Friday, June 28, 2013

My Inner Conky Joe

I’m home, mon, but the islands are still in me. No hurries. No worries.

Pitched it all in on Bahamian beaches. Left the digital behind and embraced island ways. Made fast and lasting friends with my inner Conky Joe. Laid back, un-tracked, sun smacked, don’t give a crap, slack. That’s me right now. That's me.

I’m caught in the rhythm of out island flats. Wake with the dawn, walk for da bones, work on a bottle of rum wit' da boyz. Set your troubles aside for another time. Simple.

I’m good with simple. We could use more simple.

So excuse my sloth in telling the tale. Soon, I promise. Soon. But, for the moment, I have a sunrise to catch.

Ya, mon. Dere be a sunrise to catch.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Seen Any of These Today?

This evening, I’ll be home. Goodbye Nassau. Hello RDU.

Now, I love getting away with the boys, chasing out of the way fish in out of the way places, but my heart remains tethered in North Carolina. I’m reminded of this connection on every adventure as I unpack my duffel and find yellow stickies, carefully hidden in every nook and cranny. Colorful whispers from home.

Yes, my dear. We saw quite a few. Thank you for asking. Thank you for caring. But mostly, thank you for your incredible patience with me and this crazy addiction.

This evening, I’ll be home. And I’ll tell you all about it.


Oh, and if anyone else is interested, stick(ie) around. I'll be happy to tell you too.

This evening, I'll be home.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Gone To De Islands, Mon

but activity might be a little light around here this week.
Places to be,
people to see,
and maybe a bonefish.

But do check back 'cause you never know.

Whatever the case,
rest assured,
I'll be back before long with a story.
Or maybe even two.

Oh, yes.
Rest assured.
Maybe two.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Photo Bin - May 2013

Sad to say, not much went on, photographically, last month. Weeks of wet weather conspired to keep the cameras tucked away, though I did manage to find myself in the Appalachians a couple of times, breaking the meteorological monotony. Here, then, are a handful of shots that came from those much-neeed escapes.

Above, may I introduce, The Usual Suspects - a group of great neighbors and fabulous friends that fill our lives in so many wild and wonderful ways. We took the 'hood on the road for a long weekend of camping and hiking around Hot Springs, NC. Not much fishin' went on, I'm afraid, as the waterways were high and dirty from mid-week downpours. Instead, we traded that time for a handful of communal dips in the open-air hot tubs along the French Broad River at the Hot Springs Resort and Spa. (I'll spare you those images.) This group shot was taken upon our descent of Max Patch, an enchanting bald that provides a 360˚ panorama of the surrounding foothills. A fine place to take an afternoon nap.

Below, Mary enjoys the view from said bald.

A week later, I slipped away to the Tennessee Smokies to fish with my buddies Marc and Steve. More wet weather. Beautiful, but wet. And this time, in the absence of hot tubs, we fished anyway.

Steve, here, in a contemplative mood. I'd wager he was thinking one of three things.

1. Are they sitting in that center seam or tucked under the overhanging bushes?
2. Did I leave the scotch flask and cigar in the truck, or back at the hotel?
3. Why not test the fix on production data instead of that crap sandbox DB? Who can I call and yell at?

Hint: Thank God there's no cell service in the GSMNP.

And finally, it occurs to me that I don't show enough fish pictures on this "fishing blog." Here, then, is the best trout of the weekend.

Well, almost.

Monday, June 3, 2013

In All Seriousness...

It occurs to me that I may have given you the wrong idea. Don't worry, it's entirely my fault. So, please, allow me a moment to set the record straight.

I'm not much of a drinker.

It's true. Despite all evidence to the contrary - the copious references to adult libations, pervasive malt beverage images, incoherent ramblings and tenuous hold on the English language (no doubt interpreted as slurred sloppy-speech) offered here on these pages - I’m really a cheap date.

Now, don't misunderstand me. I do truly love a good brew and can think of few better ways to spend an evening than with good friends over glassware. But two's my limit (three if you twist my arm and I'm not driving) and I've been known to nurse that final pint a long time.

Why am I telling you this?

Simply put, I'm feeling a bit irresponsible characterizing recent trips as alcoholic binges. They weren't. You see, I don’t advocate wasting perfectly good fishing and travel time managing a hangover. That’s infinitely more suited to the office.

But you wouldn't always believe that by what you read here. And I'm not alone in this. A quick check confirms that my favorite digital fishing outposts are rife with similar content. My blogging buddies do it too.

So why is it that we like to boast about our drinking? Why do we celebrate the buzz and believe it makes for a better story? Perhaps it’s our sportsman’s birthright, passed down from our revered patriarch, Papa Hemmingway, to all who dabble with rod and pen. Perhaps it’s the brash young man in us, trying desperately to recapture our “wondrous college days” or to reassert our youthful invincibility to drink. Perhaps we believe that the ability to hold our liquor (or survive those times that we don't) makes us more virile.

After all, the most interesting man in the world stays thirsty. Right, my friend?

And we fly fishermen are the worst. You need only consider that our unofficial official beer is Pabst Blue Ribbon to realize that we’ve come off the tracks on the subject. Completely.

Think about it. Who wants the beer yips when there are 1/0 clousers in the air? Or a good snootful of Woodford when wading wild and wicked waters? And isn’t outsmarting finicky trout hard enough when you're stone cold sober? It is for me.

So when you read here the subtle (or not) influence of demon rum, or of the San Juan worm in the bottom of the tequila bottle, take the passage with a grain of salt (and slice of lime) and know that it’s all in good fun. That it's nuance and texture in storytelling. Okay, maybe there is a little basis in fact, but every now and then I have to act like an adult.

This is me, acting like an adult. In all seriousness, partake responsibly. I do, believe it or not.

There. My civic duty is complete, my public service message delivered, the record set straight, and we can now get back to our regularly scheduled sophomoric content.

I’ll drink to that!