“It took A.K. to teach me how to make real camp coffee: bring one pot of lake or river water to a rolling boil, add two palmfuls of generic coffee, and remove the pot to the edge of the coals. If it’s the breakfast pot, throw in the eggshells. When it’s done (five to ten minutes), add a splash of cold water to settle the grounds.
Like whiskey, it should be drunk from a tin cup.” – John Gierach, Camp Coffee
Re-read this essay last night… looking forward to summer time and hopefully some smoky camp coffee.
Filed under: Angling | Tags: Christian Horgen, fiberglass, fly fishing, fly rod, Sweedish
I recently came across these fine creations on a daily read of mine and they were just to beautiful not to repost here at WildWood. Christian Horgen, a Sweedish architect and father, builds custom fiberglass fly rods. Each one is a unique creation inspired by classic American fly rod designs. There many more examples of his work on his website and blog, here are just a few tasty examples. Oh what I wouldn’t do for one of these rods!
Filed under: Angling, Fly Fishing | Tags: autumn, brook trout, brookies, fall, fly fishing, Rapidan River, virginia
Got out this past weekend to do a little early autumn brook trout fishing. Nice weather however not yet cool enough that one doesn’t work up a sweat trekking around in waders. But that’s OK I just moved a little bit slower up through the stream and over the rocks. There wasn’t much of any hatch on the water or a whole lot of activity in general, most of the brookies were more concerned with getting their gravel beds ready for spawning. A few fish were willing to bite and entertain me, and I want to thank them for their kindness because otherwise I would have been standing in that stream waving a stick simply for the pleasing view.
Filed under: Angling, Fly Fishing | Tags: fly fishing, Raymond Carver, The Current
These fish have no eyes
these silver fish that come to me in dreams,
scattering their roe and milt
in the pockets of my brain.
But there’s one that comes–
heavy, scarred, silent like the rest,
that simply holds against the current,
closing its dark mouth against
the current, closing and opening
as it holds to the current.
There are still some days of summer light left… make sure you get out and fish.
Filed under: Angling, Fly Fishing | Tags: brook trout, fly fishing, Rapidan River, red bud, Shenandoah National Park, Spring, virginia
In search of some much needed respite and escape I headed to the hills this past week to a favorite blue line of mine for some Spring brook trout. The redbuds, which came out early this year along with every other blossom, still occupied the understory with their fuchsia blossoms and the hyper-green of the leaves had just started poking out. Classic early springtime in the Shenandoah.
There hasn’t yet been enough rain but there was still plenty of water holding hungry trout. The day started off slow with grey skies and a light rain essentially killing any dry fly action. I switch to a dry and dropper rig. By afternoon the grey gave way to pockets of sun, the temperature rose enough, and the parachute blue winged olive was back at the end of my number 7 tippet.
Not sure what it was about the day, but not long after the sun shined through the clouds I hooked into several of the largest brook trout I have caught on this stream. They don’t get very big in the small waters of Virginia, anything at or over 12″ is considered large for a native…these we monsters…the tip of my 4wt. full flex rod bent like a willow’s branch under the fight of these beautiful fish. I can only hope to have another day like this one again this Spring. After a few hours of great fishing I quit while I was ahead, I smoked my cheap cigar, drank a little bourbon, and headed for home.
Filed under: Angling, The Great Outdoors | Tags: Abercrombie and Fitch, fishing, fly fishing, outfitter
I picked up this great old catalog from Abercrombie and Fitch at a used book store a little while ago. Originally published in 1968, back when Abercrombie was an actual outdoors outfitter and did more then sell teenagers questionable clothing. The catalog contains not just fly and spin fishing gear but everything the fisherman would need for a multi-day expedition into the wild.
If this catalog was published today I might have to buy “E” in the picture below, the electric wading boot dryer.
If you are interested in the rest of what I have scanned, you can check them out here.
Filed under: Angling, Fly Fishing, Friends | Tags: Hardy, House of Hardy, Moldy Chum, Vintage Fly Fishing
Came across these House of Hardy cataloge covers from one of my daily reads today. Total re-post rip off here but I couldn’t help it, these covers are just so nice. Every once and awhile MoldyChum posts some great vintage fly fishing finds. More on Hardy, one of the most venerable names in fly fishing, can be read here.
I love the last cover from 76, it definitely has a Whole Earth Catalog feeling to it. A few more can be found here.
Filed under: Angling, Books | Tags: Richard Brautigan, Trout Fishing in America
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.”
Filed under: Angling, Books, Fly Fishing, Outdoors | Tags: Curt Gowdy, fly fishing, hunting, Joe Brooks, outdoors, The American Sportsman Treasury, vintage
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.
Filed under: Angling, Fly Fishing | Tags: brown trout, fall, fly fishing, South River, Special Regulations
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.
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.