Preceding the release of "Pulp Fly: Volume Three" coming soon in early December, the Powers That Be masterminded to produce audio of my contribution to the forthcoming collection. Now freely available for download on the Pulp Fly website. Hope you all enjoy! And many thanks to Michael Gracie and Bruce Smithhammerfor their organization, patient editing, and detailed work.
bugs are gonna start popping…” Jay’s voice floats on the last gust from the
west end of the lake. Standing in willow bog to my ankles, glacial fed water
numbs mosquito bites as I untangle my line from roseroot drooping over peat
banks as Narcissus.
minutes the wind dies, towards sunset.
And here, for moments, all is as it should be. At least as I’ve worked
it out in my head. Midges hatch, trout rise, and soon we will go to bed with
the sun. Like being tucked in by a woodstove on a snowy day, this, is a world put
to rights. Balanced, my feet on its tip-top, standing on its head peaked with
white crowns. Here, I see clearly. Through the clouds that build every day is
the reminder that while they are constant; yet they will part, break up, move
on. The twilight will fall into darkness, and in the cycle of lives they are always
there and will remain. Circling like seasons on a preschool felt board –
Nature plays her hand as we learn. And hopefully, remember.
these moments, which threaded together make the memories that make lives. Holes
here and there, yet holding strong. They are a narrative of time, place, people
– the stories that when once we reach the end, stick together like a song. Like
the old one you pushed on a shelf, marked in a red-bound hymnal that comes back
again and again, worming a hole in your ear and doubt. For in it, you can hear
your mother singing and taste grape juice waiting for amen on your tongue.
Runoff is in full swing here on Colorado’s Front Range. Like
an old woman, the mountains slowly lose their white until only wisps are left
straggling down. Winter’s tendrils grasping in cirques and north faces long
Sometimes…they never leave.
Snowpack now makes small streams whitewater roar and
reservoirs slowly fill back up again, after last year’s dismal low. The
pounding snows of May came through at the end, like any good play in a game -- winter’s
trump upon trump. Complete with cheering on my part. And any angler who did
not, should have their license revoked, that’s what I say.
The benefit of being a multi-species angler is evident at
this time of year: I can still find good
fishing. Water levels on the mudflats are higher and murkier than they have
been -- and the buoy line on the best of the beaches has been placed, holding
through the summer season to protect shoreline bird breeding habitat. But there
are carp – and white bass, crappie, and smallmouth bass – cruising and willing
(with enough convincing -- like fathers and borrowing the car when you're 16), to take a fly.
While tailwater anglers must deal with
each other and city-pond-fishers the homeless…reservoir carpers combat
pelicans, bloated prairie dogs, and protective large-homed old women yelling
out their windows should you get too close.
We waded far and deep, Jay, Ivan and I -- long rounds that
would leave us all dehydrated and seeing phantoms – like walking through woods
as night falls, with an active imagination. You
can see almost anything. But that comes with the territory, I guess: moving
water and blinding sun. Focusing on a single point while the world moves around
you, keeps you steady. That’s why driving if you get carsick works.
So now, you just have to focus on the task at hand – that large shadow
swiftly moving away – and catch up.
After an early spring morning (in both month and hour) of pike fishing with Ivan Orsic, Sean Hudson, Jay Zimmerman, and Russell Schnitzer, I was very pleased to be
able work on an essay/photo collaboration with Russ. You can find the piece, “Among the Dinosaurs,”
published in the "Waterlines" department in the current issue (July/August 2013) of AmericanAngler.