March 2010

~Fishing At The Lake~

Yesterday my daughter Kaitlyn, aka Z Outdoor Sidekick, turned 15 years old…. ‘Scuse me while I choke and sputter a bit over that number. I figure I’m approaching the cut off zone. Not the one that gets me out of the legal noose of parental responsibility (18), but the one that decides whether the kid will need a shrink or not to get over her childhood.

I’m hoping, via parental optimisim, that all the time she’s spent in the outdoors exploring the world with me will balance out all my other shortcomings as a parent. Sort of like, “Mama gets a pardon for not baking cupcakes for the school bingo night because the next day she took me fly fishing on the South Fork” kind of deal. A parent can hope, right?!

Happy Birthday Kaitlyn!

~Kate And I~


 ”I’m still waiting to find another human who knows what that (fly fishing addiction) really means…….” Via a comment left within my website from Bigerrfish (a recently reformed fly fishing addict) who aptly writes the fly fishing blog:  BigerrFish. 

Fly Fishing Addict — Or — Fly Fishing Addiction. Does the meaning of Addict truly represent the deep and undeterred, never quite satisified desire some of us angler internally feel when it comes to our fishing time? Or has the lack of an adequate word simply forced the passionate angler to use the shallow, but powerful and implied emphasis the word addiction gives off?

Now, I haven’t necessarily liked describing myself as a fly fishing addict, but I’ve done it, because it’s a cheap and easy expression to let others know, “Hey, I’m not screwing around here. If you take away my flies or fly rod I’ll break your arm first and ask questions later.” See, isn’t that sweet of me? Is that the mentality of an addict? Probably.

But in all honesty, after a quick Google search on true addictions, it’s clear I’m not an addict. What I do isn’t a detriment to my life. My fly fishing doesn’t harm me and it doesn’t hurt or harm the people around me….unless they count boring them with fish stories a form of torture.

Yes, I sneak off and fly fish alone a lot, but it isn’t secretive and I don’t spend the kids college money to do it. Yes I’ve skipped work or other responsibilities for an afternoon on the river, but I didn’t lose my job or friends.  I suppose if I forgot all my fly boxes at home I’d probably get a bit frothy around the mouth (withdrawal) but I wouldn’t knock the first fly fisherman I saw in the head with a rock to steal his flies. My froth would be a civilized non-addict meltdown.

So if I take away the addiction implication, I recognize I am still left with a non-negotiable, insatiable need that doesn’t provide an appropriate word to define it. Fly Fishing is the first thing that comes to mind when I realize I have 2 extra hours to myself in a day. It’s also the first thing that comes to mind when I’m feeling sad, frustrated, happy, pissed, lousy or fantastic. It seems, no matter what scenario I encounter, everything falls under the damn good reason to go fishing category. A bit like the alcoholic who finds every reason from self soothing to celebration for a beer.

I’ll assume some of us, past and present, have choosen the questionable phrase of fly fishing addict to express to the outside world that we cannot live without our fly fishing. (Well, maybe I could, but ho-boy I would turn into a snarling gnarly monster to live with) I believe it’s an innocent attempt at letting others know their fishing goes beyond a weekend summer activity. Like an addict, their fishing is a need that remains near the surface of daily thought, never completely satisfied or resolved…..only impatiently postponed until the next (hit) trip.

So today, I admit, I don’t know what a Fly Fishing Addict really means, so I’ll no longer use it to describe myself.
Like Bigrrfish asked, does anyone?

However, I do know I’m a fly fishing something or other, who looks forward to a lifetime of trying to figure it out.




~Have Camera, Will Point and Shoot for Flies~

What does someone who lacks photography skills, carries a cheap 100 dollar point and shoot camera, typically eeks out 1 or 2 photos before her camera battery dies and doesn’t have photo editing software do with the photos she does manage to capture?

Well…..start a photo journal section on her fly fishing blog of course.

I see this website as a documentary (of sorts) of my time and observations spent in the Great Outdoors. To do it right, for me that is, visual confirmation of what I’ve seen goes hand in hand with the writing I enjoy. (Visitors are subjected to whatever I come up with on any given day, sorry, but that’s the price of admission which includes bad photography) Based on that concept, I’m going to include  the occasional photograph of what I see when I’m out wandering around—-without the need for a long winded written entry like I usually produce.

And based on my exploration through the photographs I do have last night…I’ve seen some truly beautiful and interesting places. Things I look forward to sharing, bad photography and all.

~I’m a rather lucky soul if I say so myself~



Bandon and I ~ Smiling for Spring

I’m not sure how other people feel about this time of the year, but I’m fighting off the last lingering effects of Old Man Winter rolling me up into a nice sized cigar and smoking me for personal entertainment purposes.

I’m not an indoor person and this Lady Bear doesn’t hibernate peacefully during winter. I tend to pout and pace and if anyone believes the propaganda of my children, my lower lip starts to quiver and one eye twitches involuntarily through the whole of February.

I need the first couple of weeks in March to recuperate from the confines of winter captivity. If I can catch the hint of a few spring smelling salts like—birds returning and arguing loudly over their branch real estate—tiny buds of life on the trees—the ice cream man driving through the neighborhood blaring “Jingle Bells” on his loud speaker—my winter hangover feels instantly and indescribably better.

Now that life feels all warm and cozy again, my sights are set on the rest of the year. I have trips to take, fish to catch, hunts to partake in and adventures to experience. In the past I’ve gone about my outdoor life in a spontaneous spur of the moment manner, but this year I think things will be a bit different. My decision to go public with my fly fishing and writing has opened quite a few doors up that include actually fishing with other people. For the first time ever I’ll be traveling to meet outdoor people and having some come to my neck of the woods to experience my personal Idaho playground. The way I see it, my outdoor world just got a whole lot bigger and the new view started from this humble little website—I continue to be surprised.

For the people I’ve already corresponded with, talked on the phone with and made fishing plans….I’m extremely excited. For the people I haven’t made plans with… yet… I have only one question. Do you have a stream, a meandering river or a body of water that contains fish just waiting to be caught? Yes? If so….why haven’t you invited me to come fishing with you yet???? (insert tapping ladies foot here) I come prepared with my own tackle AND I can put a hook on my own line and untangle snags all by myself. No waterside maintenance required.

If any of you have plans to come to Idaho. Drop me a line, I’m rather new at the tour guide thing, but I happen to know where a few fish linger and I’m sure I could point out the honey holes like a seasoned cruise director.

See you on the rivers……… 


Can You Cast A Vote as well as you Can Cast a Fly?

March 9, 2010

I believe that when a person picks up a Fly Rod and performs any sort of cast into the water they are creating a moment that goes well beyond the possibility of catching a fish. Days on the water are experiences and memories. An individual act that bears no singular definition, yet, we all feel a [...]

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The River High and The River Low

March 2, 2010

When I was out fly fishing last Sunday, one of the comments I got was a general observation, but it’s the one I’ve been thinking about as a general river theme. One man remarked after asking me how the fishing was (not good),”Well the river is pretty low right now.” Yes. And that means? I wanted to ask him, [...]

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