|James R. Babb|
At the time, I had a single fly rod, and the tip-top of that rod--an Orvis Clearwater, 9-foot, 5-weight my wife bought me for our fourth wedding anniversary all those years ago--snapped on me on a little creek in the eastern Idaho backcountry a week before I picked up the book. I'd managed to hook a willow with my backcast, and the tip broke as I cast the line toward a tight spot just below a little plunge in the creek.
I was devastated. And I was frustrated. For a time, I even contemplated abandoning the pursuit in favor of something else... anything else. Then I cracked the cover of River Music, and two chapters in, I found myself at the local fly shop in Pocatello, where I presented the pieces of my trusty stick to the proprietor. He did some minor surgery with a glue stick and a new tip-top, and my 9-foot rod was transformed into an 8-foot, 10-inch rod.
"You'll never notice the difference," the proprietor said. He was right. I didn't.
|On the Madison.|
For those of you who don't know of Jim, he's the editor of Gray's Sporting Journal, perhaps the last great example of truly good long-form outdoor writing left in America. Thankfully, Jim contributes frequently to the publication--it would lose some luster if he didn't. While a subscription to Gray's ought to be atop your letter to Santa this year, you ought to first check out Jim's books, starting with my favorite, River Music.
On with the questions: