like making love in a canoe. 

If fucking close to water is really your thing, I suggest you buy an actual canoe. Sport Billy has a really nice one for sale at a rather good price. In the meantime, do consider visiting Scotland, where real hospitality - and real ale - awaits! 

Carry on. 


Monday, January 2, 2012

I got to walk in the woods, fish, and drink

This flask is Scottish, much like English Jonny.  The whiskey was American, like Brayshaw.

Says Jonny: “Ultimately, it's surprising that you were the only person fooling around videoing yourself on a riverbank. What do the millions of others do?”


I asked my wife if she thought I should start drinking more, and she said "Are you joking?"  She even suggested I might consider drinking less. But, she's my wife, and of course she's going to say that.  She doesn't want to hurt my feelings.  But I do think that once she sees the new, drunker me, she'll probably say something like "Well, I didn't want to make you feel bad, in case you failed, but Honey, I am so proud of you."

Ice was a problem.

I don't know.  (And I was there.)