Posts Tagged With: fiction

An Idea That Will Revolutionize Fly Fishing

Having at least a rudimentary command of fly fishing skills and knowledge, I have spent the last ten years in close observation and study of anglers and their ilk. One conclusion I have reached is that a vital segment of the fly fishing community remains chronically under-served. I aim to correct that situation and I do not want you to miss out on this Important Investment Opportunity!

According to this article by Kirk Deeter on Field & Stream‘s Fly Talk blog, the American Fly Fishing Trade Association estimates that, in the U.S. alone, close to 4.5 million of us fly fish at least once a year. As Kirk points out, some sources put the number higher, some lower, and some prefer to look at only those who are regular consumers of fly fishing products. With estimates as high as 10 million and as low as 1.5 million, we’ll stick with 4.5 million as a conservative average.

Obviously, a certain percentage of us fish more than just once or twice a season, in a wide range of weather and other conditions, and manage to have a fine time doing so. We find the time we spend outside, doing something we love, to be an invigorating balm for our souls.

But what about those others, the ones who don’t fish much at all because to do so would mean actually getting outside? The ones who constantly find it too hot, too cold, too rainy, or too windy. The ones who say they’d like to feel they were part of something larger than themselves, if only it weren’t made up of so many things smaller than themselves, like black flies and mosquitoes, spiders and mice. The ones who react with anger at otters and loons, and at the end of the day knock baby birds from their nests for pooping on the porch.

I have seen far too many fly fishing experiences absolutely, completely ruined by the great outdoors. Making allowances for, among other things, the fact that some anglers will struggle on their own for a week, or that an entire camp can be demoralized in a weekend, my observations lead me to believe that at least 25% of all fly fishers would fish a lot more if they didn’t have to do it outdoors.

Over a million anglers, for whom the traditional fly fishing experience holds little charm? Sounds to me like Oppotunity knocking and that’s why, working closely with the same folks who brought you Vermont Hand Crafted Tenkara Rods and our famous gear-for-guides Angler Management Device, I am pleased and proud to invite you in on the ground floor of our latest concept, Gordon’s Getaway Club®, the ultimate fly fishing destination for anglers who “expect less from Nature”™. Continue reading

Categories: Fly Fishing, Humor | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

For Want of a Nail

Beyond dues, assessments and other monetary considerations, there is a price to pay for membership in an organization like the Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society. They say a person can’t truly enjoy fly fishing until they have a family of their own to ignore, but ever since the first shower was installed, all those years ago, part of that price has included, at minimum, a weekend at Fish in a Barrel Pond with at least one’s spouse, maybe even the grand-kids.

Not steeped in the lore and traditions of grand old fishing clubs like this, those spouses and extended families are prone to confusion, fear and misunderstandings. It often falls to me to assuage their fears and explain how things are done around here, though I think some anglers harbor secret wishes that that everyone will be so miserable they never want to come back.

This spring I was approached, for the fifth time in as many years, by one of those disoriented spouses I find wandering around from time to time, who said, “Quill, there’s a spider in the shower.”

He was clearly distraught but there wasn’t much I could do since I’d been paid good money to put that spider in the shower in the first place. Continue reading

Categories: +The Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society, Fly Fishing, Humor, Vermont | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Big Game

Sandwiched neatly between the two biggest spectacles in American sports is an event that, while less well known, is just as competitive and, to its participants, as important as any contest yet devised by Man. For some, February is defined by the Super Bowl™, for others, it’s the Daytona 500™; for the members of the Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society, their eyes in February are on Opening Day of Reservation Season™.

The injuries of which I’m aware have been minor and, so far as I know, no one has died, but the small stakes involved do not diminish the serious nature of the battle.

Will You Be There?

Continue reading

Categories: +The Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society, Fly Fishing, Humor, politics, Vermont | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Forgotten Fly Fishing Legend: Little Dickie Conroy

Richard Herkimer Conroy was not born with a fly rod in his hand (his mother would not allow it) but by the time he was four he could cast a line further than men ten times his age. Few anglers know his name, let alone his story, and only scattered traces remain of his meteoric rise and ignominious decline, but “Little Dickie” Conroy’s influence is still felt today. Mocked, jeered, and once nearly burned alive by those who took offense at his unconventional style, Little Dickie’s mastery of the fly line has yet to be equaled. From elite casters to green dilettantes, many have tried, but no one has ever thrown a line like the dapper young man from Kansas who once, in front of three thousand people, landed a fly on a poker chip from fifty yards away while turning a one-handed cartwheel.

little dickie age 5

“Little Dickie” Conroy, age 5, from the collection of Richard Haas Continue reading

Categories: Fly Fishing, Humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Introducing Quill Gordon’s Story Time

Strange noises have been heard in our little valley for the past six weeks or so, leading some to believe the Nonesuch Mountain Howler once again roams the hills of Vermont, but I assure you the sounds have been nothing more than Quill Gordon learning new skills and entering the 21st Century.

Introducing Quill Gordon’s Story Time

Tales of the Outdoors for Anglers and Others

Short Stories for Kindle and Nook 

Three short stories, posted on these pages years ago and languishing ever since, have been taken down, given a good thrashing and a new set of clothes, and tossed out into the world to make it on their own in e-reader format. New stories will be added to the selection on a semi-regular basis, along with other dusted off gems from the archives, but these three will do for now, as the results of a long, frustrating process. I hope they meet with your approval. I’ll give you your dollar back myself if they don’t.

Buddy System

Continue reading

Categories: Humor, Vermont | Tags: , , , , , | 19 Comments

Quill Gordon and the Nonesuch Mountain Howler

A strange sort of crazy settles in as winter comes to an end and spring begins. It is never a smooth transition, weatherwise or otherwise, and sometimes I think I’ve made it through the dark time without succumbing to a bad case of the Shack Nasties when it turns out I only repressed them.

The thaw came on early and strong this year, turning lake ice to slush and frozen dirt roads to pudding. The string of calm, sunny days felt like it would never end. Winter was done, or so I thought when, as I watched the ice disappear a month ago, a mosquito bit me hard, just below the right eyebrow. Being the first bite of the year, it promptly swelled to the size of a plum in celebration. Continue reading

Categories: +The Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society, Humor, Rural Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 29 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

Away From It All

“Quill Gordon! Come out from under there, you fool!” said my old friend, Milt Audette. “Hiding from Marge Feely again? Very unbecoming, you know. You’re in serious danger of compromising your standing with me, hiding under the porch from a seventy year-old woman.”

“Oh, yeah?” I countered. “Concealment is a dying art. It’s a manly art. Like that time you got burned, hiding behind your furnace at home.”

“I was hiding from my wife. That’s different. What has gotten into you?” Continue reading

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

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Flashback Friday

(Knowing which day of the week it is has a different significance to me than it does to most other working stiffs. I must keep track, somewhere in the back of my tiny mind, but other than to check which camps need to be made ready by 4:00 p.m. I don’t really need to know. As far as most members of the Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society are concerned, my work week begins the moment of their arrival, no matter the day, so I labor while they recreate and what everyone else knows as Friday has become just another day of making beds.) 

Five light fixtures, a rake, a broom, a 5-foot chunk of 4x4, some rope, some stove wood, trash and laundry.

That is just my way of saying that, with the season underway at Fish in a Barrel Pond, Flashbacks can occur at any time.)

I must point out, now and then, that the Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society and Fish in a Barrel Pond are figments of Quill Gordon’s imagination. I should further point out that Quill Gordon is also a figment. In other words, with the exception of gear reviews and nature writing, most of what appears in this blog is (mostly) fiction. The thing about fiction is that it must be believable and, with the good folks I associate with as an ever-flowing source of material and inspiration, if I were to share the stories of what I really see and hear you would think I was just making stuff up.

There are elements to certain stories we all can relate to. True or not, tales of young boys and large fish are near universal.

Even the goofiest anglers among us get lucky sometimes.

Continue reading

Categories: Flashback Fridays | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.