Wednesday, March 30, 2011

La Smith et la Mouffette


Oh, mon cheri. Why do you treet me zees way? I come all zees way to wade in your beauty and chase your bright feesheez. Eeet's spreeng, ze time of loooove. So show me ze love, mon révérer, show me feesh love.


Such lovely sounding language. La mouffette. I was la mouffette on the Smith River yesterday. Seems springy, and nice, doesn't it? Well, I'm afraid that skunk smells like skunk, in any language.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Photo Bin - March 2011

March 18th:  Dan River brown on a rubber-legged stone

This month’s set of unusual images could easily be titled The Photo Bin - Lemonade Edition. Sometimes what comes out of the camera after an outing is disappointing. Sometimes it's pure crap. Don't despair. Like people, every photo probably has some redeeming quality. You just have to look a little harder and work with it. After all, you took the shot, didn't you? You saw something that inspired you to trip the shutter. It might still be in there, somewhere. So, occasionally, and as a last resort, take those digital lemons and give them a creative squeeze.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Which Way Would You Go?

It changes at the old three-turbine power station.

Upstream there are miles of hard-ass rock hopping and wild browns. Downstream there are miles of easy roadside access and stocked whatever. Upstream there’s steep, skinny water and fish that flee at shadows. Downstream there’s wide, flat riffles and pods accustomed to pellets. Upstream the trout are as small as their habitat, and smart. Downstream they’re as fat and dumb as the day they poured out of the truck.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Let the Stream Talk

"There was one older man, an excellent fisher and skilled in all kinds of woodcraft, who was pleased to look upon my house as a building erected for the convenience of fishermen; and I was equally pleased when he sat in my doorway to arrange his lines. Once in a while we sat together on the pond, he at one end of the boat, and I at the other; but not many words passed between us, for he had grown deaf in his later years, but he occasionally hummed a psalm, which harmonized well enough with my philosophy. Our intercourse was thus altogether one of unbroken harmony, far more pleasing to remember than if it had been carried on by speech."         Henry David Thoreau - Walden

Writers and fisherman venture out to the stream, not to listen to one another talk, but to hear nature speak. There's too much yammering going on in the world these days and it would be a great shame to let our all-too-few quiet outdoor moments fall prey to the din. We go out there for the serenity. At least I do.

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Fishing Day Saved

This was supposed to be a post about the dozens of hickory shad that the Professor and I boated during our mid-week assault on the Roanoke River near Weldon.  Unfortunately, the Corp of Engineers bollixed up my publishing schedule by pinching that waterway’s flow to a mere 2,200cfs, exposing rocks seldom seen and turning our intended day’s float into a brief boat ramp drive-by. It was a long drive for a short look.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Spring Whites

Forget the blossoms. Forget the birds. Forget the warm, gentle breezes and the lengthening of each day.
I know that it's spring 'cause the white bass are on the run.

It's about dang time.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Stream Jordans

In today’s vernacular, I was a baller. 

From my early teens to my mid-thirties, I snuck away to the streets and local playgrounds for pickup basketball games every chance I could.  Though not particularly tall, I was long of arm, quick off the floor, and in possession of the sweetest little fade-away J this side of Raleigh.  I learned a lot of things on those hard asphalt and concrete courts, but one of the most important, and one that sticks with me even today, was that footwear mattered.