Struggling with Monogamy

I professed love to a single river. From the age of six, I was going to live and die for the Rio Grande. Coming from Minnesota where rivers were plump, clear, and departing headwaters on long journeys, the idea of a pitiful little stream that gave all she could for growing peppers and pecans before... Continue Reading →

Wading Beneath the Bathtub Ring

Every year I live in the West I shed another layer of my prior contempt for dams. The naivety I possessed growing up in the water-rich environment of Minnesota, and the disgust I felt for those red mud-infused waters of Oklahoma, has been informed by life where mountain water drains towards the desert but only... Continue Reading →

Voices of Bears Ears

Voices are screaming, howling, pleading, and hoping for the protection of the canyons, sagebrush forests, and cliffs full of history and sacred messages. The chorus is diverse and loud, but drums beat a counter-point that appears to resonate with the ones making decisions at the highest levels. Rather than listen to land, the wind in... Continue Reading →

Looking Back on 2016

In an hour or so I will head to the Uncompahgre River for what is likely the last chance I’ll get to catch a fish in 2016. The water will be cold and riverbanks icy but the sun-warmed air will feel good. The tally of fishing days in 2016 is a smaller number than I... Continue Reading →

Opening the Portal

The calendar suggests it is spring in Colorado, however the memo to Mother Nature may have gotten scrambled in delivery. The weather has been squirrely with snow storms and dreary days outnumbering the bluebird, snowmelt-inducing sunny days. Despite that, the canals are open and the rivers are blowing out. The time for tail-water and reservoirs... Continue Reading →

Backpacking Jones Hole

I don’t normally broadcast fishing destinations. We all covet the secret spot, the stash of fish in a pretty place that no one knows about. Yet I feel like keeping this to myself would be a sin, the feral Baptist in me rears its head.  Thou shalt not prevent fellow anglers from having a great... Continue Reading →

All the Women in the Woods

I’ve spent a lot of time on the trail, we lost track somewhere around 800 miles recorded in the journal, and that tally didn’t count the little day hikes here and there. In all those miles there is one thing I have rarely encountered, and it always discourages me. Nature has many colors and I... Continue Reading →

Fish Naked

It was one of those days when the experience of fishing was superior to the actual catching of fish. We stood entranced beside Lake 4 (of 7) in the Ten Lakes Basin of Yosemite’s High Sierra. We’d backpacked in the day before under the threat of annihilation by lightning bolts, or at least it felt... Continue Reading →

Taking John Fishing

“It seems strange that visitors to Yosemite should be so little influenced by its novel grandeur, as if their eyes were bandaged and their ears stopped. Most of those I saw yesterday were looking down as if wholly unconscious of anything going on about them, while the sublime rocks were trembling with the tones of... Continue Reading →

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