Sunday, January 30, 2011

Paying It Forward

A vignette from the Raleigh Fly Fishing Expo - Sunday, January 30th, 2011

A small boy - seven, maybe eight years old - leans on a pole next to the casting pool while his father rummages through shirts in a nearby booth. The boy watches a second man who is trying out a rod, working it hard, getting its feel, deciding if it’s what he needs. He's been there a while despite the line waiting for a shot on the pool.

From the crowd quietly steps a tall, older gentleman, dressed in brown, bent slightly with age but with a youthful sparkle in his eye and a mischievous grin on his face. The older gent asks the caster if he might see the rod and, when it’s handed over, instead of casting it, turns and beckons to the youth. As the boy approaches, the elder kneels gently, and hands the rod to the child.

The two spend the next ten minutes together and the boy gets a lesson he might never forget from a kind and gentle stranger.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Year's First Fish

Third cast. There. By the root ball. There’s always one there.

Five o’clock alarm. Six o’clock on the road. Allman Brothers riding along. Autopilot jams.

Morning rush hour in Greensboro. Don’t care. Goin' fishin'. You’re my blue skies, you’re my sunny day.

Empty trailhead. Love fishing on Wednesdays.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Oh! What a Tangled Web We Weave

If ever a single image captured the essence of a fishing trip, the picture above perfectly and succinctly summarizes my first outing of this new year, 2011. Please, please, please may it not be a sign of things to come.  Come to think of it, it's certainly a sign of things past - but one can always hope for some improvement.

And I wish I could say that it was the only tangle for the day, but it was actually just one of my better efforts. It was the kind of bird's nest that drives one to ponder whether to:

A) spend a half-hour solving the puzzle
B) take the nippers to the whole mess and start with a new leader, or
C) pitch the entire shooting match, rod and all, into the deepest hole and take up golf

As tempting as option C was, I went with A. The time was not an issue - I wasn't catching fish anyway.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Dawn of a New Year

At one of my favorite online fishing holes, The North American Fly Fishing Forum, there's a thread where folks are posting their favorite photograph of 2010. Never one to pass up the opportunity to veg out in front of the computer and look at pictures - even my own - I spent an hour or so wandering through my library for this past year.

While picking out a single favorite for the year was incredibly difficult, my focus kept returning to the image above - a sunrise shot, looking east across Lake Jordan through the windshield of the truck, taken as I headed out for a day chasing speckled trout and redfish with my buddy Troy. Technically, it's far from my best, but it's an image that speaks to me at some base level of the promise and beauty of a new day.