I am a hunter, fisherman and father living in the Pacific Northwest. Most of my writing is related to one or all of those things. I hope you enjoy!
As human beings we have a difficult time accepting the fact that are some things we are innately shitty at. We are all blessed with different skills and it can be maddening to watch others master a craft with relative ease. Especially if that same craft is something you struggle with. Throughout the years I have taught and coached a wide variety of sports and activities across a range of ages and skill levels. I’ve come to learn that there is a single facet to all interests that is required in order to be successful. Time.
Without sounding too cliché, I think that life is simply a compilation of experiences and, in turn, the quality of one’s life is determined by their interpretation of those experiences. So much of our daily lives can be affected by our perspective on the things we encounter and the problems we face. How we chose to deal with certain situations is what molds us into the characters we are.
Before I moved to the Pacific Northwest, I had no clue what a steelhead was. I was your typical 18-year-old suburban smartass who probably would have guessed that the word “anadromous” had something to do with David Bowie’s wardrobe.
We’ve all done it. You spend days and weeks (sometimes longer) waiting for a fishing trip or a weekend on the river with grand ideas of trout as fat as footballs. And then we hit the water…only to realize that we forgot a crucial piece of gear, left our lunch sitting on the kitchen counter, or god forbid, found someone else sitting in our fishing hole. Sometimes the only way to avoid these problems is to make sure they don’t happen in the first place. This is obviously easier said than done but, a small amount of preparation and pragmatic thought can set you up for success.
Anyone that has spent time around hunters or fisherman have heard stories about days so good they’d make Hemingway blush. The story usually starts with something like… “the birds came pouring into the decoys so fast we hardly had time to reload shotguns”. Tall tales that are typically lit by neon or campfire flames and hyperbolized by alcohol and atmosphere. I’ve heard stories for years from wing shooters and fisherman alike and I always thought that they were laced with a certain amount of bullshit. Portions of these stories had to be true though, right? This guy at the bar wouldn’t just lie to me like that, would he? Maybe there are some things you just have to see to believe.
I try not to spend much time in my life mulling over questions that don’t have real answers, but people often ask me why I fly fish or what it is about fly fishing that draws me to cold rivers at times of the day when most folks are still sleeping. I have a hard time putting it into words, but what I do know is that it is something that has staked a claim in my mind and it doesn’t seem to be leaving any time soon.