Thursday, December 31, 2015

Take Your Kids Fishing In 2016

A Lunar New Year

Everything you want to know about the moon in 2016.

"Monopoly: 1955" by Barbara Crooker

We start by fanning out the money, colored
like Necco wafers: pink, yellow, mint, gold.
From the first roll of the dice, differences widen:
the royal blues of Boardwalk and Park Place
look down their noses at the grapey immigrants
from Baltic and Mediterranean Avenues.
My grandparents coming from Italy in steerage
measured their gold in olive oil, not bank notes
and deeds. The man in the top hat and tuxedo
always holds the good cards. The rest of us
hope we can pay the Electric Company.
We know there is no such thing as Free Parking,
and Bank Errors are never in our favor.
In the background, Johnny Mathis croons
Chances Are from the cracked vinyl radio.
We played for hours, in those years
before television, on the Formica table,
while my mother coaxed a chicken,
cooking all day on the back burner, to multiply
itself into many meals. The fat rose to the surface,
a roiling ocean of molten gold.

"Monopoly: 1955" by Barbara Crooker from Gold. © Cascade Books, 2013.

Is There Such a Thing as Wilderness Anymore?

What exactly is wilderness, and is there any left? This question and many others are posed by an insightful new book, Satellites In The High Country.

Is there such a thing as wilderness anymore?

By: Jaymi Heimbuch
December 27, 2015, 10:03 a.m.

Recently I sat down with a book that within a chapter or two had me reanalyzing that every opinion I hold about what nature is, what wilderness is and what we can, can't, should and shouldn't do to our planet. This book is "Satellites in the High Country: Searching for the Wild in the Age of Man" by Jason Mark.

To most conservationists, there's nothing more sacred than wilderness and no act more honorable than to preserve and protect it. But what exactly is wilderness? Is there a way to use it that is of benefit to both humans and the environment? Mark goes looking for answers, searching out any remnants of untouched wilderness, exploring the various sides of controversial projects that help or hinder the health of an ecosystem, unraveling this oddly complicated relationship we have with trying to micromanage wilderness in an effort to perpetuate it and celebrating wilderness's wily ability to escape even our most valiant efforts to contain it.

Read more.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

"Lost" by David Wagoner

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.

"Lost" by David Wagoner from Traveling Light: Collected and New Poems. © University of Illinois Press, 1999.

Brush Fishing

A lovely little escape to green bowers, birdsong, a babbling brook, and hungry browns. Don't wake me up.

The Beauty of the Waning Year

A little light broke through the overcast yesterday, briefly colorizing a monochromatic world, and emphasizing the beauty of the waning year.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Sweet Pain

I've had fishing on my mind. But then again, I always have fishing on my mind. I've been watching the river, but conditions have been typical for this time of year: as soon as the high water drops to fishable levels the ice sets in. So for now I'm focused on Rocky Ford.

I tied up some flies well before the Christmas rush. Some scuds. Some mays. Some soft hackles. And a couple of mice. Bigger hooks on the mice this time. The 2X tippet is waiting by the fly box ready to go. There are fresh batteries in my headlamp. And the days are getting longer.

I must have been a good boy, because on Christmas morning there was a new pair of waders under the tree for me. Oh boy oh boy. They were sorely needed. I can't wait to break them in, slime them up, and blood them with one or two of those big Rocky Ford Rainbows.

I don't know yet when that will be. Probably not until next year. The real winter weather has settled in: snow, ice, freezing fog, and frigid temperatures. That has made travel a dicey proposition on most days. The trip to Rocky Ford is two hours over high flats where windblown snow, impenetrable fog, and black ice can ruin your day. 

So I'm biding my time. We've been having some wonderful family time, and that will continue over New Year's. There may be a football game to watch this week. (That's a joke.) And I'll be monitoring the weather and road conditions.

Through it all I'll be earnestly engaged in what Albert Camus called "the sweet pain of anticipation." That says it so well. I wonder if he was a fly fisherman.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

"A Short Testament" by Anne Porter

Whatever harm I may have done
In all my life in all your wide creation
If I cannot repair it
I beg you to repair it,

And then there are all the wounded
The poor the deaf the lonely and the old
Whom I have roughly dismissed
As if I were not one of them. 
Where I have wronged them by it 
And cannot make amends 
I ask you 
To comfort them to overflowing,

And where there are lives I may have withered around me,
Or lives of strangers far or near
That I’ve destroyed in blind complicity,
And if I cannot find them 
Or have no way to serve them,

Remember them. I beg you to remember them

When winter is over
And all your unimaginable promises
Burst into song on death’s bare branches.

"A Short Testament" by Anne Porter from Living Things. © Zoland Books, 2006.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

"The Bee Carol" by Carol Ann Duffy

Silently on Christmas Eve,
the turn of midnight’s key;
all the garden locked in ice —
a silver frieze —
except the winter cluster of the bees.

Flightless now and shivering,
around their Queen they cling;
every bee a gift of heat;
she will not freeze 
within the winter cluster of the bees. 

Bring me for my Christmas gift
a single golden jar;
let me taste the sweetness there,
but honey leave 
to feed the winter cluster of the bees. 

Come with me on Christmas Eve
to see the silent hive —
trembling stars cloistered above —
and then believe, 
bless the winter cluster of the bees. 

"The Bee Carol" by Carol Ann Duffy from The Bees. © Faber & Faber, Inc., 2011.

The Longest Night

A beautiful cut paper/silhouette stop motion animation observing the Winter Solstice. Music, words, art and animation by Angie Pickman. Thanks to The Wood Between.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Christmas Moon 2015

There will be a full moon this Christmas for the first time since 1977. It will rise at 4:04 PM on Christmas Eve, reach the crest of its full phase (residing exactly 180 degrees from the sun in ecliptic longitude) at 3:11 AM on Christmas morning, and set at 7:35 AM. (All times Pacific Standard Time.)

That means Santa will be making his run this year in the light of the full moon.

There won't be another full moon on Christmas until 2034, so I hope you will be able to make the full moon a part of your Christmas Eve or early Christmas morning.

The December full moon is called the Cold Moon, for obvious reasons, or the Longest Night Moon, for its proximity to the Winter Solstice. But this year we can without hesitation call it what it is: the Christmas Moon.

DUN, Winter 2015


Get your cheer HERE.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Happy Solstice!

The separation of day and night at Winter Solstice 2015.
From Earthsky.

I'm posting this at 8:48 P.M. PST (4:48 UT, December 22), the very moment of the Winter Solstice. The sun, from our viewpoint on this spinning globe, has reached as far south as it will go, and is now beginning to move back north. We in the Northern Hemisphere have made it through the darkest time of the year. Now, this minute, the journey back to light and warmth, a long, beautiful journey, has begun.

Have a great trip.

Friday, December 18, 2015

"Images of the West: The Silence of Art" by James R. Hepworth

Images of the West: The Silence of Art

On poetry and fly fishing

Written by James R. Hepworth  
March 2010

SO MUCH HAS BEEN WRITTEN about fly fishing and about poetry — and so little of it written well — that writing about poetry and fly-fishing should count as an easy task, yet neither the art of fly-fishing nor the art of poetry require much discussion. Both are best practiced in silence.
We all know this, yet few of us practice the art of silence well, either.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Another Creek Cracker

Throw another creek cracker on the barbie.

Hooking into a nice Brown Trout on the dry fly in a small creek. The trout was cruising and feeding. When I placed the cast he moved from the left under bank and came back. I lift the flyline leaving the leader on the water. You can see the dry floating toward him. Once it was out of my sight I'm listening for the take, then I set the hook and it's on! can see him take the fly on camera!

"Twilight" by JYA

The lake rises and falls in long cool breaths.
An eagle skims the last glow of sunset,

folds itself into a shadow of pines.
Loons call down the darkness.

A flurry of bats flits out the last light.
Ducks rush overhead with

a sound like tearing velvet.
Stars pour down, and trout

pluck them from
the still surface

one by one.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Days Off

Illustrations by Frank E. Schoonover, 1877 - 1972, appearing in the book Days Off by Henry Van Dyke, published in 1907.

"Over in Montana" by William Stafford

"Winter Peregrine" by Nicholas Oberling

Winter stops by for a visit each year.
Dead leaves cluster around. They know what is
coming. They listen to some silent song.

At a bend in the Missouri, up where
it’s clear, teal and mallards lower
their wings and come gliding in.

A cottonwood grove gets ready. Limbs
reach out. They touch and shiver.
These nights are going to get cold.

Stars will sharpen and glitter. They make
their strange signs in a rigid pattern
above hollow trees and burrows and houses—

The great story weaves closer and closer, millions of
touches, wide spaces lying out in the open,
huddles of brush and grass, all the little lives.

"Over in Montana" by William Stafford from Even In Quiet Places. © Confluence Press, 1996.


Enjoy the winter, knowing that this is on the other side....

Creekside from Montana Wild on Vimeo.
***Please watch in HD***
Things got hot in a hurry here in Montana, so Travis decided to take an afternoon and hit the rivers.
Camera/Edit: Zack Boughton
Music: Happiness (Instrumental) by The Foreign Exchange

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Fishing Is Good For You

Nice. Go to the link below for the full version.


Ol' Blue Eyes

A salute to Sinatra on the occasion of the centennial of his birth (December 12).

And, for good measure...

Fly Fishing in the Snowy Mountains

Some sweetness from Down Under.

Fly-Fishing in the Snowy Mountains from Aussie Fly Fisher on Vimeo.
Australia’s Snowy Mountains – with it’s high country plains, wild brumbies and kangaroos, and streams full of wild brown trout – is home to some of the country’s most beautiful alpine scenery.
Join fly-fishing guide, Josh Hutchins from Aussie Fly Fisher, as he convinces his novice wife to join him on a fishing trip on the Eucumbene River in May 2015.

Monday, December 14, 2015

"20 Things Ancient Chinese Poets Taught Me" by Leath Tonino

1. A good staff is handy in the mountains, as is a bottle of wine, as is the rising moon.

2. Dangling a fishhook off a flat rock in the middle of a river for all eternity may or may not be possible but it’s worth a try.

3. It’s better to be addicted to moss than wealth, sex, or fame.

4. Few joys rival walking an old path in new weather.

5. A cloud can eat ten thousand pines, an entire valley, the sky, and your name.

6. A cloud can also be worn as a jacket.

7. Even when clouds are metaphors they remain clouds.

8. Ditto for ringing bells.

9. Trust ferns.

10. On a calm lake at night one can row a small wooden boat across the stars.

11. Watching plum blossoms come and go makes people very happy but also very sad.

12. Ditto for cherry blossoms.

13. Ditto for peach blossoms.

14. When feeling homesick while traveling pay attention to the local birds because they carry a piece of the land you miss in their mouths as a song.

15. Winter is a mood as well as a season.

16. There are places worth visiting that can only be reached by sitting silently in an empty room.

17. A paw print in the mud is enough.

18. A red leaf curled at the edges is more than enough.

19. A book of poems and a pot of tea are almost too much to handle.

20. A ringing bell is a ringing bell.

Joseph Tomerelli Fish Drawings

Joseph Tomerelli can draw fish. These are from a collection of fish of the Salish Sea.

Read more about them HERE.