Lately the underbelly of less heralded waters has garnered my attention.
“In any collision someone is the hammer, and someone the nail. Be the hammer.”
Yesterday I was risking sunburn and drinking gin and tonics. Today a chain law was in effect.
The world narrows in a beam of headlights. Gravel is churned up behind us as the two track races by. A jackrabbit darts momentarily across the road. Veering into the light, a sage grouse arches it’s massive wings and miraculously averts impact. Inside the cab top 40 hits are blaring on the radio. The beat is loud and clear but the lyrics are barely audible over the voices of men. A verse behind,… Read More
I’m not a very good fisherman. At least not by the standards of the company I keep. Numbered among my friends are more elegant casters, craftier fly tyers, smarter fly selectors, more intuitive water readers, and more graceful presenters than I ever dream of being. Heck, on any given day, those superior abilities are likely to all be embodied in the same person. But that’s just fine. I still manage to catch… Read More
A thick frost covers still green grass. Clouds are building and a wet snow should be falling in a couple of hours. The wood box is back in the house and the first match of the season is about to be struck. It will be in the 70’s again over the weekend but the weather is a sharp reminder that fall is here. Many have been preparing for months. On some accounts… Read More
“Is the otter awake Dada?” asked my four year old, sleepy eyed and soft as he strolled onto the little sand beach. He’d silently navigated fifty yards of forest between the tent and me, and materialized at the tree line as casual and unaffected as he would have in our kitchen back home. “Good morning bud,” I replied, inviting him into my lap. “ I bet he is, but I haven’t seen… Read More
A slight wind blows from the east. Just enough to put a steady chop on the lake. In the west, the sun creeps toward the horizon making a sharp glare. Squinting into the water, visibility is next to nothing. Standing on the bow, the drift boat became a skiff. Tamarisks became mangroves. A reservation reservoir turned into a Bahamian flat. Using the oar as a push pole we move slowly along the shore…. Read More
The tenderloins were the first to go. The backstraps weren’t far behind. You then spent the rest of the year whittling your way through the sirloins, round steaks, roasts, and burger meat, keeping one eye on the calendar and the other on the inventory. This year you were going to pace it just right. But now it’s almost big game season and you realize you’ve undershot once again. Time to eat down the freezer… Read More
Whether mark Twain said it first or not, truer words have rarely been said. Across the drought stricken West they’re more appropriate now than ever, despite this year’s unseasonably wet summer. If you’ve spent much time outside this year, it’s hard not to recognize that something strange is going on. In the last three months I’ve spent more days wearing long underwear and casting in the snow than I have throwing hoppers while… Read More
The epic. You know it’s out there. Hell-bent graupel riding vindictive gusts beneath a leaden sky; wet feet and chapped faces, cold to the quick with everything on and nowhere to go; nylon flapping and slapping and dripping all night; short tempers and long days – roll the dice often enough and you’ll find it. Try your luck in the Northern Rockies fall or spring and you’ll find it all too often…. Read More
Cords of wood that still need collecting: 4 Log structures that need refinished: 2 Square feet of home-office that needs finishing: 500 Minutes of sunlight lost everyday: 3 Elk tags: 2 Deer tags: 2 Antelope tags:1 Hunt areas to scout: 5 Rifles that need sighting-in: 1 Days until antelope rifle season: 23 Days until dove season: 5 Ratio of hours spent prepping for winter to hours prepping for hunting season: 1:5 Rank of Autumn among… Read More
I was once told that speaking critically of girlfriends and spouses was one thing, but to do the same about someones gun dog is crossing the line. There are a ton of great hunting dog breeds out there but most of us settle on one or two. From that point on we espouse the virtues of our particular breed with little regard for logic. Heck, I had a person recently spend thirty… Read More