a farewell to farms

The smell of freshly-spread hog manure on ochre September fields was heavy in the air on the banks of the Big Muddy, but the biggest farmer stood in the bow on what was probably Squatto’s 2012 smallmouth float swan song, and that farmer is blogging before you now.  Continue reading

Hella Bronze 2: the Rebronzening

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In which your author continues his drifty-rowing apprenticeship, beers are mortgaged before the sun is over the trees and the Dark One proceeds to party, Storm Shadow appears and does St. Croix bujitsu on topper eaters for ten entire consecutive minutes of hot popwater action, and a rigorously halfassed beef jerky taste test proves conclusively that Jack Link’s Carne Seca is still the one to beat.

Hella bronze

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This iridescent pencil popper is what propels me. Break your back and crack your oars. Somewhere there’s a >20″ Microptera specimen that your author tussled with for a long time before the hook came loose at the boat and it took the googly doll eye with it, and from hell’s heart I stab at thee. On a brighter note: T-Can ringadings her first bronze power and Slint trick nets an otherwise LDR’d bass, eliciting fist pumps from the bow. Just nice be out, Moby Dickmunch.

All photos except “Squatto-12” courtesy of Slint. Arigato, Slint.

Last night’s reading

Insomnia struck. I extracted a book from the shelf in the dark, crept downstairs, turned on a lamp. Came across this passage past midnight on couch:

“He is plucky, game, brave, and, when hooked, unyielding to the last. He has the arrowy rush and vigor of a trout, the untiring strength and bold leap of a salmon, while he has a system of fighting tactics peculiarly his own. I consider him inch for inch and pound for pound, the gamest fish that swims.”

– Dr. James A. Henshall, Book of the Black Bass, 1881

And Book of the Black Bass is my new band name, so step off.

2011

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.

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