Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Testament of a Fisherman

Robert Travers "Testament of a Fisherman" has had a profound effect on my angling life. If I were a good writer, this is EXACTLY how I would have described what fishing means to me. 
A few days ago I was reading a blog that broke down "Testament" line by line, and pointed out how alot of Traver's masterpiece does not apply to todays world.  I have spent most of the past several days depressed. If these words no longer hold true; What's the point? Have I spent the last 25 years disillusioned?

Then I realized something.  Though times have certainly changed since 1964, and yes there are telephones on trout water, there are in fact some ugly places in this world that trout live, or even thrive, I have the choice to fish in the world that Traver describes. I can choose to fish in only beautiful places. I can spend less time doing things I hate. I can make damn sure there is never a cell phone in my canoe. I will always drink my bourbon out of an old tin cup. I feel better now.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Black Water

Ever since I was a child, I have been attracted Black Water.  There is something mysterious about it, never really giving up all of it's secrets, no matter how familiar you are with it.  It's like a beautiful woman playing "hard to get", you don"t always get what you want, but what you do get, is just enough to bring you back for another try.

My first experience with Black Water was with my Dad.  He would take me Brook Trout fishing on the small , tannin stained streams of Northern Wisconsin. The stream that I have the fondest memories of, and is likely responsible for my love of Black Water is the Blueberry Creek, a small tributary to the Bois Brule River. The Blueberry is a small stream, barely 6 feet across in most places, that originates in conifer swamps just south of Maple, WI, and winds it's way like a black velvet ribbon on it's journey to the Brule. The pools looked bottomless and mysterious. Frightening to a seven year old boy who could picture him sinking slowly out of sight with just one misplaced step!

I visit the Blueberry often, though I dont think I've fished it in over ten years. From the looks of it I'm about the only one.  The brushy trails along the banks are totally grown in, I honestly don't think it can be fished more than a couple of times a season. I cant beleive that the trails I walked as a kid were solely the result of my dad and I tromping up and down the banks.  It's kind of sad that there are no dads bringing thier young sons or daughters down there to introduce them to the magic of Black Water.

My home river is the Mother of all Black Water. There is miles of it. Deep corners, little "Knome" holes up under the cedar roots, crevasses amonst rocks, spring holes that apear to be bottomless, and for all I know are. There is more Black Water on my river than I will fish in a lifetime, but it's going to be damn fun trying!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Why Start a Blog

The purpose of this blog is simple. It's an outlet, and hopefully a source.  I think the sport of fly fishing is one laden with questions, technical ones, ethical ones, spiritual ones and philosophical ones. I think it's what makes the sport so great.  It's like asking: "What's the meaning of life?" Depending on who you ask, you'll get a different answer. Questions we ask as fly fishers have equally evasive answers.  If we're lucky we won't necessarily find all of the answers our sport holds, but more questions. I for one never want to have all the answers!