Category Archives: Commentary

A Short Gratitude List

If we weren’t obligated to spend hours enjoying the glazed sweet-potato casserole, corn-syrup-free pecan pie and honey chipotle deep-fried turkey, we could easily spend the day ennumerating the other things we’re thankful for on Thanksgiving.  But obligations are obligations, so … more

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What’s Wrong With Tweedy?


Fly-fishing elitism has long been associated with pipe smoking, wicker creels and tweed jackets.  Fly fishers like trend-bashing as much—or more—than participants in other outdoors sports, and the new media angling writer who suggests that something classic is actually smart … more

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The Gurgle of the Stream, a Screaming Reel, and … Jim Morrison?

The ambient sounds of nature just do not do it for Lefty Ray Chapa.  Chapa tells about a memorable trip where a homeowner’s musical selection enhanced a day on the Guadalupe River:  “I really do not think it affected the … more

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Keeping Secrets

Mark Blazis of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette recently wrote about keeping a certain brook a secret to conserve the delicate habitat.  “Mindful of those who would plunder one of my favorite places in the world, I never divulge the … more

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On Steve Jobs and Fly Fishing

When I first beheld the Mac in early 1984 (one of the few places the word ‘beheld’ actually fits), I knew life had changed.  We were looking at a time-compression machine: a nod to the accelerated reinvention of things that … more

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“Non-Marketed Natural Resources”

“Chances are the experience was worth more than you spent.” That’s John Loomis, professor at Colorado State University’s Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, explaining to San Francisco Chronicle columnist Rob Baedeker how catching and eating a planted trout might … more

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Throwing Rocks

One of my favorite notions—especially when shoulder-to-shoulder with “experts”—is that all fishing (and therefore fly fishing) started with throwing rocks.  On the other hand, while raising my own kids, I had to be in a very charitable mood to watch … more

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Power Outage at Jackson National Fish Hatchery

Reuters reported last night that a power outage at the Jackson National Fish Hatchery in Wyoming left about 150,000 Snake River fine-spotted cutthroat trout dead.  “The die-off was a tough break for a hatchery established to make up for losses … more

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Remembering and Recovering

As the Writer’s Almanac editors wrote this morning, Memorial Day became “a holiday after the Civil War, to honor the Union and Confederate soldiers who had died in battle, and after World War I it was extended to honor all … more

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“Sometimes You Just Need the Ugly Stick”

Writing for New West, outdoorsman Hayden Janssen ponders the purposes of fishing, the usufruct of fly fishing knowledge, and whether spin-casting in the snow is an absolute betrayal or simply an answer to the need for nature’s comfort. “While I … more

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