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“Some are born anglers; others have anglers thrust upon them.”

“Some are born anglers; others have anglers thrust upon them.” ~Quill Gordon

The summer season is upon us and millions of people are hatching plans for a little recreation, adventure, and a chance to be closer to nature. The View from Fish in a Barrel Pond is dedicated to those who work hard so they can play hard in the Great Outdoors but it is especially dedicated to those who take care of them when they get there.

Here’s to the guides and drivers and pilots and the people who keep the roofs on. Here’s to the guys and gals who keep the water flowing properly (both in and out). Here’s to those who handle the reservations and scheduling. Here’s to the folks who make the beds and wipe whiskers from the sinks. Here’s to the outfitters, medical staff and rescue teams, the dish washers and cooks and the guys who clean septic filters. Here’s to the people who bang the nails and turn the wrenches, stock paper towels and stack wood. Here’s to the people who try their darndest to make things as right as possible when things don’t quite go as planned, dust everyone off and move on. Here’s to those who pick up the trash, fold the towels and clean unmentionable messes.

To everyone who works hard so others can play hard (or at least pretend to), here’s to you. Continue reading

Categories: +Uncategorized, Fly Fishing, Humor, nature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Does Having a Blog Entitle You to a Book?

(Aspiring novelists should back out now. Hire an editor and maybe a mental health professional is about all the advice I can offer.)

A self published book does not need to make you rich and famous to be successful unless, of course, riches and fame are your goals. And even if you work your fingers to the bone — designing and editing and marketing — your book still might not find an appreciative audience and all you’ll have to show for it is bony fingers.

You already have bony blogger fingers and an appreciative audience of readers. Why not make a book? Even if you don’t have a blog, you can make a book of anything you want. Continue reading

Categories: +Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Halfway Through the Season

I am willing to admit that, when a man uses “finger quotes” for the fifth time, explaining why the “rules” don’t apply to him, a quick left jab to the nose may not be the best response, even if it seems perfectly appropriate at the time.

I am also willing to admit that, when on the way to stupid, pain-in-the-ass, court-ordered anger management classes, taking it out by swerving into a group of young turkeys on the shoulder of Route 5 might come across as a tad offensive to some.

I will even concede that, when a real judge suggests a little “cooling off and drying out time,” a stay at Detox Mansion might not be such a bad idea, even if it might mean doing yard work with Liza Minnelli.

Each of those statements is true but none are applicable to this season at Fish in a Barrel Pond (so far). No one has been punched in the nose (yet) or been to court and ordered into behavior modification, no turkeys were harmed in the making up of this nonsense and, I assure you, Quill Gordon’s Steel-Toed Drinking Shoes remain laced, all the way to the top.

The ice went out and the loons returned. The large black and white aquatic birds came back, too. It’s been all anglers, all the time, following pretty much the same script as every year, except for the 18 hours I spent spiraling in the vortex of airport Hell that is United Airlines in Houston, or being struck by the thought that I, of all people, could arrive late, find my way through a throng of thousands from one terminal to another in Chicago, and catch a flight with just seconds to spare while a man from (name any city) can barely find his way around an old camp in Vermont measuring 20′ x 20′.

Six times in the last 12 weeks posts have been started and not finished, leaving three people wondering what might have happened to Quill Gordon. The truth involves discussing feelings and emotions and such so, when people ask, I just let them go on thinking I’ve been raking leaves with Liza.

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Lucky, I guess.

Continue reading

Categories: +Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Just Don’t

no fishing

Categories: +Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Some Background

Loyal readers may have noticed a change in the aesthetics of these pages, a new layout and look. It’s a mid-winter make-over, just one symptom of a mild case of the Shack Nasties and, while Quill Gordon himself has no intention whatsoever of making an appointment with a stylist, The View from Fish in a Barrel Pond could stand to be gussied up a bit. (Another symptom of this strain of Shack Nasties is hanging out in south-facing windows, fighting cats for sunny spots.)

The image for our current background is a picture of flies tied and framed by Don Bastian, replicating a color plate from the book “Trout” by Ray Bergman. You can visit Don’s blog by following this link to Don Bastian Wet Flies.

Don’s flies are great but we can’t help feeling the new background kind of looks like pajamas. Reader input is welcome.

Categories: +Uncategorized | 18 Comments

Something Different: Pictures of Lily

Some dimwit clicked the “like” button on a recent post to this blog and, of course, I took the bait and clicked the link. To get a fly fishing reference in here I should write that “I rose to the well-presented offering” but this particular dimwit doesn’t strike me as able to stand still long enough to be much of an angler. He also likes his whisky with an e.

Chris Hinton’s blog is an odd amalgam of whatever comes pouring out of his brain so follow the link above at your peril. He is also known to have yelled at his mother for not having a blog of her own but now she does and he has redeemed himself by posting some lovely photos of flowers, which I thought was nice because his mother’s blog offers support for those grieving the loss of a child.

Clara Hinton’s blog is Silent Grief Child Loss Support. She seems to me to be a nice woman, who knows what it’s like, trying to help others through very hard times.

Following the lead of a dimwit in Pittsburgh, a few photos for them:

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Categories: +Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

Of an Evening

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Categories: +Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Tapping Out

(A new tab at the top of this page (or this link) will take you to a collection of photos and links following the production of maple syrup this spring from the sugar bush of some friends. Their new enterprise is called Bobo’s Mountain Sugar, and the taps are in on Bobo’s Mountain — all 2500 of them.)

In mixed martial arts, tapping out is an act of submission, the end of a fight, and often the result of a violent twisting of arms. In maple syrup production, tapping out is a declaration of victory, the end of a job that no one’s arm had to be twisted to do.

big old tree

The snow was deep when I started helping on the hill above the sugar house, but I waded and floundered and stomped my way along the lines, tapping trees for a few hours each afternoon, doing what I could. The steepness of the hill, combined with thickets of beech and short balsams, had me convinced I made the right call in leaving my snowshoes at home, even as more flakes fell every day. After struggling in the wake of an additional 14+” from one storm, I finally gave in and strapped them on the next day.

If, as they say, snowshoes make the impossible difficult, it was a very hard afternoon. Without my snowshoes I had sunk to my knees; with them I still sank to my knees and had to high-step to clear the holes I’d made, with the decks weighted down with snow. Lifting a leg, expecting 25 pounds of resistance but getting none because the snow slid off, resulted in a few sharp blows to my chin and twice I kneed myself in the ear when my right foot sank deeper as I lifted my left. Continue reading

Categories: +Uncategorized, Maple Syrup, Rural Life, Vermont, Winter | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

A January Thing

Every fall I make noise about attending one of the big fly fishing shows over the winter, but by the time I feel ready to deal with a couple thousand anglers, all at once, the shows are over and done. The closest show to Fish in a Barrel Pond is in Marlborough, MA, this weekend, and quite frankly it’s just too soon. You all go ahead with your eager anticipation of the season to come, but some of us are still recovering from the last one. Opening Day will be here soon enough. In the meantime, we’ll enjoy the peace and quiet.

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Continue reading

Categories: +Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Lord of My Domain

There are going to be some changes around here in 2013, even though I know as well as the next guy that change is bad.

First and foremost, if everything works as intended, your browser’s address bar should show you to now be among the pages fishinabarrelpond.com instead of the address we formerly used. In theory, the old ghoti62.wordpress.com will still get you here, but it involves something called a “redirect” and it is my understanding that this redirect is accomplished using monkeys. Monkeys being monkeys, not all devices or browsers may be able to recognize this redirect, so some of you may need/want to re-set something in order to always find your way back to fishinabarrelpond.com.

Secondly, I must apologize to anyone who visited on Sunday and found the pages kept changing. It was just Quill Gordon, pretending he knew what he was doing, trying out different layouts and themes to spiffy up the joint for the New Year. Must have tried a hundred variations but, with the exception of adding a background color, everything is pretty much the same as it always was, just the way we like it. For now.

Happy New Year to all. Make the most of 2013.

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Categories: +Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 13 Comments

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