Fitovers

Fly anglers, let’s talk on-stream eyewear.

I am nearsighted. I am too lazy for contacts, and too chickenshit to get Lasik (as designated driver for my nearsighted wife, I watched Ms. Chili get Lasiked on CCTV at the optometrist – scared straight, kids). My night vision is actually quite good, and I can make the love without my glasses on (but the lights stay off, and I cry), but I am committed to a pursuit that requires excellent vision and depth perception, polarized lenses for seeing through the water, and protection from sunlight, and the prescription required by my weak-ass, cold-got-a-late-pass-from-natural-selection eyes precludes the wraparound shape of prescription sunglasses that the cool kids sport. I’ve tried plain old prescription sunglasses that didn’t wrap around, but the glare from the sides on a bright day made me so sad. Smith Optics be all Boston Butt smoked over post oak splits, Lenscrafters be all canned ham in the cafeteria.

Thank Texas Instruments purists, the Kim dynasty of the DPROK, and senior citizens everywhere for Fitovers. Continue reading

Smallmouth Alley, August 2002

Or, the transience of serendipity.

Winter, perilous with reflection, & c. …¬†you remember. I woke up well before dawn today, a Saturday, the last day of 2011. I woke up because I was haunted by warmwater. Let the dog out, made a huge mug of black tea (Ceylon Vithakananda Estate in a Big Gulp), and sat down to continue remembering a dream that revisited one of the linchpin moments in my flyfishing life. Bear with me while I get all philosophickal and maudlin.

I won’t say where Smallmouth Alley is, not because I don’t want it spoiled by punters – except for on one storybook dreamtime day in August 2002, there’s fuckall there to be spoiled. The GPS coordinates are irrelevant because¬†Smallmouth Alley isn’t a where, it’s a when.

Actually, I'm sort of lying. This ate a little orange popper and put a wicked hurt on the VPS in August of '09. But it was the only fish I got all day.

But I digress. We must return to a time when transport was Slint’s (bless him and keep him, you remember) Troutmobile, a time of non-breathable bootfoot waders and Terminator X Fitovers and a borrowed club of a 5 weight.

Continue reading

Middle Root, 2002

Far-off and maddening spring, when it’s all next, next, next. Bust out enough of this pattern to loan or lose in a week, block out the time and square away obligations to catch this hatch, re-up on tippet before the first trip, then get to the river as much as you can and soak it up like a solar panel. No. Sedentary winter, cold and slow, is perilous with reflection, hours and hours of Taurean dark streaked comet-like by tumblers of distillate, its accretion of seasons as imponderable and no less miraculous than your own.

My first trout came, as I reckon it here from this chair, when I was twenty six and out of work, spending a summer learning to fly fish in spring creeks. Continue reading