Steelhead. Chasing chrome. Unicorns. An addiction, the most extreme form of freshwater fly fishing, a polemical and political minefield, where angling etiquette goes to die. The swing is the thing, strike indicators are for pussies, why don’t you want to actually catch a fish, it’s not as good as it used to be, this is our river you Fucking Illinois Bastards.
The rhetoric of steelheading as identity gets a tad exhausting. Can’t everybody be cool? It should be enough that they’re here, and we’re here, and that they’re miraculously ascending their natal system again before their cometlike peregrinations take them back beyond our ken, and that we’re casting flies at them instead of sitting at a desk or commuting or filing our taxes or any of the other muddy gray things that cast no light on the stony road of the inevitable. Why do so many of us have to be so loud and 21st century about it?
Hey, swinger. I get it, you’re a cowboy. Keep stepping down the run, John Wayne.
And you, with the strike indicators … don’t listen to them. You can be proud or ashamed, just keep doing your thing, but wait your turn. This isn’t Thunderdome.
And you, with the bait … you’re going do what you’re going to do, and you’re never ever going to read this anyway.
And all of you pick the hell up after yourselves and stay the fuck off the gravel. This isn’t your garage, and just cause it’s a self-sustaining population doesn’t mean we can’t still fuck it up.
The punter evening shift was hiking down as the the punter day shift – the Dark One and your author – were hiking up. Their waders were all dry and did not have goose shit on them. Their hands did not smell like fish slime and beef jerky, and were not coated with the earthly residue of mashed-up midge larvae or mayflies squished on the wing.
“Get any?” the evening shift asked.
“Nymphs or dries?”
Ninja, please. Do you see any Thingamabobbers?
I won’t sit here and feed you a line about why it’s not called “catching” or about the crushing continuation of a beatdown that started on a fishing pier above some wily sunfish almost a year ago now; but the best thing about fishing with a 3 year old is that they always think it’s just nice be out. And the Monster still has that skunk on her back. Continue reading
I am not a prayerful man, and this is not in Polish, but as we turn our eyes thaw-ward to Spawn 2012 and the bounty promised unto us therein, please take the life choices illustrated below under advisement: Continue reading
Second stand of the fall run: staying behind.
The era of wifi has made the role of Fighter Command obsolete, as Punter Patrol can now smear batter grease and Spotted Cow over the NOAA and USGS feeds on their mobile devices of an evening in the ROP watershed. No need to call home. These are different times.
Left to imagine the Dark One, Professor Cheeseburger, and Slint riding their ponies single file to hide their numbers, slopping down hills of red mud, gentlemanly low-holing one another in the fabled, historied pools of our river: Vin Diesel, Washington Generals, Nelson’s Glory Hole, Gay Lamprey.
I believe I will brew some beer.
The amazing light, it did not help the cause.
Fresh it ain’t, but flows this week on the ROP are a lot like they were this week in history. Seemed like a good time to go back and review what we’ve learned, and reflect on the importance of keeping records.
[in keeping with this blog’s rigorous editorial standards, pool/run names and identifying landmarks have been redacted]
Fishing, I mean – there’s no justification for blogging. Bear with me, this question is going to come up now and then. Answering it is one of the deep motivations for starting this blog, but I promise I won’t try to excuse the forum. Continue reading