Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Lord Willin' and the Creek Don't Rise

Another precious day of the waning season gone without fishing.

Tomorrow will find me on the water for sure, Lord willin' and the creek don't rise.

Monday, September 29, 2014

"Late September on the Russian River" by John E. Smelcer

"An Autumnal Sunset On the Russian River" by William Keith, 1878

The trees turn, suddenly,
as dawn rolls up what night unwound--
their slender necks
like tundra swans in shallow ponds.

There is no comforting chill
in the gray air,
only a screed of birds
scrawled on a bare sky.

Fog arrives in the narrow valley,
gray wings cupped like snow geese
landing between deserted stars
in morning's porcelain light.

A trout waves in a shadow
across smooth stone,
and while I watch, a bear--sleek and black--
crosses the river and fades off winterward.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

North 40 Fly Shop, October 2014

The Big R Fly Shop is now the North 40 Fly Shop. The Omak shop is my nearest decent fly shop, so I'm giving it a shout out. Read the mag HERE. (Some steelhead talk going on.)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Friday, September 26, 2014

It's Looking Octoberish


Pumpkin pumpkin 
big and round, 
I'm glad you grow 
upon the ground. 
I'm glad you don't 
grow in a tree 
for then you might 
fall down on me.

Pumpkins by the barn.
Pumpkins by the house.
Pumpkins by the wagon.
Pumpkins by the mouse.

Pumpkins by the fence.
Pumpkins by the cat.
Pumpkins by the scarecrow.
Pumpkins by the hat.

Pumpkins by the table.
Pumpkins by the chair.
Pumpkins by the door.
Pumpkins everywhere!

Just in Time
What a funny seed I found,
I wondered what would grow?
So I planted it in the ground,
And now I know!

Little leaves were first to sprout,
Growing in a line,
Then golden blossoms opened out
Along the vine.

And then something grew and grew and grew!
The biggest ever seen!
And now I have a pumpkin--
Just in time for HALLOWEEN!

Youth Sports Post: Jeremiah Gets His Turn to Break One For a Touchdown

Jeremiah played in the JV game on Monday. On Varsity, his big brother Isaiah is the primary running back, and Jeremiah plays mostly defense. But on JV, Jeremiah gets the opportunity to stretch his legs.

It was mostly hard going in the game on Monday, and he was pretty sore the next day. But he broke one for an 80 yard touchdown run. Pretty sweet, and, I have to say, a sign of things to come.

Nice work, Jeremiah.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Trout Lake Report: Welcome Back, Fall

You celebrate the First Day of Fall with a trip to the lake. The last vestiges of summer are quickly disappearing.

You've tied up a new muddler with a bright orange marabou tail. You throw it up against the bank in John's Cove, give it a strip, and a Rainbow comes clear out of the water--and misses the fly.

You cast it in again and let it sit. The Rainbow comes clear out of the water again, but this time it hooks itself. It's a heavy fish, too thick to grip one-handed.

You turn the corner out of John's Cove and head down the shoreline into the south lake.

You cast the fly up along the shoreline, or in openings in the weed mats. You go through the drill: first let it sit, then strip it in. On this day the strip is the trigger.

The predicted rain begins to fall, and the evening looks even more like Fall.

You get another hard hit. The fish runs, then thrashes. It feels like a ton of bricks. You suspect what eventually is confirmed: foul hooked. How did that happen?

You're having so much fun that you just keep on going all the way to the south end. 

You get another hard hit, and the fish jumps and thrashes and twists and rolls. It's another nice Brown. You get it close and get its head up and see immediately that the fly is barely hooked in its upper lip. You try to be careful. You try to hurry. But you're still fumbling for the net when the fly pops out and the Brown fades away like the summer.

You troll your way back. You get tugs, and bumps, and one temporary hookup. It was a good evening.

Good bye, Summer. Welcome back, Fall.

"Homecoming" by W.S. Merwin

"Moonrise Over Usk" by Flora McLachlan

Once only when the summer
was nearly over and my own
hair had been white as the day's clouds
for more years than I was counting
I looked across the garden at evening
Paula was still weeding around
flowers that open after dark
and I looked up to the clear sky
and saw the new moon and at that
moment from behind me a band
of dark birds and then another
after it flying in silence
long curving wings hardly moving
the plovers just in from the sea
and the flight clear from Alaska
half their weight gone to get them home
but home now arriving without
a sound as it rose to meet them

"Homecoming" by W.S. Merwin from The Moon Before Morning. © Copper Canyon Press, 2014. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Youth Sports Post: Win Number Two

Our team got a victory in game two, but neither of our boys played. Isaiah had a hamstring issue, and Jeremiah had an unexcused absence issue. Both had improved by last Friday, I'm happy to say, and took the field for game three. I haven't had time to work on the video, but I extracted a few frames for this report.

It's still amazing to me to see them on the field together. Jeremiah is number 29, and Isaiah wears number 24.

Isaiah had another stellar game, running for four touchdowns. Here he sweeps left for his first score.

And here he breaks free for a forty yard gain.

Jeremiah had said after the first game that he didn't think football was fun. It probably wasn't then. He plays defense, and got blocked hard for most of the game. So this time he decided to be proactive, I guess. He seemed to have lots of fun, especially on kickoffs like this one.

He would level his man, then pop up to get in on the tackle. He also got this beautiful solo open-field tackle.

And, as a corner back who takes his inspiration from the Seahawks' Richard Sherman, he covered his man like a rug and broke up a pass on this play.

So we had another great Friday night under the lights, and our team went away with a 41 to 6 win to bring their record to 2 and 1.

Now I have a few things to do before heading down the road for a Monday game. Jeremiah will play with the Junior Varsity today against one of our chief rivals. Word is they're pretty good this year.

Looking forward to it.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

"The Lake Isle of Innisfree" by William Butler Yeats

The Isle of Innisfree, in Loch Gill, on the outskirts of Sligo, Ireland.
Photo by Tom Bartel.

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,

And evening full of the linnet's wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

"The Lake Isle of Innisfree" by William Butler Yeats. Public Domain. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014


Trout Lake Report: Simple Pleasures

The orchards are being emptied out everywhere in this long and fruitful valley. This one is ready for the pickers to descend on it. They'll be here soon.

Once these boxes are full they'll be loaded on trucks...

...and hauled to the big packers for global distribution. 

But just across the road from home some are displayed for self-service sale.

So on a beautiful September evening at the lake when the fishing is slow...

...you can finish off your simple supper with a crisp, sweet apple fresh from the tree.