We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I'll start with an introduction to a wonderful gentleman, personality and writer named Gordon Wickstrom. I came to meet Gordon at a fly-fishing trade show when he, as a member of the wandering press stopped by to check out our new concept in fly rods. He's grown to be an excellent friend. Gordon has published two books and writes a newsletter, now a blog, and I find his "take" on things to frequently be just a "twist" away from most of what we read these days about fly-fishing (theatre, politics, music and a great many other things). I think that Maggie's readers would likely enjoy many of his perspectives. Gordon is retired from a long and successful career as a professor of Literature and Theatre at Franklin and Marshall College (he's a master Shakespearean actor and director as well). He lives in his original hometown of Boulder, Colorado and is a frequent contributor to The American Fly Fisher magazine, the journal of the American Museum of Fly Fishing. To initiate that introduction, following are links to two columns he's written - as a sample of his work.
Following is a link to a recent piece in Gordon Wickstrom's current blog - then another, as an introduction, and also a partial quote I lifted from another of his essays.
" .......As the snow keeps coming on, let me tell you that a few days ago an old friend sent me an old copy of an old issue of Gray’s Sporting Journal for April/May,1976-- an issue in which I had an essay on catch and release. That was thirty-one years ago. I thought that anglers were not looking hard enough at the ideology of no-kill, and so I should do it for them. As I re-read the essay now, it sounds all right, but the penultimate sentence caught me: pretty much what I believe today, and it’s in connection with my proposal of a sixth, The New Period, in American fly fishing. Here’s that sentence: “Now let us go a-stream more like our fathers-- individual, unself-conscious, unreconstructed, and quiet with our streamcraft and our love more important than our equipage and image.” But how, I wonder, can I both blog and, at the same time, in Walton’s use of Scripture, study to be quiet….? It’s snowing now, those great, beautiful, sloppy spring flakes. For us Westerners they fill the air with promise-- and are superbly quiet.....".
I went out to the hazel wood, Because a fire was in my head, And cut and peeled a hazel wand, And hooked a berry to a thread. And when white moths were on the wing, And moth-like stars were flickering out, I dropped the berry in the stream, And caught a little silver trout.
When I had laid it on the floor, I went to blow the fire aflame, But something rustled on the floor, And someone called me by my name. It had become a glimmering girl, With apple blossom in her hair, Who called me by my name and ran, And faded through the brightening air.
Though I am old with wandering, Through hollow lands and hilly lands, I will find out where she has gone, And kiss her lips and take her hands. And walk among long dappled grass, And pluck till time and times are done, The silver apples of the moon, The golden apples of the sun.
Pic is a sea-run Brown Trout we caught from a stream in Long Islanda couple of years ago. Sea-run trout is a story in itself.
Be sure to take in the Rangeley Outdoor Sporting Heritage Museum when you're in the neighborhood. It's a flyfisherman's temple, and includes a tribute to Carrie Stevens:
Our collection includes a hand written letter by Carrie recounting how she caught her now legendary 6 pound, 13 ounce brook trout at Upper Dam Pool on July 1, 1924. She writes, “I made another cast and gave my fly three or four lively skips when this large trout struck it and dashed away at a terrific speed. I expected any moment it would run out all my line or reach the foaming white water before I succeeded in stopping it.” Her fish, caught on a fly she tied and of her own design, won second place in the 1924 Field & Stream Fishing Contest. Perhaps more importantly, the publicity she received resulted in flood of requests from fly fishermen across the country for some of her flies. Thus she began a career that was to make her one of the most famous fly tiers in the country and Rangeley a legendary fishing destination.
A nice surprise to see the post today ... Thank you! The post is timely. Gordon struggles a bit at present with a health challenge ....visit his blog ...the Boulder Creek Angler .... for an update.
Harry Briscoe - Hexagraph
Bird Dog - I note from the earlier post on the season opener that you and Gwynnie were using an E C Powell rod, among others. Our Hexagraphs came from the Powell heritage and use the traditional E C and Walton Powell tapers. I need to get one to you to try.
Harry Briscoe - Hexagraph