Monday, July 30, 2012

The end of the beginning

Saturday afternoon I stood in a parking lot in Yellowstone National Park and said goodbye to some extraordinary people. In a week filled with several once-in-a-lifetime opportunities in a place that defies superlatives it was the people who made the week most special and unique.

I'm going to need a bunch of posts to cover the conservation landscape of the park, the people who make it happen, and, of course, the fishing. Expect that I'll parse the experience apart and hopefully bring it together into something that is cohesive.

I'll spend the next few days with my family out here in Yellowstone seeing the sights and sharing the story of Cutthroat in the park so it will continue to be quiet here on the blog. And then I'm going to have a few days of work to catch up on so it may be next weekend before things get back to something resembling normal though the content will be anything but.

For now, here's a picture that speaks immediately to why we were there and what really matters.

Slough Creek Cutthroat. Stay tuned for a tale of a larger Cutthroat,

Monday, July 23, 2012

Book Review: Shin Deep

I'm looking forward to meeting the folks on the Yellowstone trip. Even though we've never met we're not exactly strangers. I know them all through their writing and I've even spoken to Marc on the phone a few times.

Besides his blog, Chris Hunt has a bonus set of writing -- his book, Shin Deep. For my trip out to Denver I bought a copy. It was the perfect read for such a trip. Not too heavy (literally and figuratively) and helped me mentally prep for angling in the Rockies as well as on the Yellowstone trip next week.
If you've read Chris' blog you're in for a treat. It's the familiar voice you hear on the blog but with more depth and variety.
The book is organized around rivers and fishing geography. Each vignette tells an angling story as well as a bit of the life into which it is woven. As all of us know, this obsession of ours is inextricably linked to the people and lives which it touches and Chris' writing brings that out well.
While Chris does touch on my home waters in Connecticut my favorite chapters are of different locales. Shenandoah is a fantastic tale of a visit to nation's capital, a spouse's incredulity (a common angling spouse's state), and a proposal for a three question test before being allowed to purchase a fishing license. Oh, and some angling for Appalachian Brook Trout as well.
His visit to Alaska recounted in the chapter Prince of Wales brings to mind everything that can go both wrong and right in a trip. His quest for the right fly, heck any fly, in the wilds of Alaska leads to an absurd and rewarding adventure.

Finally, Colorado is a tale of small stream fishing for Brook Trout in Rocky Mountain National Park. Any small stream angler will recognize this setting and the challenges is possesses. I particularly like this story because he managed to work in the phrase "booger eating morons"; always a winner.

The book has sixteen other stories of angling adventure. Some are very good, all are solid. Perhaps the best endorsement for this book is that I read it in two sittings without noticing the time going by. Well worth the investment. Pick up a copy.

You can find the rest of Chris' writing at Eat More Brook Trout