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Erin Block

Raised on an Iowa farm and then educated as a classical guitarist, Erin Block now works as librarian by day, writer by night, and a fly fisher and fly tier on her days off. Living in the mountains of Colorado, she and her dog Banjo roam the high country exploring alpine lakes and small streams as well as slog through mudflats and warm water ponds in pursuit of carp and bass along the Front Range. More of Erin’s writing can be found at: http://mysteriesinternal.blogspot.com/.

Author Articles

"Sisters"

She’s going to make me lonesome when she goes. And I know she will… full-life loaded on a plane over seas, mountains, history, countries.  Designations meaning nothing but to us homo sapiens, who’ve always drawn invisible lines, breaking things into pieces we can manage. Like we cut up steak. Chew hard. Chew slow. Sink teeth and swallow smiling...

"Out and Back"

Within fifteen minutes of being dropped the closest to the middle of nowhere I’ve ever been, I eat the first arctic grayling I’ve ever seen, cooked on an alder-twig fire built over a pile of blueberry-filled bear scat—which looks good, to tell the truth—like the syrup my mom would make on special occasions like snow days and Christmas, poured over...

"Making It Into the Book"

I can’t tell you it firsthand. But as a dependable second, like a well-worn cotton tee that’s held up over years of washing, passed down from your big sis. A friend of a friend used to fish with John Gierach. Watched him put eggshells in camp coffee, the whole shebang. I think he secretly hoped he’d make it into one of Gierach’s essays. After all...

"No Trespassing"

Cattle stick their heads through barbed wire to get to the other side. Where grass is greener, water cooler, times just better all around. Pushing the issue as if life or death, the posts start to lean into the wind. It’s a parable told to us as children, teaching us to be happy with what we have, with what we’re given. Everyone else is just as...

"A Good Bass Pond Is Hard to Find"

A good man, wrote Flannery O’Connor, is hard to find. Years ago, before reading her so-titled short story, I’d wrongly assumed it was in reference to uncompromising high standards in a partner. For single women, above all others, still have these. Especially those of a religious bent and who keep peacocks as pets. O’Connor may as well have said her...

The Life-Quality Balancing System

There is no off-season here in Colorado; rarely are there bad-weather days. It’s like living in the upbeat mind of an optimist: the sun always shines and the pint glass is always full, even when the bottom is cracked and leaking overly-hoppy beer. When people aren’t skiing they’re mountain biking, and when not on two-wheels they’re on foot, hoofing...

"Two Rules for Tigers"

There are two rules of musky fishing, he says, cigarette drooping from his mouth, natural as a third lazy eye. One: never pay attention. And two: always be prepared. This seems like the sort of advice people make for themselves to feel clever, you think. Unfortunately, it often works out as the truth. Small verbal games, turns of phrases, witticisms such as...

"The Naming"

A name is power. Of family, history, place. And the right to name is one of the great firsts of life, of endowed gravity.  Find the good things, you’re told, the virtues, and pull them out—never-ending like ribbon through a magic-man’s mouth. You don’t name a boy Beelzebub and you don’t name a gelding Stormy. Like peas to a trellis, we live up to...

"You're a River"

“In a life properly lived, you’re a river. You touch things lightly or deeply; you move along because life herself moves, and you can’t stop it.” - Jim Harrison The floods rearranged us. Drainage after drainage across the Front Range. Rains came down just like for Noah in the Sunday School song, and if you were of a religious bent, the prayers went...

DVD Review: "Warmwater Fly Tying" and "Saltwater Fly Tying"

The first time I saw Charlie Craven tie was at his shop, Charlie’s Fly Box, in Arvada, CO. Several years ago on that snowy Saturday morning, people packed shoulder-to-shoulder, the limited seating being occupied by old men fisting donuts and coffee, balancing pen and paper on their knees. I stood at the back next to bins of streamers and was thankful for...