Friday, January 27, 2017

The Cliffs of Insanity!

Otherwise known as "cabin fever."  It can drive a man to do strange and terrible things...

Even worse, it not just the Little Voices® talking to me these days.  Now I can hear my fly rods whispering to me from across the room as I fall asleep at night!

PS - Thanks for the shirt, Howard!

Monday, January 2, 2017

2017: Uncharted

I'm standing on a narrow bridge, looking down at the South Fork of the Flathead River in western Montana.  Fifty or a hundred feet below me, the small river funnels to a gushing choke point and rushes into the dark shade of a narrow gorge.  The August sun flashes an occasional rainbow in the spray below, and I look out over the river tumbling at me from the south.  The bridge is here for backpackers and pack trains moving into and out of the true wilderness.  The trail disappears over a hill to the southeast, but I'm not interested in the trail.  A minor feeling of vertigo makes me clench the grip of my flyrod even tighter as I gaze down at a swirling pool that I'm absolutely sure holds a few native westslope cutthroat trout.

How am I gonna get down there?

Normally, I have some difficulty motivating myself to explore new angling water.  I know why I came here, to a place I've never seen.  I wanted solitude and a chance to catch native cutthroats in unspoiled waters.  With no idea of what awaited me, I drove three hours on some of the most intimidating dirt roads I've ever seen.  I parked the truck, geared up, and started hiking.  What had I gotten myself into?  The only other part of the plan was for Mrs. Fading Angler to call the sheriff's office if I wasn't back by midnight.  Everything else was that delusional force that drives anglers of all types: hope.