Monday, July 2, 2012

Reflections on June, Blogging, and The Slam

June was a busy month. It was busy with work and family activities, and it was busy with fishing trips. I fished a lot. Fourteen times over the month I was at one lake or another for an average, I suppose, of five hours each time. That's more than usual. At least by a little bit.

The event that increased my number of trips in June was the Brown Drake hatch. (I've been calling them "Hex," a bow to the local common name. But they're Brown Drakes. Big, beautiful Brown Drakes.) This year we hit the high end of the cycle, and the hatch was, as I've noted on this blog several times, spectacular.

Some people don't understand this, but in the same way I wouldn't think of missing an important event like Christmas, for example, I also wouldn't think of missing a natural event like this hatch. It's the same reason I want to go outside when there's a thunderstorm, or a full moon, or a flight of Sandhills passing by high overhead. These are special moments in life, and I am enriched when I can observe and celebrate them. I would go further to say that with man-made events like holidays it can be a struggle to escape their commercialization and cheapening, and to discover and experience their true meaning. But the natural events all around us come to us pure and unadulterated. Our spirits hunger for what they provide so abundantly: reality and authenticity.

So I went several days in a row, not just to be there for the hatch, but to be a part of the hatch. That was awesome in itself, but the hatch also coincided with another awesome natural phenomenon, the lengthening of days leading up to the summer solstice. For me, that was a life-changing experience. I lost myself in an endless hatch on an eternal evening. It was wonderful.

It also meant I got home late after those trips, and got behind in my posts. And, with the other things I was busy with, I failed to respond to many of your comments. I really appreciate your comments, and I apologize for my lack of response. I'll try to do better.

Mark has raised a good question several times. He wonders how I manage to fish all those lakes all alone. First, I avoid the lakes that are really crowded. Second, the truth is that I am seldom the only one at the lakes I fish, although that does happen occasionally. When Trout Lake is "crowded," for example, there may be seven or eight other boats and watercraft out. But it's a big lake, and there's plenty of room for everybody. And, I confess, when I frame my photos I leave out the other boats, and the RV's stacked up in the campgrounds. At Cutthroat Lake there are three homes along the waterside, but you'll seldom if ever see them in my shots. I prefer--the photographer's prerogative--to focus on the wild and scenic aspects of the places I fish. That is the true essence of those places, and that's what I seek when I go there.

I'm fortunate to be where I am with the fishing opportunities I have. When we moved here I knew there would be good fishing, but it has turned out even better than I expected. I'm also fortunate that I have been able to make fishing not just a hobby or a pastime but a way of life. It wasn't always that way, especially during my sojourn in Chicago before we came here. I was lucky to fish five or six times a year. I remember sitting in the apartment surfing the web looking at all the beautiful places I wished I could fish, and all the beautiful trout I wished I could catch. And now I'm here, and I'm catching them.

That is what I want to show on this blog. I don't want to sell anything, or compete with anybody. I simply want to celebrate fly fishing, the natural world, the beauty of trout, and the joy of connecting with them through skill and experience. I hope this blog depicts in a simple and straightforward way what I was hungering for back in my Chicago days, and what I am so grateful for now.

Finally, June provided me with the opportunity to try for that Grand Slam again: four species of trout caught in a month. I missed it in May, but this time I got it done. It says little about me or my skills, but it speaks volumes about my wonderful home waters.


  1. Jim
    Nice looking trout, and the colors are amazing. Thanks for sharing

  2. Aha, the truth comes out. Sleight of hand with the camera. Truth be told, the pictures are much much better without the other "guy" in them. Thanks Jim, I'll keep following.