Saturday, August 30, 2014

Alaska's Inside Passage

Looking for a pretty place to go? My brother Pete recently took his family on a cruise through Alaska's Inside Passage, and he could hardly wait to share these photos with the rest of us. Since receiving them, I could hardly wait to share them with you.

Meet you there.

All photos by Peter Albright. Thanks, Pete.


Mendenhall Glacier

Mendenhall Glacier, Nugget Falls


South Sawyer Glacier, Tracy Arm Fjord

Friday, August 29, 2014

Trout Lake Report: The Inlet Continues to Give

You can't stay away.

This is why. Another Brown comes off the flats and rips into a Callibaetis dry.

The evening had promised calm weather, but a storm comes stalking out of the west.

At first it makes no difference, and there's a flurry of rises.

But then the wind increases, starts to swirl, puts the fish down, and finally blows you home.

Youth Sports Post: Football On the Brink

Another practice begins. 

Season opener is Friday, September 5. Both of my boys are playing this year.

Looking forward to it.

Monday, August 25, 2014

"Postscript" by Seamus Heaney

                                         "West Coast of Ireland" by Robert Henri, 1913

And some time make the time to drive out west
Into County Clare, along the Flaggy Shore,
In September or October, when the wind
And the light are working off each other
So that the ocean on one side is wild
With foam and glitter, and inland among stones
The surface of a slate-grey lake is lit
By the earthed lightning of a flock of swans,
Their feathers roughed and ruffling, white on white,
Their fully grown headstrong-looking heads
Tucked or cresting or busy underwater.
Useless to think you'll park and capture it
More thoroughly. You are neither here nor there,
A hurry through which known and strange things pass
As big soft buffetings come at the car sideways
And catch the heart off guard and blow it open.

"Postscript" by Seamus Heaney, from The Spirit Level. © Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1996.

Trout Lake Report: Celebrations

You usually leave good weather behind and drive into rain when you go up to the lake. This time you leave the rain behind.

It's dry at the lake, but you notice the first unmistakable signs of the turning of the seasons.

You tie on a hopper, just to be seasonal, and start across to the inlet. You notice that the sky is full of swallows. This is the time they flock and head south, so you are happy to be able to see them again before they go.

While you're looking up you see an eagle riding the high updrafts on the edge of the storm as it slides by the lake.

And over by the inlet you watch two Kingfishers noisily fishing.

You get down to fishing, too. You cast the hopper out in open water and let the breeze drift it. There's a splashy take, a ripping run across the flats, and some work to do to get the fish to the net.

Here's why: foul-hooked.

You tie on a smaller hopper and work around the babbling inlet stream.

Fish begin making themselves known, and a cast to a rise gets an enthusiastic take.

Callibaetis start their dance, midges and Little Black Caddis join them, and fish begin to rise everywhere. This is an evening rise like the old days, a celebration of summer's bounty. 

Before changing flies you show them the little hopper. They're more than willing to take it.

Then you hook something that quickly breaks you off. There are some big fish lurking in those weed beds. Was it that big Brown you've been seeing?

So you go with a small green muddler and continue to catch fish.

One of them is yet another Brown.

You catch a survivor with half a tail. You think you know what might have happened. Over the last few evenings you have been seeing other things lurking around the weed beds. Otters have been rolling and slashing through them.

After awhile the activity dies down. You're ready to go.

You watch the swallows as you kick back across. Hundreds are swooping and gliding up and down the lake. The sky seems full of them from horizon to horizon. It's beautiful and poignant, a joyful celebration of the summer that is--and was.