Friday, November 18, 2011

20 Questions: Kirk Werner

The Unaccomplished Angler
For the record, I've never met Kirk Werner. But I've met people who've met Kirk Werner, and I've yet to coax an ill word about the subject of this week's 20 Questions Challenge from any of those fine folks. 

But I do know the author and freelance illustrator possesses at least one flaw. He's never caught a brook trout. Never. 

Kirk is the author of the popular Unaccomplished Angler blog, and if you follow the fly fishing blogosphere, chances are you've seen some examples of his illustrative work in some the logos he's created for folks in this unique community (the Outdooress is a good example). 

He's a talented artist, and the creator of the Olive the Woolly Bugger childrens' book series (you'll see below that he's trying to turn the series into a film, an ambitious, but worthwhile endeavor--good luck Kirk!).

Kirk's an Eagle Scout who lives in Washington state, where he chases steelhead and has a self-proclaimed "love-hate relationship with the Yakima River" when he's not complaining about the weather.

Enjoy getting to know Kirk. On with the questions:

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
It’s been said that money can’t buy happiness, and while that may (or may not) be true, not having to worry about money would mean being able to do everything I want, when I want (and not necessarily selfish endeavors). So in that sense being financially independent (not necessarily filthy rich) would make me perfectly happy. Or at least I’d like an opportunity to find out if it would.

What is your greatest fear?
Failure to do something meaningful and lasting during my time above ground.

The emotionally grounded William Clark
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
William Clark. The whole Lewis and Clark expedition fascinates me more than any other event in history. It was an incredible journey. Hard to imagine that they succeeded. I’d love to have seen the unspoiled country as it existed back then, to observe the abundance of game and fish. I don’t want to discredit Meriwether Lewis, as he was equally responsible for the success of the Corps of Discovery, but William Clark was emotionally stable. I’m probably more like Lewis, which is why I choose Clark as my answer.

Which living person do you most admire?
My dad. His childhood and upbringing was far from the ideal. He was raised by a single father who did his very best during tough times to provide a loving, stable home to his two sons. Had my dad turned out to be any less of a man than he is, he wouldn’t have had to look very far for excuses. That’s far from the case.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? 
 Impatience and procrastination may seem like strange bedfellows, but they deserve equal billing. Often I cannot wait to put things off until tomorrow.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Dishonesty. If you say you’re going to do something, either do it or admit up front that you are not going to do it. Don’t give others a sense of false hope.

Kirk's creation--kids everywhere are grateful
What is your favorite journey?
The one I am currently on, which is trying to get a film made based on my books. The goal is daunting and the chips are stacked way against me. That’ll make the victory of succeeding all the sweeter.

On what occasion do you lie? 
When answering question No. 2 above. I meant what I said, but in all honesty my greatest fear is that I’ll have bot fly larvae hatch under my skin.

Which living person do you most despise?
Those who commit violent crimes against others. And career politicians.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Yes, dear.”

What is your greatest regret? 
The superficial answer would be that I took a multi-decade hiatus from fly fishing. The meaningful answer would be that my mom didn’t live to see how great her grandkids have turned out.

What or who is the greatest love of your life? 
 There are three: my wife, my daughter, and my son. And my dog, Eddie. I guess that’s four.

Which talent would you most like to have? 
I’d like to be able to do the Chinese splits. Seriously.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? Raising two really great kids who are becoming exceptional young adults.

Kirk Werner in another life
If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be? 
I’d like to come back as an osprey. It would quickly get me past my fear of falling from great heights, and I’d be a much more accomplished angler than I can ever hope to be in this life.

Who are your favorite writers? 
Larry McMurtry is right up there at the top. Lonesome Dove is my favorite book ever, period.

Who are your heroes? 
My mom. She was a wonderfully unconventional person. I miss her. My paternal grandfather, whom I never met.

How would you like to die? 
 I am reminded of a classic joke: “When I die, I would like to go peacefully, in my sleep, like my grandfather did. Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.”

What’s the title of your autobiography? 
The Man Who Preferred Cheap Beer.

If you were a pet dog, what would your name be? 
 Itchy. It’s a bit of an inside story, not necessarily an indication of poor hygiene.

BONUS QUESTION: If there’s a Heaven, and you’re lucky enough to make the cut, what would you like to hear God say to you upon arrival? 
“Seriously? LOL!”


  1. Nice interview and insight into the Unaccomplished Angler himself. I wish I could say I've met Kirk in person considering I feel like I know him pretty well, but it hasn't happened...yet.

    Chinese splits you say....would that be to improve your log straddling efforts in the future Kirk?

  2. Kirk Werner is a scallywag who has a smarta$$ answer for everything...I admire him so much! Good job gentlemen.

  3. Kirk...I'm with you on the bot-fly larvae thing. ;) Great interview!

  4. I just split my pelvis and I can't get up. Thanks Kirk!

  5. I have had the privilege of meeting up with a few bloggers...Kirk is definitely on the bucket list to fish with. A great wit and artist and all around talented writer.