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fishing

Fishing as a sport has often been described as an activity mostly consisting up of long periods of boredom followed by short and intense periods of exciting activity. While this proposition is not entirely untrue, the statement misses the point of the exercise entirely and fails to underscore the importance of the events that happen outside those moments of intense activity – which for many is a big part of why they fish. The down time between catching fish allows us those requisite moments of respite from civilization for solitary reflection and introspection, observation and thought about the quarry and nature, or of time to talk and further deepen a close friendship. If one takes a moment to think about it, if we only fished to catch fish that the whole enterprise could logically be viewed as an exceedingly productive way to waste ones time.  The scientific method and catch statistics can back me up on this. Should one be so inclined to do the mathematical calculations of catch rates vs. effort or hours fished they would also quickly arrive at the conclusion  that ninety percent of their time was spent staring at their inert lines and not much else.  In the real world people get fired for such a lack of productivity. But here is where logic and mathematics fall to the wayside and where statistics hold no currency. Read More »

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The Rod

The man largely responsible for my introduction to the world of fly fishing was none other than Paul Bean, a fly tier of great international renown whose exquisitely crafted flies  – sporting names like the Princess Diana, Lady Rosalyn, or Redford - graced the walls of such sporting luminaries as Prince Philip, former first lady Rosalyn Carter, as well as actor Robert Redford. As one would expect, these are not your normal, everyday store bought flies that one could order online, say at a Cabela’s or Orvis, or find in any fly shop. These were commissioned flies by wealthy patrons directly through Paul and sometimes waiting periods could be up to a year. What made Paul and his flies unique was that they were perfect artistic recreations of old British Atlantic Salmon patterns dating back centuries, researched himself through archival information found within the dusty shelves of old and forgotten librairies in English Counties, and that he was probably the only human being alive that possessed this wealth of self-taught knowledge.  The flies are fully functional and you can fish with them but most of them lie protected as both works of art and as investments behind ornate glass frames that hang on study or office walls, often accompagnied, like Paul was during most of his life, with one of his wife Maureen’s beautiful watercolors depicting scenes of the salmon fisherman’s life. These creations were labors of love and often required hundreds of hours spent hunched over a table in his workshop, seeking for universal truth in the perfection of a salmon fly. He only cranked out a handful of these precious creations each year and despite prices in the thousands of dollars they were always quickly scooped up by discerning collectors across the globe. Read More »

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a day in the life

It was the first day of the season and while I didn’t catch anything I wasn’t too concerned as it was still early in the season and had come equipped with modest expectations of not catching anything at all. It was more of a reconnaissance trip, first to check on the water levels to determine if they were low enough to crossover to the island in the middle, and to see if the fish had begun their annual spawning run. It was a beautiful day and it felt good to be outdoors after a long winter, to feel the warmth of the sun upon your face, and to watch the migratory birds flying in tight formations in the cerulean sky as they have done since the beginning of time. It had been two weeks since Milad died and I desperately needed an affirmation that life was for the living and that it stopped for nobody, despite the heartbreak and grieving. Read More »

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