GLORIOUS MAYHEM

by fishingpoet on April 6, 2014 · 2 comments

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Our one mile turn-around

Last year we got into fish. Maybe a dozen six-to-ten-pound lake-run soupbones that had a mind to break our ankles before we even took a step trying to chasing them. Yea, we had a good day. My boys still talk about those rainbows. But this morning, crossing the bridge just up from the lake-mouth of the creek, any thoughts of pulling off a repeat performance vanished.

Low. And clear as a damn bell.

Yesterday’s report was that the creek was high and stained. The four days from opening day leading up to yesterday, even more so. And of course, the fish were throwing themselves like spotted silver-pink haymakers at anybody standing within spitting distance of the creek, let alone actually fishing. Today, on the other hand, my friend Jason and I were looking at bluebird skies and temps wandering toward the mid-fifties. And we were now a full week past the melting of our last typical late-March dump of snow. Thus, low. And clear as a damn bell.

It didn’t take long to figure out that whatever trout had bullied their way upstream in the days before had pretty much spent whatever mojo the creek had. We spotted maybe about a dozen fish as we hiked upstream plying runs and pools without even a sniff. Every last one was nose-down and parked as close to the fast, churning-white head of their lie as possible. Eventually, as the rising sun crawled down the southeast-facing shale walls and into the current, there was little to no place for any of us to hide, so the fish just kept their lips zipped and went about their shadow-like way, drifting away in direct response to every step we took, every roll cast we unrolled. We worked the full mile to the falls at the head of the gorge, turned and fished the mile back down.

Thankfully, we packed a few creekside beers. Add the warmest sun we’ve had in a long, cold time here in Upstate NY and a fat peanut butter & honey sandwich — and I was more than fine with letting today’s fishlessness slide in favor of re-living last year’s glorious mayhem, until I get out next.

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SPRING COMMITS

by fishingpoet on April 3, 2014 · 4 comments

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In the woods. On the water.

shifting thumbprint wandering at dawn higher arc of lightrise laying claim to shadows in the woods connection of connections swollen creek beds blessed arteries of water & reflected sky from heaven to here earth’s heartbeat a pine-needle gallop eastern facing westward warming

hill to hill picking up the eternal conversation right where it left off same words evershifting cadence mumbling brightly then brighter still birds alive again in song cardinal & fox keenly unaware of their own fire a shock of life in this landscape a breath in this conversation running headlong into the sudden color of tomorrow

remember green remember when there was green there see it from our hilltop sodden waking mat of leaves underfoot the sneaky hue of maple buds overhead the world is brawling & wide bursting from this outstretched palm connection of connections carrying on how easily we forget how to live how simple it is to be alive

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WHERE THE ROAD NARROWS

March 28, 2014

When we piled out into the dust and cool of the morning we were barely a quarter-mile from the end of the road. Unlike the sprawling blanket of spruce and meadows covering the glacially-crafted elevations we’d seen from the windows of the de Havilland Otter the evening before, we were now face-to-face with southeast Alaska. [...]

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LAST NIGHT. THIS MORNING.

January 16, 2014

Coyotes whimpered and yelped themselves into a fevered, barking knot in the dark not 100 yards away as I stood with our dog in the back yard. She was sniffing around to pee, but came to full attention, hackles and ears raised, her body locked-up as tight as a good hound on a bird. Full moon, cloudless sky, stars beyond the reaching, knotted [...]

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