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.”



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


Hugh Falkus
October 19, 2011, 7:22 pm
Filed under: Angling, Wilderness Heroes | Tags: , , ,

Hugh Falkus was a WWII airplane pilot, writer,naturalist, film maker, and most importantly angler. An inspiration to generations of anglers he published several books on fishing including Salmon Fishing and Sea Trout Fishing which established him as  “the father of modern sea trout fishing,” and had a huge impact on modern spey casting.

While working for the BBC Films Natural History Unit, Falkus also produced and wrote many films. One of which I have come across, Salmo the Leaper posted here in its entirety for your viewing pleasure, covers the natural history of the Atlantic salmon along with some great insight and footage of catching one on the fly while properly wearing a waxed canvas jacket.

*All of the parts to this film are great, but if you want what is probably the best moment go to 11:30 on Part 2 of the film.



Fall Fly Fishing
September 29, 2011, 12:56 pm
Filed under: Angling, Fly Fishing | Tags: , , ,

While fall means the start of alot of things we love around here, one of the things we love the most is fall time brook trout fishing. And we figured what better way to get ready and inspired then some vintage fly imagery. This set of images comes courtesy of the classic publication, Trout Fisherman’s Digest by David Richey originally published in 1976.

 

If you want to see more, the rest of the collection is located here.



Stalking Trout
September 13, 2011, 8:35 pm
Filed under: Angling | Tags: , , ,

While most anglers in the area still have their attention turned to wide rivers and smallmouth action, this weekend I had brook trout on the mind, and so I headed to a small stream in the mountains to stalk them. However this time of year catching brook trout can prove difficult. With water levels at their lowest, mountain streams are reduced to trickles, and brook trout become easily spooked and pretty skeptical of the fly no matter how well presented to them.

With water this low at times these fish find themselves stuck in small pools of water waiting for the next heavy rain to fill the steam beds and allow them to be freed. Approaching these pools as quietly as possible, slightly hunched over, one barely casts their line rather you gently place your fly in the current hoping you are lucky enough to convince one or two of them to get out of their cool holes for a meal.

Yeah, the fish might be small, but its always a good excuse to get out into the mountains for a bit.



Blue Ridge Bluegills
May 31, 2011, 7:28 pm
Filed under: Angling

 

Finally got a break from work to get out on the canoe this past weekend for the first time this spring. My lady and I hit up one of our favorite small lakes with some great views. Can’t really beat catching bluegills on the fly rod with the blue ridge mountains in the background and after a few beers that water felt pretty damn good as well.

 




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