Thursday, February 27, 2014

Some thoughts on experts

Simply radiant.

“When you are younger you waste a great deal of time figuring out whether you are good or not. Later on you know perfectly well, good or bad or indifferent, and the problem drifts away.” 
                           - Jim Harrison, in Valdene’s “For a Handful of Feathers” 

Once upon a time, there was a king who lived with his queen in the castle upon the hill. The villagers liked their king because he would regularly regale them with tales of adventure and derring-do. In fact, he rarely shut the fuck up. He was particularly fond of talking about his lovely queen, whom he loved very much. She never left the castle so the villagers never actually saw her but they knew from his stories that she was the most beautiful woman in all the land. It was said that the stars shone through her eyes and that the Sun grew jealous at the sight of her radiant golden hair. They also knew, from his stories, that the two of them enjoyed amazing and frequent sex. There was little doubt among the villagers that the King was the most virile of men, and the most skilled in the ways of love. 

One day, a lone peasant was walking the small stream that flowed through the wood when he caught a glimpse of two people locked in love’s embrace upon the streamside’s mossy bed. He at once recognized the King and then deduced that his lover must be the pulchritudinous queen herself. He watched as long as he felt it was safe, then quietly slinked away. 

The next morning, the peasant and his friend were fishing for trout in the stream.

“I saw the Queen yesterday,” said the peasant.

“Really?” said his peasant friend.

“Yep. The King and Queen were right here, alongside the stream,” said the peasant.

“Well, is she as beautiful as they say?” asked the peasant friend. 

“No. She’s not real. She’s a blow-up doll,” he replied.

“A blow-up doll!? The villagers think she is real! The King is a liar!!” screamed the peasant friend.

“Well, not exactly,” said the peasant.

“What do you mean?” asked the peasant friend.

“He thinks she’s real too," answered the peasant. 

* * * *

At that moment, a very large brown trout rose and both anglers saw it. The peasant made a beautiful back cast, which quickly hung up in the branches behind him. The trout bolted downstream, far out of sight. 

The two peasants roared with laughter, the way some peasants do.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Fly Fishing Expo!

I went to my first ever fly fishing Expo yesterday. It was nice to see some friends,  many of whom have become experts and were thus demonstrating their skills, working up their brands, and hopefully selling shit. On the whole I found the experience as bizarre as I'd expected; a show about fly-fishing where products and angler status are pushed to the fore. I'm glad that my fishing isn't really like that, and that the industry is largely corralled into these mega-sales events. I think this was my last fly fishing expo.  

The best part was talking to a nice guy from the DEEP about the history of trout in Connecticut. He was knowledgeable and realistic about the whole thing. So what if he couldn't pronounce Loch Leven? I also got chatting to a Spey casting enthusiast who seemed as bemused at the whole expo thing as I was.

Yesterday also happened to be the first day for weeks when the temperature reached above freezing, so I had a quite word with myself about my own stupidity at being inside a hall full of fishing stuff. And that is how I came to fish a Class 1 WTMA in the northern part of the state. It hardly seems important that none of the fish* I pricked came to hand. Exploring this new stream was absolutely delightful, and I look forward to skipping other fly fishing expos so I can explore it some more.

Char hangout

I waded right through this deep bend, expertly letting my dry fly float the curve to waiting fish that were not there.

Walking on shelf ice is quite an exciting game for an angler in the region of 200lbs.

Indiana Jones and the Stream of Doom

Wintry mix

I met a man walking his pointers. He explained this whole area had been a private hunting ground for CT well-to-dos way back when. The woodlands and general landscape suggested as much. A real made to measure sporting estate.

My fishing rod.

I also visited the shoreline this week. It seems fishing is in full swing.

 This is one of my summer kayak put-ins. Any day now....

Surf is in no way up.

Ice plates

Fucking Winter


*Two, course.