Thursday, March 31, 2011

Why I write.......

This weeks OBN writing prompt is the question " why do you write a blog " well.. here's an answer..

29 years ago a young man named me had a stack of ancient outdoor magazines, and like most boys I would use a flash light to read well past my bed time stories that fascinated me and got my mind wandering to far away places I though I would never go. One of the writers name was Jack O'conner. Jack loved elk hunting and 270 rifles, and so did I, so he quickly became my favorite. Elk season at the time was about 2 weeks long, Jack got me through the other 50 weeks by taking me hunting to Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado and unfortunately sometimes Texas. Jack was my very first hero.
So one day I was sitting reading Hemingway on hunting, I had just finished reading The short happy life of Francis Macomber and suddenly it dawned on me WOW this guy made a career out of telling Lie's.. er I mean stories. I though back a bit and realized I knew a great deal about lying, after all everything they tough me as a child in school was a lie, I had dated enough women to be considered a specialist in lying, I'm a fisherman... heck, maybe someone would want to read my lies. So I started. Suddenly I realized I could lie pretty good but couldn't work my computer or form a sentence to save my life, so I guess for a while I will try to be Hemingway dressed in John Grishams clothing, and maybe I will actually be able to write a decent story some day, but for now I will probably just keep writing when I'm drunk and using spell check and maybe I will get a few more followers over time. Writing is one of the only things that truly challenges my mind, I often feel lost when I sit here.. and I like that feeling. someday this may all come easy, but frankly I kinda hope it never does. But if I'm lucky I will be able to give the same gift that Jack gave to me so many years ago to some fella in a cube farm on a tenth floor office in Jersey..and then it will be worth it to me-

Saturday, March 26, 2011

My Birthday Trip

Well today the Riverkeeper turned 39 years old, or young I mean. So as tradition holds in our family we all got together and fried halibut and razer clams while drinking high balls and laughing at the jokes my wife made about my age. Later in the evening after things wound down a bit her mom pointed out that my wifes dad turns 60 next year, and I turn 40, and that Tom and I should go on a big fishing trip somewhere. I smiled and said it was a nice thought. Later I found myself out on the deck, elbows on the railing staring down on the columbia river a few miles away, looking at a double rainbow, new zealand, northwest territorys, patagonia, argentina.... nice, all very nice, but if I could go anywhere on my 40th birthday its to a place that is gone forever... the past, a Time machine to 1982, Deep lake in nothwestern washington state.. I would be 10 again, and I would take my son, and he would be 10 again aswell... 2 shakesphere flyrods, graphite reels and level lines, leaders cut off of spools of blue tinted eagleclaw line.. and a coleman scanoe.. and 5 pound native cutts just after an april thunderstorm.. I can still smell it, I will always be able to smell it, and mabe just mabe, my son will finally be able to hear the words, like I can-

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sturgeon Saturday..

Well after chasing winter steelhead basically since the day after thanksgiving I could honestly say I needed a change for a bit, well or at least a day. I used to have a passion for fishing for sturgeon, after all there is probably a 12 footer swimming less than 300 yards from my house as we speak, so its a very convenient target with a very low cost for me, but in the last few years the politics of sturgeon, sea lions, native American gill nets and increased fishing pressure have kinda snuffed the flame for me. last Friday night a light went off in my head... sturg.. must catch sturg! so I sent a message to my friend Nate to see if he would be willing to sit in a pouring rain and not catch fish with me, he was game so the next afternoon we met for a couple hours of fishing, and it didn't rain as fore casted.. and Nate caught his first sturgeon, we only caught little fellers but it was fun just the same, fishing is always fun with the right company-

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Of Bluebloods & Walmart

So here it is, this story did not find its way to your screen without much deliberation, but it is my wife's favorite.. so for Caron and of course Howard.. I offer you this-
The world famous outdoor blog Wind Knots & Tangled Lines has a competition going for the possesion of a handsome new fly reel, so I have decided to throw my hat into the ring. The subject, simple.. why are you a legend in your own mind, am I? well recently I heard the term false modesty, and I like it, after all we all have a story that for a day.. or eternity granted us the lofty status of legend, This is one of mine-

In the summer of 1998 I had found myself jobless and barreling towards broke, I was in a slump and I needed to get to work. A friend of mine in the small Alaskan town I was living in offered me 12 days of employment as an assistant fishing guide for 12 days with a very important client, The heir to a world wide cosmetics fortune and her husband who if I remember right sat on the house of commons in England, Now my Scottish linage with an Aries back doesn't really fit the guide profile of such nobility.. but I figured since the Brits have been hammering on the Scots for 900 years it wouldn't hurt to carry on the family tradition if it meant paying my rent. I will call the two clients the madame and Pip to protect myself from the Ministry of defense kicking in the door of my sensible split entry home and killing me to save the face of the crown. Madame and Pip arrived in the early afternoon on a private jet, I will never forget them coming off the plane, Pip stopped at the top of the ladder and surveyed his surroundings, then with posture in which I have seen never before or again gained purchase with his feet of the state of Alaska, he was obviously kind of a big deal.. I.E legend in HIS own mind. The head guide met them and performed the introductions and jetted them off to their hotel leaving me with a convoy of bags that could kill a unit of Sherpas, I regretted my decision already. I arrived at the Bed and Breakfast and was immediately confronted with an issue, they had brought 600 changes of clothing but no coolers, I told the head guide I would go to walmart and pick some up.. before I could even finish my statement Pip exploded with excitement " I must go!" I said sure, then Pip turned to madame and insisted she accompany us. she said no, then he turned to her and in front of 6 born and bred Americans said, " you simply must come, Ive heard its like America.. all under one roof" she reluctantly agreed. As we headed out into the parking lot she started heading for the crew cab super duty truck she had been in earlier, I smiled and said "no, over here" she stood and stared at my white 1987 ford ex public works truck, sans the tailgate and most of the paint.. I could just feel her crushing anxiety, Pip quickly fired out a come on it will be fun and he opened the door and climbed in, she followed but couldn't shut the door, I walked over and lifted up on the hinges and slammed it twice and it took.. Kinda a tricky door I said with a smile and we were off. We arrived at wallmart a few minutes later and Pip just about knocked Madame down getting out of the truck, I said a short prayer to god, who I was sure had abandoned me.. please don't let him want to ride the elephant ride in the foyer.. and god heard my prayer. We headed into the gut of the beast turning right and walking past cosmetics, and at the end of an isle Madame froze in a stare, we kept walking but she just stood there, as if catatonic, we returned and as we approached she looked at Pip and roughly stated.. " did you know of this?" he looked and said he would have their people look into it.. but the damage was done, and she looked sickened. We walked back to the sporting goods section and started shopping, the whole time Madame stood on the other side of the isle gently touching the fabric of $10 dresses.. and she looked even sicker, we had to get her out of there or find an ephi pen for allergies to repulsive cloth.
That evening Pip decided to take us all out to dinner at the nicest restaurant in town the Best Western hotel. We all sat at a long table in front of a fireplace, Pip and the Madame both ordered the Elk steak and King crab legs. The food was delivered and Pip struck into his crab legs, he was having a "bugger" of a time with it, I sat running my finger around the rim of my empty Jameson and 7up glass.. watching I couldn't take it any longer.. Getting up and walking over to the bar I ordered another then turned to the bartender and said "double in a pint glass" Got my drink then walked over to behind Pip and reached over his shoulder grabbed his steak knife and a crab leg, making an incision in the leg like cutting firewood bent it broke it and shook the giant piece of crab onto his plate. Pip loudly exclaimed " brilliant!" then went about it himself and I returned to sit at the bar. Moments later Madame excused herself to go back to their lodgings. Shortly after everyone else slowly disappeared as well, except Pip, who had taken up court telling a local drunk about Africa and Hunting.. then he was sitting next to me, what are you drinking? Jameson and 7up.. he ordered one as well we sat for the next few hours getting drunker and telling lies, I lied and said I killed a brown bear with one shot from a 243, he lied and said he got two rhinos with one shot, I called the 303 British a piece of shit and he told me I shopped at walmart. At 2;15 we were blurry eyed drunk, the bartender said we had to go, now in some Alaskan towns the bars don't close till 4 a.m, and Pip wasn't done bullshitting, and frankly he was buying so neither was I. So where to ole Boy Pip exclaimed, I told him I would take him to a real Alaskan Bar.. but he had to promise to not be so goddamn British.. he looked at me with a stern face then started to laugh, lets go he said. We stepped out of the doors of the hotel into a 40 kt breeze with sideways rain, hood up and face down I walked down the street with each step feeling like it was denting the sidewalk. As we walked I tried to coach him on how to act, but he just kept insisting that a Russian boar was nothing to mess with, so 50 paces from the front door I stopped and grabbed his shoulders and said listen! these guys are commercial fishermen and navy seals, rogue coasties and drunks.. and they will kick your ass if you insult them, he appeared to get it and sobered up a little it seemed. One more time I insisted that this was the wild west.. nothing to kid around with, then I opened the door..... 25 grown men sat at the bar or were standing around, and all you could hear was them singing.... " highway run, into the midnight sun.. wheels go round and round, in my mind.. desperate hearts we belon........." we drank until 4 a.m.. and Pip bought every drink in the bar... and Pip was astonishingly popular.

This was only the first 12 hrs of a 12 day trip... maybe someday I will be inclined to finish the story.. it gets better-

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Would you like to fish with the Riverkeeper?

I would like to introduce an opportunity to fish with me, as a member of the McCloud rivers Bollibokka club I have an opportunity this fall to let my blog friends fish with me on one of the most famous rainbow trout rivers in the world, if you are interested please go to and check it out, I hope you find it to be something you would like to do- Brad