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.
My four-year-old son has a lot to learn. Teamwork, self reliance, judgment and decision making, risk management, delayed gratification, initiative, critical thinking, loyalty, faith… the list of skills that’ll he need to make his way in the world goes on and on. It’s an overwhelming educational endeavor, before you even consider all the straight-up information that needs working into his skull. Arithmetic, the alphabet, the periodic table and the inherent interconnectedness of… Read More
A day to relax and log some couch time sounded appealing. Fresh off a river trip, we were visiting my folks and they had taken the kids out for the day. I was tired and it would be a treat to have my parents house to myself for a few hours. Then the phone rang. A buddy had heard I was in town, he and his son were looking to spend a day on the water. Rumor had… Read More
You don’t ask about them in polite company, not directly. Bustling barroom chatter falls silent at their mention. A clumsily cast question will land flinty stares and a second will get you shown the door. In a culture – hunters and anglers – that is notoriously tight lipped about its honey-holes… “He’s a beaut Bob. Where’d you say you found him?” “I didn’t say. But between you and me, it was down… Read More
We were a couple hours into a five day river trip when the current grabbed his rod and pulled under. I looked behind the boat just in time to see it sink to the bottom. There would be no recovery. You would think the rod was an heirloom based upon the tantrum that followed. To the three year, old it didn’t matter that it was a freebie from a local thrift store. It… Read More
They are the gullible rubes of the trout family; the hayseeds, hicks, hillbillies, yokels, rustics, provincials, buffoons, bumpkins, country cousins and clodhoppers. Mountain cutthroat, convention holds, are so unsophisticated that even novice anglers had better brace for action. Why then were they giving four capable fishermen fits? “Riser. Four o’clock. About 10 feet further,” came direction from the ledge above. On arrival at the rushing little inlet from points uphill, we were… Read More
“Not a chance” I told my wife, when first approached with the idea. Born and raised on a Montana ranch, I wouldn’t be caught dead with a bunch of camelids. But with two small children and a wife who is highly persuasive my bravado quickly waned. Three years ago we embarked on our first Llama packing trip as a family and it has been a game changer. We had been exploring the… Read More
Toeing the dirt reality set in. No one else was around. The ranch was deserted. For a thirteen year old with a short attention span that spelled trouble. A whitetail doe tag was burning a hole in my pocket and I had hunting on my mind. Four and a half miles of dirt, and a nonexistent driver’s license stood between me a good whitetail country, but I had an idea. Grabbing a halter I went into… Read More
“Seriously, we didn’t bring any duct tape!? Sewing needle anyone?” I asked, hopeful but not optimistic. “Nope,” replied Louis, “but we’ve got plenty of fish hooks.” “Huh… interesting… thread?” I pressed, sensing potential. “I have a little dental floss,” offered Steven. “Tippet!” I exclaimed, suddenly inspired. And with that I had a plan. Knowledge and skill were still in short supply, but I rarely let such minor details hold me back. I’m… Read More
When I’m headed to the nearest tailwater I rack for bear. The drift boat is loaded with coolers, boat bag, camera bag, dry bag, extra layers and several rods. A small tool box, first aid kit and bins with fishing essentials live in the boat. I’m probably missing something else and I haven’t even let the other two anglers set foot in the boat with their gear yet. However, if I’m heading into… Read More