Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dreams of Discovery

The sights and sounds of the Big River are becoming clearer and louder now. In my minds eye I can see her in the distance, draped in the fog of an early morning. The sun is streaming through the gray and mysterious shroud,slowly burning a hole in the place where I see myself standing. The azure sky opens as the warmth of the sun scatters all traces of the mist,and it evaporates just as quickly as it was formed. The river is alive.The undulation of it's shimmering liquid mercury surface hides the object of my desire.Rods,lines,reels and flies fill my mind and dominate both my waking and unconscious dreams.What is real and what is a dream? Where do the two come together and where do they separate? The dreams of discovery are what pushes me forward. To stand in her waters and cast endlessly will be enough.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Fine and Far Off

"Fly tackle has improved considerably since 1676, when Charles Cotton advised anglers to 'fish fine and far off,' but no one has ever improved on that statement." 

-John Gierach

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Happy place

Here I sit, nestled in a warm bed listening to the sound of the wood stove crackling. The winter season is upon us and I eagerly wait for the dawn to come. The river is low,clear and cold right now and I am thinking of summer spots that I will fish tomorrow. So good to be where I am. Nothing can steal my joy. The sight of my fly fishing well through the green currents is all I can think of as I drift off to sleep..........

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


The water beckoned to me as I drove down the river. The carnage from the last high water event was evident and extensive.New gravel bars have formed and old gravel bars were wiped away. In their place there are new pockets,buckets and runs.And so begins the endless winter process of building up and tearing down.The river never resting,always moving,always building and always destroying.

Sticks,logs and other debris have seemingly climbed the trees as they now rest in the branches high above the ground. Shoreline trees are bent over like an old man struggling against the wind. Their permanently twisted shapes lining the banks in a salute to the power of the river.The sand is clean on the beaches with only the eroded lines of a rapidly dropping river left as a calling card from the tumultuous levels that have just now subsided.There are no human tracks anywhere and only the odd bird, otter,or raccoon footprint mark the surface. It is a new river and a New Year. The quiet stillness of a river after it drops brings on a euphoria that is hard to explain. I stare blankly into the winter green currents as they playfully turn and twist,racing each other to the ocean.

I step into the river and cast a short line, swinging it all the way to the bank as currents and depths are conducive and allow the fly to swing to a full hang-down. My mind is somewhere else as I enjoy the feel of the rod in my hands in this New Year. The casts are coming easily and I step slowly through the upper section of the run. The fly searches diligently for a new fish that may have rode the high water upstream. I picture the fly swimming in my minds eye. I think at times I actually feel the tension on the materials as the river caresses it through the entire drift. Everything is perfect. The river, the sunshine,and the blessing that I feel to be standing where I am right now. This is good for my soul.

The line tightens agonizingly slow, the Daiwa 812 gives 6 inches of line and clicks a few times. Wait for it.......Bam!!! I raise the rod firmly and strike a heavy fish.He shakes his massive head in disagreement of his new found predicament and the rod throbs in tandem. I fight this fish quickly and cleanly, nothing truly remarkable about it,just a good solid fight. As I slide him into the shallows, I am awed by his size.He is easily the largest fish I have seen in winter in quite some time.He is perfect in every way with barely a hint of rose along the side and cheek.I am awed by his strength. I am awed by his beauty.  In a dream like state,I twist the hook out of this magnificent creature, watching his silver body glide silently into the main current and disappear.

Now I have not even begun to cover this run and I know there are probably more fish in it, but I know that I am done. Without hesitation, I break my rod down knowing I can do no better.I just hooked and landed my first fish of the New Year and it was more than enough for me. I stumble back to the truck floating on a cloud,arriving perhaps 10 minutes after I shut it's door to walk down to the run. I climb out of my waders and stow the rod, I am done for the day after a very short but very memorable session.

I am thankful for this New Year, and the gift of these incredible fish and the amazing community of like minded souls I find myself surrounded by.

Cherish each fish and each other my friends!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Reminisces from a Great Childhood

Dave Tucker recently posted on FB about his Grandson catching his first fish with Grandpa. As I read I thought "that is so very cool!".

Then I had a flash to the past and started thinking about my PaPa, Ernest Franklin Chenowith. He was my Mom's Dad and I loved him dearly.

I wish I could remember the first fish I caught fishing with my PaPa, but I can't. It just seems like he was always fishing with us. I do remember many, many trips with him and the good times we had.

I remember when I was 10 I had a new spinning reel and he took me to the "ponds" near the Grass Valley Highway. It was quite a walk and when we got out there I discovered my reel handle had backed itself off and was gone. I fished anyway and still caught a few. The man that owned the Western Auto store took a handle off a reel in his display case and gave it to me so I could fish while we were there. That was my first personal experience with outstanding customer service.

I also remember many trips to Rattlesnake Bar on Folsom Lake and stopping at the old store by the RR tracks for a strawberry pop. I remember Striped bass fishing with PaPa on the Sacramento River.

I don't remember the last fish I caught with him either but it might have been at Fish Lake in Southern Utah when he and Granny came for a visit.

I do remember the last fish I caught at his house, or at least one of them. He had a spring pond and had put a few bluegills in it that he'd procured? from a local lake. I caught those bluegills over and over and the last time I fished there I was 18. The next time I was there was to visit him as he lay dying in the hospital.

I raise a toast to you PaPa. Thank you for making a little boy's time on the water more special!