Posts Tagged With: trout

When Art Imitates Art, Good Fish Die

Before color photography (and the ability to print it cheaply), outdoor catalog and magazine covers featured the work of illustrators. Never receiving the same attention as their contemporaries who did “fine” art, and certainly never able to command the same prices for their works, those illustrators created lasting images of our sport, using paint, crayons and pastels.

Their age alone evokes nostalgia, but there is a rich quality to the illustrator’s art — like the cover above, by Lynn Bogue Hunt – that other media just can’t match. Of course, if a similar image were to appear today, not only would it be a photo instead of a painting, but someone would probably be wearing a bikini.

Any image imaginable is possible today, with modern digital photography and editing software. Advertisements have become more absurd than ever, with talking reptiles and flying trucks; pixel by pixel manipulation of photos has become the norm. Where photography once provided an interpretation of what the artist saw, it is now used to create what the artist wishes us to see and, to me, much of what passes for “photography” these days should more properly be called “digital art”. By the time some of these “photos” are published, not much of the original image remains, and we seem to take for granted the inclusion or complete fabrication of elements that may not have existed before. It takes skill and a keen eye to produce such false images that look so nearly real, but what happens when a modern, 21st Century photographer uses his chosen medium to reproduce one of those iconic images from the past?

Photographer Randal Ford took on just such a task when he signed on with L.L. Bean to recreate the cover of their Spring 1933 catalog as part of L.L. Bean’s 100th anniversary celebration. Continue reading

Categories: +Uncategorized, Fly Fishing, Humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Fishing Hurts, Again (Still?)

Winter’s approach means less time on the water for most anglers in the northern hemisphere, and more time in front of the fire, contemplating this and all other seasons past. It also means more time in front of the computer, discussing our “sport”.  Erin Block has kicked off our more philosophical time of year with a very interesting conversation on her blog about ethics, specifically casting to spawning fish.

Every angler has his or her own justifications for fishing (or not) the way they do (or do not) and I am glad to see Erin’s post take off the way it has, even if I prefer to save such heaviness for the dark cold blue of deep winter. Her words, and the comments they have spawned (pun intended) are definitely worth a read.

The fact that anglers are willing to discuss their fishing ethics is encouraging to me. It is certainly better and more productive than some of the stuff non-anglers throw at us, as pointed out by Marc Fauvet of The Limp Cobra in his post, My rod’s bigger than yours. PETA has adopted a strategy to eliminate fishing by relating the torturing of fish to penis size, referring to the penises of the anglers, not the fish. Never mind the fact that many of the world’s finest anglers have no penis at all. Check it out and see if you have something to add to the conversation over there, before it turns completely to goats.

Personally, I still sometimes wonder why I feel the need to drive a hook into a fish’s mouth and reel him/her in, just to let him/her go. Or why I set traps for beaver, muskrat and mink. Or swat flies, kill wasps and poison mice. I do, however, know why I do not fish for dogs and I wrote about it once. You can read my story here: Fishing Hurts.

Meanwhile, I’ll be blowing out water lines in the camps and trying to get stuff picked up before it freezes to the ground. It’s going to be a long winter.

Categories: Fly Fishing, Humor, Winter | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

The Return of Quill Gordon

It was a dark and stormy night. Some say my friend, Eugene, was riding a door strapped to a couple of compressed gas cylinders; others say it was some kind of jet-propelled ironing board. What he was riding is not important now but all accounts agree that at about the time the river was cresting Eugene shot downstream in a long, horizontal spiral like a bottle rocket.

Over dams and under bridges — in some cases over bridges — Eugene rode the raging floodwaters of Irene through the night and into the next day. And the next and the next, eventually drifting into Long Island Sound, where he was sighted aboard what appeared to be a horse trough, using his trousers for a sail. Plucked from the water by a passing pleasure craft, Eugene was then taken ashore, where he was tended to by a group of lovely women who, it turns out, were the stars of a television show about themselves. It also turns out they were drinking quite a lot and things became, as Eugene put it, “a tad competitive.”

The general consensus, once everyone was sober and Eugene found his trousers, was that it would be best if no one ever spoke again about what had just taken place, so the next time you happen to find yourself searching the internet for the truth behind this September’s firings among the cast of Real Housewives of New York, read those articles twice. Notice how carefully all parties avoid any mention whatsoever of my friend Eugene. Continue reading

Categories: +The Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society, Humor, Stories About My Good Friend, Eugene | Tags: , , , , , , | 11 Comments

A Toast to the Unknown Guide

My old friend, Dr. Marcus Feely, recently spent four days here at Fish in a Barrel Pond. He will be back in August, with his wife and family, and again in September, with some lucky young receptionist from his office. Last week, however, he was here by himself.

I hate to say it, but when he is alone he gets lonely and if I stopped to chat every time he wanted to talk I would never get anything done.

I don’t exactly hide, but I can be difficult to find and I don’t exactly skulk, but when Doc Feely is here I do tend to skirt the edges a bit more than usual. My stealthiness is tested during his visits, especially when he stays in the Cahill camp, which I must pass on my way to inspect our overflow spillway. I got out there just fine on Tuesday, crawling on my belly beneath the kitchen window while Doc sat on the front porch, listening to the Red Sox game, but coming back, as I drew near I heard ice in a glass and froze.

Doc Feely was making a drink in the kitchen and I had to think fast. I could stay right where I was and wait, sauntering past after he toddled back out to the porch or I could find an alternate route and be on my merry way. Instead, I panicked when I heard the kitchen screen door squeak open and slap shut, followed by the approaching tinkle of ice in a drink.

I don’t remember the lie I must have told when Doc Feely asked what I was doing 35 feet up a pine tree, but I remember a few of the lies I tried when he insisted I come sit on the porch with him. They weren’t very good ones and I finally climbed down, figuring that if I was going to spend the next part of the afternoon listening to Doc prattle on I might as well do it on the porch with a drink in my hand instead of halfway up a pine, getting covered with sap. Continue reading

Categories: +The Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society, Fly Fishing, Humor | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Of Mayflies and Trout

It’s not often I am the only person on the pond.

When someone complains about the fishing and I say, “You should have been here on Tuesday!” they think I’m kidding or don’t believe me. Hatches of mayflies can come off as a mere trickle of bugs being chased by a couple of trout or the water can erupt with fish as a blizzard of faeries fills the air. Then, as if someone flipped a switch, the hatch will end and an angler passing by five minutes later won’t know it even happened.

This evening, I was right on time. Continue reading

Categories: Fly Fishing, nature | Tags: , , , , | 9 Comments

First Trout of the Season

It is a bit of a gamble, declaring the last Saturday in April to be Opening Day at Fish in a Barrel Pond. Not only is it possible that the pond could still be covered with ice, there is also the chance that the cottages will not be accessible or have no running water due to frozen water lines. It is a mad scramble to get things up and running once the thaw sets in.

Some members of the Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society clear their calendars months in advance, flat-out lying if necessary, to be here for the first day of fishing and the celebration that comes with it. They all know that Mother Nature has the final say but the possibility of postponement is not an option for me. I must plug away as if nothing could possibly go wrong even if it means I am still patching pipes as the last of the lake ice disappears with mere hours to spare. Continue reading

Categories: Fly Fishing, Humor, Rural Life, Vermont | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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