Sometimes and Always

Because sometimes the wind settles down, and the pond beckons . . .


and because sometimes, you just have to beatle-spin . . .


and always, the sunset.IMG_1320IMG_1322

An Observation

As a fly tyer, I appreciate the element of art produced from winding feathers, hair, and synthetic materials around the shank of a hook.  I’ve heard it said that many flies are tied to catch fishermen, not fish.  I think there is a lot of truth to that.  Tying mainly streamers, I have many flies that look drastically different on the vice than they look in the water.  Here are a couple of photos that illustrate what I mean.  These are the same fly, on the vice and just out of the water.  It’s a double bugger – two hook articulated wooly bugger.

Double BuggerWet Double BuggerI think it looks better to me in the vice, but the bass seem to like how it looks in the water.Bass on Double BuggerBass


Hello Spring

The grass is greening, the air is warming, the fish are biting and the days are getting longer.  It must be spring.  What better time for a warm water fly fisherman?    

Grey Days

A foggy day.  And still.  Nearing the end of winter, but unseasonably warm at 62 degrees.  A day that looks colder than it is.  Bass are not moving yet, but some Winter Crappie can be counted on.  What else is there on a grey day?


2015 books

I didn’t read nearly as many books in 2015 as I set out to, but I did read some good ones.  Here’s a list of some of the books I read last year.

Got any good book recommendations for me?

By my Nature by Bob Hatfield
I really enjoyed reading this.  Written by one of my mother’s brothers, this is a book of essays on his life in the Pacific rain forest of Oregon.  From hunting bear, elk and mule deer to fishing for bass, catfish or river run steelhead, my Uncle Bob did his entire family a great service of recording these adventures.  Lessons of character and love of the land and of others are heartwarmingly told.

The River of Doubt by Candace Millard
Teddy Rosevelt’s South American expedition after a failed third attempt at a White House run almost killed him.  In fact, he almost took his own life.  This is a very good book.  Highly recommended.

To the Last Man by Zane Grey
My first western rag to read.  Way more kissing and way less gunfighting than I expected.

Fly Fishing Through The Mid Life Crisis by Lowell Raines
The author’s frequently espoused liberal beliefs would have been tolerable if he wasn’t so dog gone annoying about them.  I kept waiting for this one to get good, but all I came away with were a few glimpses of some nice times on a river.

Another Lousy Day in Paradise by John Gierach
I really enjoy fly fishing essays.  Mr. Gierach writes in a easy, familiar way.  If you have fly fished much at all you find yourself relating to the stories he tells.  Rather than envying him for his fishing expeditions, I find myself simply planning my own.

Moby Dick by Herman Melville
I finally got around to reading this classic.  I blogged about this one a few months ago here.  One of my favorite sentences in the entire volume, “Reality outran apprehension; Captain Ahab stood upon his quarterdeck.”  What a great introduction of the monomaniacal captain of the Pequod.

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
This one surprised me a little.  It still deals with race relations and bigotry, and it doesn’t answer all the questions it raises, which is just fine.

Father Water, Mother Woods by Gary Paulsen
I saw this title and at first glance it sounded pretty new age.  Being the child of a very dysfunctional home, Mr. Paulson found refuge hunting and fishing in the northern woods and rivers around his home.  Touching essays of childhood, adventure, and growing up.

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
This was one of my favorites last year.  It’s the story of the 1936 Olympic rowing team from the University of Washington.  It’s an inspirational story of determination, courage, and strength.  Great read – Highly Recommended!

In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick
This is the story of the tragedy of the whaling ship Essex, which was attacked and sunk by a huge Sperm Whale.  It’s the true story that inspired much of Moby Dick.  There is also a wealth of information about the whaling industry in the 19th century, and of Nantucket Island.

The Revenant by Michael Punke
This is a work of historical fiction.  Hugh Glass, a trapper with the Rocky Mountain Fur Company is mauled by a bear.  Making matters worse, he is abandoned by his tropp, robbed of his rifle and knife and left to die.  He recovers and is bent on revenge.  The book goes into great detail (although somewhat conjured) of Mr. Glass’ recovery and survival in the winter mountains.  I was somewhat disappointed with the end of the book.  In fact, it didn’t seem to end; rather, it just stopped.

Side note – I was very disappointed with the movie, which didn’t really follow the book at all, nor did it develop the characters very well.  So, you had to have read the book to make sense of the characters, but then the movie takes an extreme departure from the very book you have depended on for character development.  Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance was excellent, though.

What to Do When You Win The Powerball

Yesterday I went to the Dallas Safari Club show in Dallas, TX.  All I can say is they could have renamed it, “Things to do if you win at Powerball”.  Walking around, looking at firearms that cost as much as a house can tend to have a perspective-shifting effect on you.  After holding a $120,000 Beretta SO10 28 gauge O/U, or an $85,000 bolt-action .577 double-gun, you start thinking that “Maybe I really could afford a $4,000 shotgun”.


My birthday is two weeks away.  Here’s a Beretta SO10 28 gauge O/U for $120,000.  Just sayin’


An Abercombie and Fitch Rifle

Or, how about a three shotgun set of 28 gauge doubles for $176,000?  Sounds expensive, right?  But then you start thinking, “That’s only $58,800 per gun.”


Not bad when you consider they’re only $58,800 each.

There were plenty of offerings from Westley Richards for around $95,000.  If all of these are beneath your discriminating taste, how about a Holland & Holland Double rifle for $233,000?


Or, a house.

Of course it was fun to see the rifle previously owned by Ernest Hemingway, a Westley Richards .577 droplock double rifle.  All kidding aside, the art and craftsmanship of these firearms is truly inspiring.  Over 600 man hours goes into the hand crafting of a Westley Richards double rifle.  Click here for some examples of great craftsmanship and beauty.


Ernest Hemingway’s Rifle

If not a glimpse into how the other 1/2 live, maybe a glimpse into the other .00001%.