Tuesday, June 5, 2012

20 Questions: Howard Levett

Howard Levett
When you think of the stereotypical fly fishing blogger, you might picture Howard Levitt in your head--and I mean that as a compliment. 

Howard's a very prolific blogger who writes the popular blog Wind Knots and Tangled Lines. And, in addition to writing his own blog, Howard might be the most devoted blog reader I know. I read my share of blogs, and if I find a post I'm drawn to, I almost always arrive to find that Howard has been there before and usually left a thoughtful and encouraging comment behind. He's a blogger's best friend--the guy who continually pats you on the back and keeps you writing. 

A former cop, Howard's a passionate fly fisher who came to the craft later in life (and regrets he didn't pick it up earlier). He's a collector, a fiberglass rod fisher and a Beatles fan. Howard's the kind of guy I'd like to sit down with and enjoy a few beers with--hopefully that happens sooner rather than later. 

Get to know Howard. You'll be glad you did. On with the questions:

What is your idea of perfect happiness? 
My wife and I wading the Blue River here in Colorado on a bluebird day and world peace.

What is your greatest fear? 
'Zat you, Howard?
Anyone who knows me knows the answer to this…getting eaten by a bear.

Which historical figure do you most identify with? 
Lewis or Clark, either one. I envy their expedition and what they saw before anyone but the Native Americans. 

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? 
Procrastination. Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow. Hold on a few minutes, I’ve got to finish mowing the lawn…oh never mind. I’ll finish it tomorrow.

What is the trait you most deplore in others? 
Irresponsibility. I’ve seen a lot of it from people over the years. Someone else always suffers for other’s irresponsibility.

On what occasion do you lie? 
I don’t lie, cheat or steal. I was raised by parents that instilled in me that those are cardinal sins. On the other hand, I will sometimes omit non-essential information.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse? 
Wanna bite of my Walnetta? Most people probably won’t understand that.

What or who is the greatest love of your life? 
My wife. As much as I let her know, she still looks at me like I’m crazy and says, “why?”

What do you consider your greatest achievement? 
I’ve spent the majority of my life working to help others. (Whether they always wanted it or not.) When I worked with the elderly, an old woman once told me that there would be a special place in heaven for me. I hope my folks and older sister are there along with a nice trout stream.

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be? 
Dog food
That’s a tough one. I can tell you what I wouldn’t want to come back as. One of those green plastic toy soldiers we used to play with when I was a kid. We’d blow them up, bury them alive and feed them to the dog.

What is your most treasured possession? 
There are two. One is an autographed copy of a John Gierach book, an autographed AK Best book. Oh and an autographed copy of Richie Furay’s book. (Founding member of Buffalo Springfield.) Oh, and my TL Johnson fiberglass 4 wt and Orvis Lightweight reel. Sorry, I’m a collector so I have a lot of treasures.

Where would you like to live? 
I’m quite content living in Colorado. You couldn’t ask for better weather, great fishing and other outdoor activities. Seems like all my friends and family are either here or will be.

Who are your favorite writers? 
Howard and Gierach
James Thurber without a doubt is No. 1. Louis L’Amour, Hemingway, Gierach. Oh and Mark Twain. I love history and humor.

Who are your heroes? 
Anyone in our military, especially the wounded warriors both now and from my war--Vietnam.

How would you like to die? 
Well, I used to say in bed at the hands of a jealous husband but I’ve matured some since then. I would say that if am lucky enough to live to 80, that I don’t care as long as it’s painless and quick. 

What was the most significant moment in your life? 
Probably being sworn in as a law enforcement officer. It marked the end of kidhood and beginning of manhood.

What’s your favorite film? 
Saving Private Ryan without a doubt followed by A Hard Day’s Night. See? History and humor.

Where would you want your loved ones to spread your ashes? 
Well, it’s against my religion to be cremated, so I’d say throw my body in the Arkansas River. 

What’s your favorite car of all the cars you’ve owned? 
An MGB. When I was younger so much younger than today…sorry about that. When I was in my 20s, I was a bouncer in a beer bar. I used to load up friends in my MGB, go to the mountains and party.

What word do you have to look up in order to know you spelled it correctly? 
Well honestly, I use spell check. I have problems with punctuation…I love those little dots. 

BONUS QUESTION: What is your favorite journey? 
The last five minutes of any trip to a river to fish. I love the mounting anticipation.


  1. I've had a chance to spend some time with Howard, and not only is he the person you imagine him to be through following his blog, he is as nice a guy you could ever hope to meet.

    great interview as always

  2. Great interview Chris, Howard is a good guy and deserves the attention!

    I hope I get to meet him one day.

  3. Thanks for this one Chris. Howard is a great guy and great blogger. He's certainly been a big encouragement to me.

  4. So glad you had Howard come up to bat! He has been a true friend since I started my blog, being supportive and giving honest advice. And meeting him in person last year, just showed me the sincere, loving, and kind person he is. (Although, he doesn't like anyone to think those things about him!) So...just think of him as the funny, quick wit that he is and who can always make you laugh... = )

  5. Howard does seem to be just about everywhere and a true gentleman everywhere he goes.

    Glad to see him land on your 20 Questions.

    I do have to disagree with him on one thing...Stones Rule!
    C'mon, 1964, I Wanna Hold Your Hand or Little Red Rooster?

    No comparison.

  6. I have a ton of respect for Howard, and I've been grateful more than once to see one of his comments on an otherwise barrent post--he's a good barometer, a great blogger and we're all lucky to know him (in one fashion or another). Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions, Howard. Much appreciated!

  7. I knew Howard when he was an unknown, unaccomplished fly fisherman from Colorado. Ask him to show his Wright & McGill catalogs. He's my hero.....dhoover8448

  8. Well done Chris- that was a fine interview, thx for that! Mike

  9. Happy to shine a little light Howard's way!

  10. I've never met the man, but like my blogging buddy Marc, I feel I already know him. He often stops by with an encouraging word or a lively comment and just adds a spark of kinship to our community. Nicely done.

  11. Thank you everyone for your support and friendship. That's certainly been the best thing about blogging. Chris, a special thanks to you for this opportunity. I had a lot of fun with it, although it's mostly all true!

  12. The little dots!!! Oh how I love them too. You're a class act, Mr. Levett...a class act. And Chris is right on when he says that all of your comments and encouragement helps a lot of us keep on. Thanks for that.

  13. As a beneficiary of Howard's kind words, encouragement and humor when I first started my blog (and even today), I would like to thank him once again.

    I enjoyed the 20 Questions Chris and thank you too.

  14. Thanks, all, for dropping by. Howard, keep up the great work--you're simply awesome.

  15. Great interview, great character in the subject. I truly enjoy Howard's blog and wish I had half of his panache. I, like so many others hope to meet this man and possibly fish with him some day. Thanks for sharing Chris!

  16. Looks like I am a little late to the post here, but, I wanted to show my appreciation for both the (20) question format, Chris, and for doing it with my blogging friend, Howard. He has been a rock of stability and friendship since we first started communicating with each other via our blogs, and, Facebook etc. The great thing is I have recently moved to within about a half hour or so of where Howard lives and I cannot wait to get the opportunity to meet and fish with one of my blogging hero's!