Monday, November 28, 2016

Backyard Bathing

 A puddle, a female Cardinal, and lots and lots of Cedar Waxwings.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Never Ending Flow of Hope

I plan a Thanksgiving week outing and go back to Deer Mill. The old bridge stands unchanging as the seasons shift around it for the 138th time.

The campground is closed for the season but the river flows on. I listen to it as it speaks to me of true and lasting things. I swing flies under the bridges and at the slick, the scenes of earlier catches. Today the only things tugging on the fly are drowned leaves.

I wonder if this is my last trip of the year. Then two fishermen come from somewhere around the bend upstream. I'm too far away to talk to them, but they are obviously coming from a place they thought they might find late season smallies.

Maybe I can still find that place before the snow flies.

I'm thankful for rivers and for their never ending flow of hope.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

"Thanks" by W.S. Merwin

Tipi, Sacred Stone Camp, North Dakota.
Photo: Josue Rivas

with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water thanking it
smiling by the windows looking out
in our directions

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you
over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators

remembering wars and the police at the door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks we are saying thank you
in the faces of the officials and the rich
and of all who will never change
we go on saying thank you thank you

with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
we are saying thank you and waving
dark as it is

Monday, November 21, 2016

"An Inventory of Moons" by David Shumate

If you live to be very old, you may see twelve hundred full moons.
Some come in winter and you trudge out into the deep snow to
stand beneath their glow. Others come to you in the city and you
take an elevator up to the roof of the highest building and set out
a couple of folding chairs to watch it glide across the sky. Or the
moon finds you along a foreign shore and you paddle out in some
dingy and scoop its reflection from the waters and drink it down.
The moons of your old age are the most potent but seem few and
far between. They make their way into your marrow and teach it
how to hum. When your final moon arrives, it’s as if youth has
come back to you. Though instead of flaunting its yellow hat, now
it’s dressed in black.

"An Inventory of Moons" by David Shumate, from Kimonos in the Closet. © University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013.

Voyageurs 8K

VOYAGEURS 8K from More Than Just Parks on Vimeo.
This film is the culmination of several weeks spent in the northernmost region of Minnesota known as Voyageurs National Park. Encompassing more than 340 square miles, Voyageurs is a watery wonderland almost exclusively accessible by boat. Journey with us as we explore a land blanketed in pristine lakes, ablaze with kaleidoscopic fall colors, and home to the most spectacular displays of the northern lights on the planet. This is Voyageurs.
To see more National Park films or learn more about More Than Just Parks, visit our website:

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Shared Memories

November has been exceptionally mild--until now. This past week was the last chance for summer-like temperatures with the highs on Thursday and Friday pushing 80 degrees.

Now it's Saturday morning, and the bottom has fallen out. It's 37 degrees outside right now, and we may get up to the predicted 48 degrees today, but I doubt it. The long-range forecast confirms the change: highs in the 40's until, well, until they're in the 30's. Then the 20's.

In years past I have been able to get out to fish on at least some of those last warm days of the year. It didn't happen this year. My current role as shuttle driver and primary child care provider means I can only get out on weekends. So I had to sit at home all this past week while the warm weather trickled away like sand in an hour glass.

There is always a period of mourning for the warm days when cold weather sets in. Memories of time well spent enjoying those beautiful days helps ameliorate the pain. And when your own memories aren't as rich and full as you would wish, there are the shared memories of fellow fishermen.

This essay is one of those shared memories. It celebrates the last warm days, and finds a deeper meaning in them. It is written in the present tense, but the glorious time it describes is soon to be--or already is--lost in the shadows of a wintry sky.

May we all find memories to keep us warm in the cold time.

smallmouth bass fly fishing

Read the essay HERE.

RENA Under the Bridge

RENA under the bridge from Black Fly Eyes on Vimeo.
Two awesome weekends in our favorite Rena river!!! It`s just one of the most beautiful and so special rivers we got to know yet!!! With all of those magical rises and insane hatches of insects this river takes you down to her "own world" pretty fast... And when you are connected with all that habitat witch surrounds you down there it seems like you can`t be at better place at that moment! Thats why we really like one Norwegian phrase: "ingen elv i Norge kan slå Rena på sitt beste" ! What means: no river in Norway can kick Rena at it best (conditions) ! What is just simply pure truth.

Thursday, November 17, 2016


Cyril Kamir over on Le Mouching posts this video today with these sobering but hopeful thoughts. Yes. Spring always comes.

There is not much to be found to put on Le Mouching this week, let’s call it a dull week, not really winter, not really fall. The commemoration of the terrorist attacks from November 13th in Paris didn’t help, nor the loss of the singer and poet we loved, nor the recent election which seems to tear people appart rather then unite them. There is not much to find on the web to distract us, the only thing I found was that film, Weber River, simple and sober but strong enough to allow us to escape, because our job at Le Mouching is to find a door for you to escape to a better and lighter world.


Suzon, today I am going to talk about you, it took me a year, you went for your 21rst birthday party to the Bataclan with your younger brother, you protected him with your body but you did not survive. It is an awfull emptiness that you leave us with. All the ones that loved you, all the ones that where close to your parents, to your friends. So today, when I see this river,  when I see this fish, when I see those landscapes, I think about you and how fortunate we are to enjoy the little things of life. I know that the outdoors and fishing our backyards river will heal us, but it’ll never be the same, ever again. How lucky are we to be able to watch that film, soon, spring will come.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Enjoying the Weather

It was Sunday evening on the river. I was fishing the deeper water near the bridge for the second time. Earlier, I had explored its rocks and channels close up; now I was probing them with the weighted fly as thoroughly as I could.

After that first pass through the run I had ranged up the river farther than my first trip here. I found some more good looking water, but no fish. If I was going to find any fish at all this day, it would be here in the bridge run.

A man came to the bridge. He looked like a young farmer, maybe taking a walk, or crossing the covered bridge to check out his fields on the other side. He saw me and stopped.
     "Doing any good?" he called.
     "Nope," I had to admit.
     "Enjoying the weather, though?"
     "For sure."

He wished me luck and started across the bridge, his footsteps echoing off the old planks. I went back to enjoying the weather and everything else that goes with fishing through a golden Autumn evening on a quiet country river.