+The Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society

Fall Color and a Few Things That Fell

The foliage this fall was lovely enough that some of the locals commented on it and a few of my photos even came out. Impatient people may scroll down to the slide show of pretty pictures any time they wish, but there is some important documentation to get out of the way first.

With a long, rich angling history, the shallows of Fish in a Barrel Pond were certain to reveal treasures as the level was drawn down this summer and I made sure to document them as they appeared. I’m afraid there was no bonanza of dropped reels or rods that had been thrown in frustration like 9-irons; nothing of much worth turned up in the muck, but that doesn’t mean it’s without value.

When someone hands me a drink and asks what the heck has to be done in order to catch a fish around here, I raise my glass and tell them I’m pretty sure that this ain’t it. As I have mentioned before, the situation is a little more complicated when that person is in their underwear, but my answer remains the same. Unless, of course, that person is fishing at the time.

I’ve not seen it often, but it is absolutely possible for a person in their underwear, sipping Glenmorangie and waving a rod, to catch a fish. Apparently it is more common than previously thought, judging by a sampling of things found during the draw down.

Diluted, perhaps, but it did not spill!

Diluted, perhaps, but it did not spill!

That was not the only highball glass that surfaced, along with a couple of tumblers and the remains of a martini glass. You know, typical fly fishing gear.

What those tipplers were wearing at the time is anybody’s guess but at least one of them was evidently not wearing their underwear.

Tasteful Black

Tasteful Black

I’m not sure where they locked their hemostat, but it didn’t work.

You pinched your what?

You pinched your what?

And in broad daylight, no less!

And in broad daylight, no less!

Maybe the rods are in deeper water.


One afternoon in October, while the colors of the trees and angle of the light were breaking my heart, three cars with out of state plates skidded to a stop at the roadside. Twelve loud people and three yapping dogs scrambled onto the dam, I assumed to take in the view. After carefully positioning themselves, they turned away from the view and took pictures of themselves not looking at it. Then they sent each other the pictures and showed them to each other. Hunched over their phones, shielding the screens from the scarlet and golden glow all around, they sent the pictures to other people and headed back to the cars, giggling as the likes and the tweets came back.

They seemed to have enjoyed themselves but somehow I think they missed something. I don’t try to photograph foliage when it is at “peak” because I’ll miss seeing it and there really is no point in trying to capture it. I would fail to do it justice. I still watch it, though.

That said, here are some pictures from a few days that weren’t half bad:








Categories: +The Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society, Humor, nature, Vermont | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Draining Season

Last seen on an early spring night, spinning down a muddy road, swigging from a jar of warm syrup, Quill Gordon did not bounce into a ditch, spill the syrup and contract a nasty case of distemper after being licked clean by raccoons. 

He did not pop an angler in the nose and wind up in rehab, nor did he find true enlightenment in a small cove on a June afternoon, skating caddis patterns one minute, disappearing in a sparkly poof the next.

If you think leading a normal, productive life makes it hard to keep up a blog, try it as the figment of someone’s imagination, always forced to crash trucks or achieve bliss against your will! Of course, none of those things actually happened so Quill Gordon is still here at Fish in a Barrel Pond, running around naked and peeing on stuff carefully putting the place to bed as one more season comes to an end — a season that was more unusual than seasons usually are around here, right from the start.

The universe did not get the memo asking that natural processes be synchronized with human calendars and the lake was still frozen when the members of the Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society arrived for Opening Weekend. There wasn’t even a sliver of open water at the spillway where they could pose for pictures, pretending to fish while wearing snowshoes.


Fish in a Barrel Pond, Opening Day, 2015

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Categories: +The Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society, Vermont | Tags: , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

No Fooling, These are the Good Old Days

It may sound cruel to stand by and watch something die, but this is winter we’re talking about and there’s nothing you can do to help it along. The thing is — and this also applies to things other than winter — you don’t want to go poking at it or looking too close too soon. Under the influence of syrup, my last post did just that and winter delivered a reflexive kick to the cranium, knocking spring right out of my mind and causing me to put down the shears, deciding the beard can stay for while — at least until I get tired of it or burn it off feeding the arch at Bobo’s. One or the other; I can’t decide.

Winter and spring duke it out as they do every year and, as ugly as things get, they both end up just looking silly. Meanwhile, the rest of us wallow out through the mid-day slop and bounce home over frozen ruts at night, feeling like the punchline in some kind of big cosmic joke. Continue reading

Categories: +The Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society, Fly Fishing, Humor, Vermont | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Repeat as Necessary

Fish in a Barrel Pond, in Winter

Winter Scene (In Color), Fish in a Barrel Pond

This ain’t my first trip around the sun and we’re passing through a very familiar stretch of orbit right now. Shrouded in snow, littered with  snapped utility poles and downed trees, it is winter and we cope with the cold, brace against the wind and prepare for the occasional shredding of the network of power and communication lines that serve this neck of the woods. No one needs to be told to go home and hunker down until the storm is over, allowing plows, emergency workers and utility crews to do their jobs, and no one emerges from their shelter pissed off that they took cover from something short of Doomsday itself.

It is winter. Embrace it, endure it, or leave. Continue reading

Categories: +The Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society, Humor, nature, Rural Life, Vermont, Winter | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Here We Go Again

Fish in a Barrel Pond, April 20, 2014

Fish in a Barrel Pond, April 20, 2014

An entire winter’s worth of snow slowly condensed into a thick layer of ice, sitting on lake ice that formed in December. With less than a week before Opening Day, there was nothing to be done about the ice but hope it would go out in time. Meanwhile, there were camps to prepare, repair, and otherwise make ready for the upcoming season.

Fish in a Barrel Pond, April  21, 2014

Fish in a Barrel Pond, April 21, 2014

Woodland creatures were evicted, floors were swept, and beds were made, as if there were no ice at all (other than in the usual low spots in water lines) and, while anxious anglers left messages asking about the lake, cussing and banging gave way to sighs of relief at the sound of trickling faucets. Continue reading

Categories: +The Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society, Fly Fishing, nature, Vermont | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Flashback Friday: Phoning It In

Some people think the most important day of the year for the anglers of Fish in a Barrel Pond is Opening Day, in late April, as long as the ice is out.

Those people are wrong.

Seasoned members of the Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society know the most important day of the year is the second Saturday of February, the day they can start making reservations for the upcoming season.

It's Easy to Call Ahead!

Call by number! It’s twice as fast!

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Categories: +The Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society, Flashback Fridays, Fly Fishing, Humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

From the Editor: A Clarification

Quill Gordon’s recent post “I Hear the Fishing’s Been Pretty Good” included a photo of a less than clean bathroom floor, which he believed to have been peed upon. Several individuals (none of whom were suspected to be the pee-ers in question) have suggested that this may not have been the case. In the interest of fairness we have given their theory careful consideration and feel obligated to admit that perhaps someone did not actually pee directly on the floor.

We agree it is entirely possible that a group of men, over the course of several days, merely splashed or dribbled on the floor. Then, maybe, they stepped in those splashes and dribbles and the dirt from their shoes mixed with those dribbles to form “a little mud” which someone forgot to clean up by throwing down a towel and swishing it around with their foot. It has been further suggested that “Quill Gordon should lighten up and stop sounding like my wife.”

Accepting the theory of splashes and dribbles, we regret the implication that the floor had been directly peed upon.

~The Editor

Categories: +The Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society, Humor | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments

I Hear the Fishing’s Been Pretty Good

Winter’s stark grays softened beneath a gauzy green veil as spring returned to the slopes of Nonesuch Mountain. A last toast to winter drained the dregs of that bitter keg so I took up the cup of spring with a nod to the transition of season, acknowledging an important milestone along our planet’s annual journey around the sun. I lifted the vernal chalice to my lips as for a kiss, and imbibed the essence of the season with intemperate relish as spring flowed like syrup, at its own leisurely pace.

Another cup appeared, brimming with the prospect of the return of anglers to Fish in a Barrel Pond, top shelf stuff, and you know I simply couldn’t resist. But I took a wide stance and held onto my hat as I quaffed because, Dear Readers, drinking from that vessel is like drinking from a damn fire hose.

ice monday

Monday, April 22

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Categories: +The Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society, Humor, Loons, nature, Rural Life, Vermont | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Quill Gordon and the Nonesuch Mountain Meltdown

So there I was, ready to wax rhapsodic as spring returned, but winter threw a hissy fit.


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Categories: +The Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society, Humor, Maple Syrup, nature, Rural Life, Vermont | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Flashback Friday Rides Again! Russian Tiger Catchers, A Story Not About Fishing, and Then I Get to the Point!

It’s easy to get distracted while thumbing through my old magazines, looking for something in particular. Mixed in with the mundane and everyday aspects of the outdoor life are exciting stories filled with danger and daring, told by those who survived them, offering a glimpse of rugged days gone by. Like these 1950’s Russian tiger catchers, restraining a wild beast with not much more than stout wooden poles!

tiger catchers

Brought to bay by dogs, this tiger was destined for a zoo or a circus and had to be taken alive. One man has a line around a paw and, according to the article, the tiger was in a bag and headed for the truck within minutes. I hope these guys made good money, because I can’t imagine grabbing tigers for fun, although I guess you never know. Continue reading

Categories: +The Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society, Flashback Fridays, Fly Fishing, Humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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