Gearing down for mountain water

I approached from down river. Behind a mess of branches twisted next to a stump, a few trout were taking flies off the surface of the slow-moving Stanislaus River. It was an easy cast, but one that had to be precise. Sierra Nevada trout don’t like to see thick, green fly line three inches above…

How to lose a fish in 10 ways

I’m an expert at losing fish. I’ve lost trout on sticks, twigs, rocks and roots. I’ve lost salmon to sea weed, stumps, trees, broken rods, broken hooks, broken reels and hungry sea lions. I should have considered that nauseating “What just happened?” feeling when I saw a knot in my leader an inch above my…

How can I get a raft?

The Same River Twice A Boatman’s Journey Home By Michael Burke I like memoirs because life is interesting enough if the story is told well. Burke guided whitewater rafting trips on the Stanislaus River in California which is discussed before he goes on a journey to Alaska to trace the history of a distant relative…

As fast as your eyes can take you

The Last Season by Eric Blehm I used to think there was no such thing as a “quick read”, because there is nothing quick about taking out 300 pages of book. What is really meant by that phrase is that you become literally unable to book mark your page and step away. The Last Season epitomizes…