I’ve managed to get myself tied into a trip to Idaho with a close friend of mine. We’re going for work. Just enough work to be able to write-off all the fishing we’ve got planned. And according to the folks we’ve got plans to fish with, we’re very likely to end up tangling with browns that would likely rival, in weight and strength, opponents I faced on the wrestling mat in high school. If that’s the case, I’m going Vision Quest on some bruiser browns. If you don’t know, you better ask somebody.
The fight’s inevitable. Bring it.
The wake-up call rang at 3:45 on Sunday morning.
From my 44th floor window, Canal St. was still a neon flow of people swarming from one street corner to another–some hotel-bound, some still hustling for the decadence of Bourbon St. My eye opening, new gear lusting, friend making, cajun food eating, Abita beer drinking, fly rod casting, flip-flop wearing, sore back cursing, sweating like a stuck pig four day tour of the International Fly Tackle Dealer Show was coming to an unmerciful end. A 6:15 a.m. flight is a sonofabitch.
I’ve got a pretty good amount to write about from the show itself. About the connections and new friends I made mostly. Some gear and other things that I was impressed by as well. But I figured I’d start with a few meager pics from the other show that was going down around any given corner at any given hour of the day. There could be hundreds more, but sometimes you just get caught in a stare. It’s probably just as well.
It’s been a busy summer for house-projects, travel and work. Four months have already passed since I made the jump from the agency world to freelance-dome and it feels like it’s been years…in a good way.
Over the next month or so I’ve got a significant amount of writing to do about a few significant trips from this busy summer:
• The IFTD show that I just attended in New Orleans (watch for reports from Cameron over at The Fiberglass Manifesto and Alex at 40 Rivers to Freedom, as well as Midcurrent and Angling Trade).
• My upcoming trip west to fish in Idaho (hell yea!)
• Our week in the Adirondacks (which I’ve already been putting up some poetry from).
So, stay tuned as the busy-ness rolls on.
Fat white-gray clouds on blue
beyond the rugged pine shores,
east beyond Indian and Wolf Mountains,
west beyond Chaumont Swamp and Twin Mountain,
north beyond Bear Mountain in the saddle of Cranberry Lake,
south beyond Five Ponds and Deer Mountain,
gone before we round the point at The Narrows,
headlong into the wind, pulling water
on both sides of the canoe.
THIS CURRENT’S COURSE
Nameless stream, a whisper among boulders and tree roots,
a tired whisper after the dam holding an acre-sized beaver pond
breached, let loose a river from up the mountain, straightening
the meandering curves of this small seam, bounding,
fanning wide into the moss, fern, rock and pines
before circling back and rushing on.
From the relative depths of a dark cut
beneath a knot of exposed birch roots,
an eager brook trout attacks my fly.
Bright gem catching a glint of sunlight
in this almost accidental universe.
Large in the large scheme of things.
I’m reminded of a poem by Gary Snyder,
written while a fire lookout in the North Cascades.
Months at a time he’d spend in service and solitude.
From six stories up, I can see the attraction.
Sprawling topography of mountainsides and valleys, so much
softer from this height, stitched one to the other in shades of green,
patchwork blanket of pine and hardwoods. Hawks rising
higher and higher on thermals, still suspended far below.
Candid conversations with the wind. Graceful, shifting, gigantic
balance of dawn’s hue and starry dusk.
Active meditation on a passive existence. This tower,
like his, the center of its own universe, one
of billions of centers each revolving around each.
Tribes gathering in celebration.
A choir looking skyward for its voice.