Floating Your Hat (A How To Article)

A change of pace here on “The Vent.” Instead of pseudo intellectual dark prose Ive decided to keep things light and do a  “How To” article for those wishing to spend less time vertical while fishing.  Lets be honest, who doesn’t want to go for a swim and cool off every now and then?  And if you are going to do that, why not spice it up a bit and add in the element of surprise. Choosing to get wet is a boring and vanilla experience better left to those who enjoy extended anticipation.  For me there is nothing like the feeling of panic and helplessness at the moment you realize you are going down, and all the possibility of injury and death flash in your minds eye just before the physical shock of hitting ice cold water.  There are few simple steps you can can take while out on the river to ensure that you too can share in this time honored ritual. 

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The In-Between

Now is the in-between time. It’s no longer really summer but fall is not yet here. The fishing is as good as it’s been all year, but for me at least, it’s like a good bowl of tobacco in a favorite pipe. It started off well, full of potential and excitement. There were a few hiccups along the way, a little burble in the shank, probably due to the moisture that has stoved into the hills for what seems like weeks on end, and has had a soggy effect on the fishing too.  The mid point was strong, tasty and full of moments of pleasure. A few times I was greedy and puffed harder, trying to demand more from the sweet smoky leaf, and as always, I got bit.  Now near the end my tongue has grown weary, and the flavors, while still present, have fallen victim to my own fatigue. I’m going through the motions, only occasionally surprised by some level of texture rather than taste. 

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Heads over Tails

Ive been asked by the wife to go out for drinks and dinner with another couple.  The wives are hoping that the men will find something they can connect on, like one another’s company, have something or someone in common, and develop a meaningful and lasting relationship that will blossom into double dates, family outings, maybe even extended vacations together.  

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Revelations

woke this morning feeling odd. This all began on a cool wet evening last spring.  I don’t remember much of the event as I was young.  There are memories of a splash, a fall, and a slow sinking into the comfort and safety of the dark and cold.  There was light but little.  It would shine through with a twinkle for a moment and then darkness would wash over me again . 

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ORDO AB CHAO

For most folks the image of fly fishing conjures up a wide river, a middle age man, and long, graceful casts.  Fly fishing is often described as a mixture of art and science and is referred to as “the quiet  sport.”  Idyllic nature settings and trout that rise to eat a bug from the surface of the water are shown over and over again in outdoor television programming, block buster films starring Brad Pitt, You Tube videos starring some guy trying to be Brad Pitt, angling magazines, pharmaceutical commercials for erectile dysfunction, and even screen printed on to shirts and ties.

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Gearing Up for Winter Fly Fishing

Winter fly fishing is much more gear intensive than wading up a summer stream in your flip flops with a pocket full of elk hair caddis and parachute adams.  This kind of fishing is not for the minimalist hipster with his Trucker hat and Tenkara rod.  This is gear head weather.  This is merino wool and poly-pro fleece base layers, alpaca socks and scarves, down puffy jackets, water proof and “breathable” heavy duty outer shells, wind stopping skull caps, and fifty dollar underwear weather. This is camp stove and coffee back at the car, tomato soup in a thermos, brown liquor in a flask weather. 

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Feel like a kid again/Late June Early July Report

Now is the time of year to head up or head down.  Mid-elevation streams have either gone the way of the spring and faded into their summer estivation or are over run with tubers, swimmers, and other fly fishermen.  Ones best move is to find your inner child and go exploring. Put on the hiking boots, pull out the maps, and seek out backcountry waters. Or put on the flip flops and swimming trunks and pursue the smallmouth bass of the big low elevation rivers. 

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