Tuesday, March 4, 2014
It must be stated, right up front, that the picture above violates the only two rules governing these photo bins; that the images were taken in the current month and that I took them. Instead, this shot was taken a day or two before Christmas and by one of my "other sons" from the old neighborhood. (There's a long and wonderful story here of family that exists, not by the accident of birth, but, rather, by friendship and community and dedication to others. But that's a telling for another time.)
I take the liberty of posting it here because the image began as a composition/light challenged iPhone shot of the "family's" newest addition sharing some quiet time with Grandpa's lab and I was given, this month, the opportunity to try to save it with a little Lightroom magic. The Adobe gods smiled so I add this heartwarming creation here, despite the breach of protocol.
A shot like this is worth breaking a few rules.
Moving along to some images that play more according to Hoyle...
I suppose that if you live in the south, pictures of our recent snows are obligatory, even if most of the rest of the country is damn sick and tired of seeing them. Get over it, Michigan. It's an event down here and the world slides further into the ditch for us with every inch.
Off the back porch. Out the front door. Through the bedroom window. All the views were spectacular.
And since this is a fishing blog, I feel compelled to add some appropriate content. Here's a fairly unremarkable shot of a very remarkable angler. I add it, despite it's blandness, because I chuckle at the sign and wonder how you tell him not to.
Oh, and that reminds me of a story...
Kent Edmonds (TFO rep extraordinaire, among many other things) and I carried a Mangrove out to the disappointingly narrow demonstration pool at the Winston-Salem Fly Fishing Expo to give it a try. After a couple of casts I felt a tap on my shoulder and a gentleman asked if we minded sliding over just a bit so that he could show another the peculiarities of a particular bamboo rod. I turned, sized the guy up, and bit my tongue, wanting so badly to say "Are you kidding me? Who do you think you are? F@#king Lefty Kreh?!"
It was, of course, and Kent tells me I should have. Lefty would have loved it.
What is a Photo Bin?
Thursday, February 20, 2014
I shuffled through the rapidly accumulating Indiana snow, head down, buried deep in my overcoat and deeper in my thoughts. Adrift. The night air hung heavy; a thick winter pall, muting all sound and shrouding all sight; a white weight descending, smothering, despite the mortuary's parking lot lights' best efforts to pierce the soft obscurity.
Forgive me, kind reader, this cruel bait and switch, for this post is not about the fish pictured above, impressive though they be. Rather, it is about the young lady in the middle, holding the trophies. Truth be told, she was not a sportswoman - at least not for the years that I knew her - though the piles of photos we've wandered through these past couple of days hold their share of sepia-toned surprises; big bass just the beginning. Who is the girl? That vibrant young thing is my wife's mother, Emmy, who, I am so sad to say, left us this past week.
No obituary, this. No recount of the things she'd accomplished in her lifetime, as if there was room for them all to be listed here. This is no long tribute. Let the papers do that.
Instead, it is a simple thanks. For her smile. For her warmth. For her generosity. And for her gracious acceptance of me, though I turned up in her daughter's life at the most awkward of times. Thank you for so many things, dear Emmaline, but especially for that.
As my wife communicated the passing and simple details to friends and family, she, at one point, texted that her mother had slipped away, only to have a misplaced finger, no doubt assisted by misty eyes, misspell and send that she had skipped away. Mary quickly rectified the error, but its recipient replied that he rather liked the image of Emmy skipping happily once again, on to her next big challenge.
And as I trudged through the parking lot to clear the windshield and warm the cold car after the family visitation, surrounded by the hush of falling snow and heavy hearts, I, too, had to smile as I imagined the lass with the bass skipping away; pirouetting into the endless swirls of white.
Godspeed, dear Emmy. Godspeed.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
There's a couple good fires' worth ready on the deck
And a short stack covered up if we need more dry wood.
The truck's at the top of the hill, in as open a spot as we have on these acres.
The boxes of greens and garlic and onions are covered.
Warm blankets have been pulled from the closet.
The tub's full of "flush water"
There's a reminder to stay out of the basement freezer.
The masonry heater is ready to go
with enough kindling to get things started.
And should things start falling, we'll cut our way free.
The gas stove is set
and there are plenty of periodicals to catch up on.
Most importantly, the pantry is stocked.
Snow and ice in the South? Bring it on.
Monday, February 10, 2014
I promise, dear. I was there.
Two full days wandering the Fly Fishing Expo held in Winston Salem. The problem is that I have absolutely no proof of it. I bought nothing. Accumulated no pile of free swag. Took no photographs of significance.
I missed every presentation that I meant to see (Sorry, Dean. Twice.), still have every business card that I left the house with (like this retired old fart really needs a business card anyway), and left no imprint, whatsoever, that can be pointed to.
Worse still, I have no product news to report, no hot gear to review, no industry revelations to pass on.
In short, I’ve epically failed as a blogger/reporter/whatever it is that I’m pretending to be doing here.
At least there are no new tattoos.
Instead, I wandered the aisles with old friends, made an abundance of new ones, and was reminded by each that the joy of this sport lies within the folks that you come to know. My back is sore from two days of standing on hard concrete and my ribs ache from laughing for most of it. The feet feel like lead, yet the spirits soar. My fingers hurt from a hundred handshakes, but the warmth of each and every greeting still radiates up my arm and comforts me like a favored fleece.
The fly fishing community is something special.
In the absence of solid evidence, I have to rely on my compatriots to confirm that I actually was there. So here's an urgent plea for backup. And, at the same time, huge thanks go out to:
First and foremost, Cameron Mortenson (The Fiberglass Maifesto) for having me along, sharing a room, and letting me play with his case full of fly rods. It was a pure pleasure and time that I hope we can repeat down the road. My respect for what you do continues unabated.
Ethan Smith (SmithFly), and his dad, for making the trip down with his terrific gear, allowing me to stow my camera bag behind his display, and not complaining when I occasionally “played saleman” with passers by. You’re a good sport, Ethan, and now a good friend.
My new partner in fly fishing crime, Cory Routh (Ruthless Outdoors), and his dad as well, for keeping the evenings entertaining, whether the place runs out of beer or not.
(To all three of you, and to Tom "Another Quarter-Mile" Gould, three words. Sexual Chocolate Stout.)
Tom Sadler (Mossy Creek Fly Fishing and current president of the Outdoor Writers Association of America). Chris Hunt has been telling me for some time now that you and I would hit it off big. For once in his life, he was right.
Kent Edmonds (Temple Fork Outfitters) for letting me bend his ear, and his fly rods, every time we cross paths. I always look forward to spending a moment (or thirty) with him at each of the shows. I hope that he doesn’t mind the distraction. He’s truly one of the good guys.
Smith River fishin’ buddy, Darrin Doss (Darrin Doss Photography). It was great seeing him at the show and, better yet, meeting the better half. Jennifer, thanks for letting Darrin come out to play with me now and again. Sorry about getting him hooked on musky. And the best of luck on the upcoming half-marathon! Better you than me.
Thomas Harvey (Southern Fly Photography) for not having his camera along, thus making me feel better about not using mine. Oh, and for being as entranced with Lefty as I am.
Dave Grossman (Southern Culture on the Fly) for, well, just being Dave.
Reba Brinkman (Hunter Banks) for keeping the loose bunch of Western Carolina misfits in some semblance of order (how, I’ll never know) and for being kind to me for no apparent reason. It’s good to finally be formally acquainted.
Joel DeJong (A Year on the Fly, Hex Fishing). Glad to finally get to shake your hand, my friend, after all these years. And I look forward to that thing (nod, wink) as it gets going.
Richard Griggs (Carolina Mountain Sports) for always being there for the outdoorsmen (and women) of our state. At the shows, in the shop, on the forums, you’re a treasured resource and good friend.
Paul Puckett and Brad McMinn for making our sport look so damn good. Paul’s Bugger Beast art and $20 original pieces (that’s a joke, folks) are totally fun and I’m thrilled to see Brad’s work being so overwhelmingly well-received at the show. Long time coming.
All my Triangle Fly Fisher mates that wandered the aisles. It’s always a blast to share time, on and off the water. I count myself lucky to be associated with each and every one of you. If you're in the Raleigh/Durham/CH area...
Lefty and Bob and Joe, who, by now, I feel like I can call by first name, though they look at me funny when I do. I’ve watched each of them demo more times than I can count, yet with every presentation I pick up some new tidbit to make my stroke better. (Now, if I'd only apply them.) These gentlemen are the treasures of our sport; our past and our archives.
And then there’s our future. I walked away deeply impressed with the young bucks of Pursuit Anglers and their incredibly beautiful and useful ties. Great young men with infectious attitudes and real joy in the creations that come off their vises. Our sport is in great hands for many years to come.
Finally, my most profound thanks go to the couple of you who stopped me in the aisles to say hello, having somehow recognized my face from these goofy pages. I cannot begin to express how humbled I am and appreciative of these greetings and your kind comments on what I’m doing hereabouts...
…even though I’ve failed you completely, yet again.
Just the same, please tell Mary that I really was at the show. If you don't, she might just believe that I'd actually slipped off and done something else.
Like, maybe, go fishin'... again.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Yes, this is a fly fishing blog. Mostly. But I have steadfastly maintained the right to wander off topic when it comes to these monthly photo bins because everything that falls out of the camera isn't a fish. Especially when you cast like I do.
This month's images were gathered far from the stream. They were shot, instead, in the dark, quiet halls of the NC Museum of Art as I wandered in a blissful, reverent haze, paying unabashed homage to the sleek lovelies that rolled in with the Porsche by Design: Seducing Speed exhibit.
And while they're not strictly fishing, I fully expect that if you appreciate the graceful lines of a mako shark, the stunning finish on a brookie in spawn, or the raw power of a tailwalking tarpon, these babies are right up your waterway.
Tell me I'm wrong.
If I had to make the impossible choice and bring only one of these honeys home, it might just be this 1988 Type 959. While walking the exhibit (leaving a sloppy, slippery trail of drool so deep you could swing a streamer in it) I listened to one of the museum's audio headsets as they described each of the four-wheeled wet dreams. I remember just two words from the spiel on the 959. Scary fast. When the Porsche engineers describe it in those terms...
Bonefish fast, it occurs to me, and I can see the resemblance.
But let's face it, the 959's totally impractical. These days, perhaps it's best to put away the boyish dreams and help save the world with a hybrid.
Here, Prius, Prius, Prius. I've got something for you...
Note: These shots are just the tip of the iceberg. I have dozens more pictures. But, better than them, check out these beauties, and all of the others on exhibit, here. Be sure to view the complete galleries of each of these amazing creatures. It's worth it.
Oh, and the lovelies pictured above, in order, are:
- 1949 Type 356 Gmünd Coupe
- 1938 Type 64 Berlin-Rom Racer
- 1953 Type 550 Prototype
- 1965 Type 904/6 Prototype
- 1989 Panamericana Concept Car
- Super Cool Porsche Tires
- 1989 Type 959
- 2010 Type 911 GT3 R Hybrid Race Car Prototype
What is a Photo Bin?
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Partly cloudy and chilly in the morning with temperatures to rise from around the freezing point to the low 40s by early afternoon. Your mid-day will be moderately overcast, but relatively pleasant. It will be short-lived, however, as more complete cloud cover will move in as the day progresses bringing periods of precipitation which are likely to turn to sleet, then snow, as the temperatures drop during the late afternoon and early evening. Snow accumulation from 1-3 inches is possible, complicating your after-work commute.
For Tuesday, January the 21st, we will start generation at 5:00am, stop generation at 9:00am, restart generation at 4:00pm, and stop generation at 9:00pm. We would like to remind you that this is a tentative schedule and is subject to change without notice. Thank you for calling.
No, honey. As far as I know there's nothing on the calendar for tomorrow. Why?
Someone left a window open. Just a crack.
We squeezed through it.
We squeezed through it.
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Happy New Year!
Yeah. I know. Two weeks ago. But things have gotten off to a slow start around here. We came home from holiday travels with a three-week creeping coughing crud and the Dixie temps have tumbled ridiculously into the single digits, freezing our ambition into inert little cubes that are just now beginning to thaw. So, for us, 2014's just getting going.
And key to getting it going is getting back on the water. This year, instead of my traditional annual kickoff wade in some chilly Appalachian trout stream, I wandered east to find a warm coastal breeze and to wave a 7wt at a few North Carolina puppy drum. (I usually call them redfish, but the locals refer to them as drum and consider anyone using the 'r' word a bit prissy; just a half-step above those twice-a-year visiting Salt Lifers.) Whatever you call them, we put a couple of nice ones into the skiff along with a passel of rats and a spec or three. More importantly, we got the fishing year rolling with brilliant barrier island skies, silky smooth salt creeks, and stunning southern sunsets.
So bear with me as I shake off the chill and begin to warm things up around here once again. It should be an interesting year to come, so have a little patience. We'll get rolling in earnest soon.
Rolling, now that 2014'a finally off the ground and onto the water.
Happy not-so-New Year!