Wednesday, April 16, 2014
The day job is changing--for the better--and keeping me on my toes. And I did finish my last book for your reading pleasure. But mostly, I've just been swamped. That likely won't change, but if I've learned anything, it's that this part of my life--this little writing project that started about six years ago and never truly ended--is a necessity. It's prescriptive therapy--like an anti-depressant or a knee brace. I can function OK without it--for a time--but in the end, I'll return to it, and just as often stare into the blank space of the WYSIWYG editor than I will actually write something.
I've had a few little projects in the works--the book is one, obviously. I've crafted a few things for my friend Chad Shmukler at Hatch Magazine. And, of course, I'm spreading the gospel over at the TU blog, where we've literally been saving the world, one trout at a time. But this... this purely self-serving endeavor meant for all eyes--or none--seems to pull me back in. Even if it's just to read some previous posts or wade through the spam comments (Boost Your Bust? Really?) and delete the pablum left behind by the trolls.
north Georgia earlier this spring and I traveled south to Ascension Bay in February, where I caught my first permit. And my second. And my third.
I can't promise that "I'm back," or anything, but I'd like think I've arrived at a place in my tumultuous existence of late where I might be able to pop in--and pop off on a few issues--with some sense of regularity.
Until then, enjoy the fishing.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Perhaps inspiration is found in the bottom of a jug of homemade apple pie cocktail (thank you, Wisconsin), or perhaps it's just the season... but I felt compelled to sit and craft a tried-and-true post for the holiday.
Today, I'm thankful for...
My friends. A little social network time this morning convinced me that spending a holiday like this alone is done purely by choice. Just a few lines of text, some kitschy winks and smiley-faces, and I felt fulfilled... loved... appreciated. Thank you for that, my dear friends. Happy Thanksgiving.
Saturday, November 2, 2013
This is the fourth and final post in a series focusing on the ecological issues facing the coastal estuaries of southern Florida. Read Part One here, Part Two here, and Part Three here.
|Tourists watch dolphins hunting fish in San Carlos Bay.|
Jim Martin, a lifelong conservationists, and the conservation officer for Pure Fishing, joined me and a handful of folks on the dolphin-watching tour, an offering given to attendees at the American Sportfishing Association Summit, conducted in October on shores of the bay.
Martin, who speaks passionately about issues impacting the environment--particularly as those issues impact fishing opportunity--remarked on the color of the water, and noted that, if something isn't done to remedy the frequent influx of untreated fresh water from Lake Okeechobee, this bay and others like around south Florida could be in real trouble.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
This is the third in a series of posts focusing on the ecological issues facing the coastal estuaries of southern Florida. Read Part One here, and Part Two here.
|A spotted sea trout breaks up a slow day of fishing in San Carlos Bay. The|
bay is influenced by excess water discharges from Lake Okeechobee,
which turn the water brown and add pollutants to the estuary.
But unless we act, we're just a bunch of whiners. It's a tough pill to swallow, but it's true. Complaining about a problem without offering a solution just makes for shrill rhetoric. It's unproductive, to be sure. For more, see: Congress, United States.
I have a good friend who once explained to me how, traditionally, sportsmen engaged in politics, particularly when it came to natural resources issues that impacted their opportunities afield.
"If one day, you told a bunch of hunters that they had to wake up the next morning, report to the firing squad and be executed, they'd bitch and moan all night long," he said to me. "Then, the next morning, they'd dutifully report, and stand stoically in front of the firing squad to be shot dead."
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
This is a second in a series of posts focusing on the ecological issues facing the coastal estuaries of southern Florida. Read Part One here, and Part Three here.
You've heard of Big Oil. The Big Three from Detroit. And, of course, the Big Lebowski.
But have you heard of Big Sugar?
I have to admit, until I spent some quality time chasing saltwater fish in southwest Florida recently, I
In Florida, this industry is source of great pride, particularly among those state and federal lawmakers who collect significant campaign contributions from companies like U.S. Sugar and American Crystal Sugar, or the collective lobbying group, the American Sugar Alliance.
For those living along both the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts of southern Florida, though, Big Sugar is a Big Problem.
This heavily subsidized industry is largely the cause of one of the most egregious environmental problems in the Southeast, and if you're a saltwater angler from Florida, or someone who travels to the Sunshine State to chase inshore trophies like snook, tarpon and redfish, you might already know the havoc Big Sugar wreaks on the state's southern estuaries.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Note: This is the first in a series of posts focusing on the ecological issues facing the coastal estuaries of south Florida. Read Part Two here, and Part Three here.
|Tarpon Bay in the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel|
I'd been hearing about this situation for the better part of a week before I took to the mangroves in search of salty fish--it's an odd dilemma facing both the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts of southern Florida. There's simply too much fresh water entering the estuaries down the Indian, St. Lucie and the Caloosahatchee rivers. And, frankly, the word "fresh" isn't exactly accurate, either.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
It's been a while. And much has happened. I'd like to apologize for my hiatus, but it would be disingenuous. I'm not sorry... I needed a break to focus on other things.
It's funny, too, because this endeavor was a "thing" in our marriage. A distraction. An interruption. Proof that I could find time for something I loved, and proof, to some, that I loved other things more than I should have dared. I fought for it. Clung to it. Depended on it.
And then I stopped. For almost two months, I stopped. Cold turkey. And, honest to God, I have no idea why. I guess, as I look back, it just didn't feel right to spend the time writing about fishing when our lives were crumbling like old stucco.
And crumble they have. But the facade is almost gone, and what's left is ... new, unfamiliar and a little scary.
Life awaits. Let's see what's out there.
Friday, August 2, 2013
|Conrad as Marshall Matt Dillon|
Stan Freberg—a Radio Hall-of-Famer—hosted a nightly show on one of the AM stations we could pick up in remote Eureka, and my sleep began to depend on tinny voices blasting from the clock radio on the nightstand. Half-hour series like “Our Miss Brooks,” “The Life of Reilly,” “Boston Blackie,” “Dragnet” and my favorite, “Gunsmoke,” would put us to sleep, often before we could get through an entire episode. It was comical for a while—a novelty (I think it would be akin to my 11-year-old son putting his Xbox aside and taking up a game of River Run on the old Atari 2600).
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Here, a short plane ride from busy Juneau (there were five massive cruise ships at the dock and thousands of tourists milling about downtown when we took off from the airport) and yet hopelessly out of touch with civilization, we landed on our very own piece of real estate. Mine. Theirs. Yours.
Friday, July 12, 2013
|In line for take-off ... and about to start dive-bombing|
For four straight days while wading the flats off of Deadman's Cay, we'd been hounded by nesting gulls--it's understandable that the screaming, squawking, black-headed birds would be threatened by us as we walked quietly among their nesting islands in search of bonefish, and I think it's understandable that, after a time, the birds began to drive us nuts.
In a fit of frustration, as a maniacal gull dive-bombed me and spooked a sizable school of bones headed my way, I took a half-hearted swing at the bird with my 8-weight ... and connected. It was a glancing blow, and I immediately felt terrible for doing it. The bird flew off unharmed--if a bit startled--and I shouldered a pang of guilt for the rest of day.