Wildwood


Richard Brautigan – Trout Fishing in America
November 27, 2011, 9:09 pm
Filed under: Angling, Books | Tags: ,

An excerpt from Richard Brautigan’s “Trout fishing in America.”

“I threw out a salmon egg and let it drift down over that rock and WHAM! a good hit! and I had the fish on and it ran hard downstream, cutting at an angle and staying deep and really coming on hard, solid and uncompromising, and then the fish jumped and for a second I thought it was a frog. I’d never seen a fish like that before.

God-damn! What the hell!

The fish ran deep again and I could feel its life energy screaming back up the line to my hand. The line felt like sound. It was like an ambulance siren coming straight at me, red light flashing, and then going away again and then taking to the air and becoming an air-raid siren.

The fish jumped a few more times and it still looked like a frog, but it didn’t have any legs. Then the fish grew tired and sloppy, and I swung and splashed it up the surface of the creek and into my net.

The fish was a twelve-inch rainbow trout with a huge hump on its back. A hunchback trout. The first I’d ever seen. The hump was probably due to an injury that occurred when the trout was young. Maybe a horse stepped on it or a tree fell over in a storm or its mother spawned where they were building a bridge.

There was a fine thing about that trout. I only wish I could have made a death mask of him. Not of his body though, but of his energy. I don’t know if anyone would have understood his body. I put it in my creel.
Later in the afternoon when the telephone booths began to grow dark at the edges, I punched out of the creek and went home. I had that hunchback trout for dinner. Wrapped in cornmeal and fried in butter, its hump tasted sweet as the kisses of Esmeralda.”



Jeff Lowe’s Metanoia
November 15, 2011, 8:55 pm
Filed under: Wilderness Heroes | Tags: , , , , ,

Jeff Lowe was and still is one of the most important and influential American mountain climbers, credited with bringing ice climbing to the US and for inventing the “mixed climbing” style. A visionary climber, he has made over 1000 first ascents including Colorado’s Bridalveil Falls. He also happens to be the brother of Greg Lowe founder of Lowe Alpine.

In 1991 After struggling through some of his life’s roughest spots including a divorce and a failed business he sought an escape and headed to do a solo ascent  of The Eiger in the Swiss Alps. Specifically he went to climb the Nordwand, otherwise known as the North face of the mountain…in the winter. The climb, during which Jeff almost lost his life, went on to become a transformation event and one which resulted in “metanoia,” a Greek word meaning a fundamental change of thinking. Do yourself a favor and watch the clip below, narrated by Jon Krakauer, to get the fuller version of this story. Also the video above is of Jeff unpacking his Vaude pack 20 years later that he left on the climb up Eiger.



Curt Gowdy and The American Sportsman

The American Sportsman was a television show that aired from 1965 to 1986. The show, which was probably one of the first to depict outdoor adventures, showed hunting and fishing trips by the show’s host along with celebrities such as Bing Crosby and Andy Griffith. The tv show got it start as 20 min segment on the Wide World of Sports which followed Curt Gowdy (who went on to host the show) along with the legendary Joe Brooks on a fly fishing expedition in the Andes Mountains. The eventually went on to become The New American Sportsman which covered all types of sports, and in doing so lost the appeal of the original which focused on outdoor adventures.

I recently found the book,The American Sportsman Treasury, which is basically the hardbound version of the original tv show. The book contains more stories and excellent photos from various fishing and hunting trips of the past by experienced outdoorsman. More of the images can be found here.

 



Fall Browns
November 2, 2011, 7:49 pm
Filed under: Angling, Fly Fishing | Tags: , , , ,
Mountains in the clouds

Saturday I woke to a dusting of wet snow that was over by noon. Not willing to let a little powder deter me from my plans to fish, I headed out just as the sun broke. Driving, the sky really opened up and sun poured down. However as I slowly made my way over the mountain the clouds quickly returned and instead of driving in sun I found myself in a dense fog and snow.

                                                                                                                                                            Burning bush

For a moment I wondered if I had made the right decision and considered heading back, but as I descended to the other side the clouds once again parted and the sun was back.

A fine specimen

I made my way to the South River to fish a specially regulated area where a new brown trout fishery is trying to be established. Apparently there are some fish that have held over, however I mostly found smaller guys who had probably been stocked recently. Either way it was a glorious autumn day and the fishing not to bad either.

Trees on fire



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