Monday, May 30, 2011

The Photo Bin - May 2011

May 6th: Save 15%...

This month's trio of odd shots could be called the Backyard Creature Collection - except that the first two were actually taken in the front. There's always something interesting going on around here.

We found the five-lined skink, above, tucked into a deteriorating tree stump just off the front porch on what was perhaps the final cool spring morning - so cool that the little guy was sluggish enough to let me handle him. As he warmed in my hand he quickly considered his position and bolted back to his hiding place. We appreciated capturing this cameo.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Fly Fishing Math 101 - Fly Lines

Good morning class. I’m Professor Mike, an adjunct instructor here at Fly Fishing University (FU), and today we will begin a series of lectures on the baffling mathematics of our chosen sport. 

While it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to be a fly fisherman, an advanced degree in math certainly doesn’t hurt. The numerology imposed upon us is confusing, at best, and often downright diabolical. This lecture series is designed to help you sort your way through the math maze so that you might become a more knowledgeable angler. Upon completion, you still may not be able to catch a damn thing, but you should be able to talk a good game – which is, after all, the basis for a successful career in fly fishing.

In today’s lecture, we will begin with the fly line.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

It Seems Like Forever

It seems like forever since my river has been fishable. Sporadic spring rains have kept it high and dirty for so long that I've wondered if I'd ever get back on it. But as summer approaches - and here in the south it will arrive in a whipstitch - things are finally settling in.

I like fishing when it's been under 4ft for a couple of days. Such a tease!

I walked down the path and fished the dingy, but blessedly wadable, waters - with expectations - for the first time this year. Wet waded, to boot. I was not disappointed. It's good to be home again.

It seems like forever.

Friday, May 13, 2011

81 Rock

81 Rock.  No, that’s not some television sitcom with Alec Baldwin, tony New York City address, or kids’ Saturday morning educational snippet. It’s how the fearless crew of the SS Minnow fared on the Roanoke yesterday.

Inspired by the boat named Minnow, I considered riffing on the whole Gilligan’s Island motif for this post, but realized that, as owner and operator of the tidy little 14-foot skiff, Terry was The Skipper. That made me Gilligan. Unfortunately, my parallels with the hapless sixties TV character are just a little too close for comfort, so I decided to pass on the approach. Besides, it seems that every time my buds and I begin discussing the fascinating character archetypes, the thoughtful studies in situational morality, and the in-depth analysis of Darwinian evolution in isolated populations presented by that landmark series, the conversation inevitably degrades into just another Ginger or Mary Ann debate.

We won’t go there today.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Photo Bin - April 2011

April 15th:  Tax Day on the Haw

This month’s photo bin is late, not because I'd forgotten, but because I’ve struggled for images. It’s full-out spring here in the Carolinas, perhaps the most picturesque time of the year, and I've got nothin'. Many things have kept the camera in its pack – weather, a family trip north, more weather, laziness – so I’ve scrambled for content worth posting.

I even considered skipping the month, having a photo bin gap, but realized that it would set a bad precedent, making it too easy to skip it again… and again. So, instead, I sorted through my meager April catalog and picked the three presented here. They interest me for reasons other than their visual impact, obviously, so you get a short story with each. Lucky you.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Fish Pictures

I like reading your blog, Mike... 
 (wait for it)
... and I like the photos... 
 (have patience, it’ll come)
... but... 

You see, there’s always a but when it comes to discussions of my literary and artistic endeavors. I suspect that there always will be. My knee-jerk response is to suggest that the commenter might kiss my but(t), but, this time, as buts go, my buddy JimBob’s was fairly benign.

... but you don't post enough fish pictures.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


It’s exciting times here at the worldwide headquarters of Mike’s Gone Fishin’. After weeks of constant spring rains, the skies are clearing and the Haw is settling into something that approaches fishability.  This year’s generation of fawns will soon begin to appear alongside the gravel road leading to the house, raising the local cute quotient but lowering the potential for any of the new green to survive on the open forest floor. The new 5wt is getting an occasional workoutPine pollen no longer coats every surface, including the interior of my sinuses, oak squiggles don’t clog the Ridgeline’s cool air intakes, and the old woodstove has probably held its last warming coals of the season.

But the big news is that one of our favorite online fishing publications, BloodKnot Magazine, has temporarily and inexplicably abandoned its high editorial standards and included a short piece of mine in their current issue. We’re excited. Check out My Way, in the Crumbs section. Crumbs. How appropriate.