WwwuurrrgGGPPPhhhtttTTT! Yawn, stretch, scratch, repeat! It is yet again another Monday, so let's have some coffee.
Well, winter here in Georgia stretches on with no end in sight. It's been in the mid- 60's to low 70's almost everyday, and the natives can't wait for it to be over. Not sure who I'm joshing more here- Georgians huddled up in heavy coats and boots, or you in the northern states who won't see those temps for a few months yet, but I'm an equal opportunity eye poker.
I don't have any new fishing to report, due to the fact that I'm suffering from my fourth virus since November, and I've been feeling ill from antibiotics I'm taking because of a sliver I drove almost all the way through my hand, that forced me to go see a doc and get a tetanus shot too. I haven't taken antibiotics in nearly twenty years, and I don't tolerate them well. That sliver went in the palm and was pushing the skin out on the back side of my hand, and hurt like hell. I guess it goes without saying that I don't hurt myself very much, have never had major surgery or broke a bone or given birth to a child. We all have our cross to bear.
We did get out to the Atlanta Fly Fishing Show on Saturday for a couple of hours and got to put some faces to names, and hopefully not spread our diseases to unwitting victims.
We ran into Jen Ripple of Dun magazine and A Tight Loop. Kurt Kopala from ATL was there too, but we didn't get the chance to meet him. We've talked in the past about me contributing to ATL, but somehow never made it happen. It's a good online mag focused on upper Midwest fly fishing. Dun, an emag focused on women in fly fishing, is about to go paper, so look for that in a shop near you soon.
|Jen workin' hard|
We then talked to Scott Thompson and legendary permit guide Lincoln Westby of Blue Horizon Belize, and I have to admit to being a little star struck. Mr. Lincoln, if you read this, if I looked like I didn't understand everything you said it's because my hearing is bad, especially in a busy room like that. They have us considering a vacation down there as they said there would be plenty for my girlfriend Marsha to do too- lots of beaches to hang out on, and they could run her to various spots for some tasty bottom fish that could be brought back and eaten. Going there as an option definitely went up in the rankings. Cameron Mortenson of The Fiberglass Manifesto went and fished there last year and you can read about it here, here and here.
I had a nice conversation with Kyle Shea of Deneki. I have been getting the Deneki newsletter every week in my email for several years, and it is one of the best sources of fly fishing info out there. Kyle does a really good job with it. He walks a fine line between selling their fishing and lodges (two in Alaska, and one each in British Columbia and the Bahamas) and sharing information that is useful to anyone, and I've always felt he does an excellent job. No hard sales, just lots of great information on fly fishing, and if it one day moves you to fish with them, then click on the link. You should be getting this newsletter every week. It's easy to sign up, so go do it.
I ran into Justin Pickett of Gink and Gasoline, who I have fished with a couple times, and Aaron Tyre of River Through Atlanta guide service who keeps threatening to go fish together, but we haven't made it happen yet. These guys have a gold mine in the Chattahoochee flowing right through Atlanta. It's a tailwater that actually has some wild, naturally reproducing brown trout in it, some of which can push the 30 inch mark. It's a big river and tough to access in places, with rapids and shoals in spots that are tough to navigate, and the challenges you would expect of an urban stream in the Deep South, but I think these guys have a good thing going.
It was cool to see the Stealthcraft Boats display, with the Hooligan XL raft on display, which I personally watched my buddy Brett Watson develop from the ground up. We spent a lot of days fishing the prototypes on some tight little Michigan streams and caught some nice fish. I should add that I'm not endorsed by any of these companies or websites, I'm just sharing cool stuff I saw and the people I enjoyed talking to at the show.
Now for some self-promotion. I wrote a short fiction story called "Stones in the River" and used it to play around with self-publishing. If you want to support a starving artist click on the link and give it a read. I think it's a good story, and I'm interested to see if you do too. Yes it involves fly fishing. Unlike a GoFundMe campaign, you actually get something in exchange. I've put it on Amazon Kindle for now. If you don't own a Kindle you can still download the file and read it on any electronic device you have. I hope you enjoy it. I'll probably do a blog post on it tomorrow.
In addition I actually have two blog posts coming up on issues I don't think will play well on the other outlets I write for. One called "Don't Hate Chuck n Duck" on a useful but much maligned technique, and the other addresses the chumming controversy in Michigan that has gone on for too long.
If that's not enough, I'll have a post on Atlantic salmon farming on Gink and Gasoline soon, and an interview of leather artist Lee Slikkers that should go up on MidCurrent. And I'm working on four different books and hope to finish at least one by spring. Thanks for reading my work, and for understanding why things are so sparse here at FR anymore.
Well, my coffee is done and cold, and I still have an actual paying job to do, so thanks for sharing a cup with me. Mr. Westby- if you succumb to body aches and a mysterious fever that strikes in the evening, I'm sorry.
Let's get after it.
|From left: Lincoln Westby and Scott Thompson|
|Aaron and Justin on the loose|
|Kyle Shea in the house|
|the Hooligan XL|