Articles in the Category Stories

Seven Seasons and Then Peace — Lessons From the Salt, Summer 2024

There’s a process of evolution in our fishing that cannot be rushed. It’s better off being accepted. And yet, it might take the wisdom of age to ever understand that.

I’d argue that most anglers pursue fishing for the time-out-of-mind experience. Many styles of fishing allow for it, but surfcasting draws me in unlike anything I’ve ever done.

I think it’s the waves . . .

This Is Real Silence

. . . It can be dead silent on that mountain, quiet enough to remember a place in time with no interruptions, a day that started in a bustling, wide valley and finished in stillness on top of a mountain.

. . . . . . The guitar amp, the voices, the conversations, the laughing and arguing, the engine noise and the truck’s rattles, the NPR opinion and the crackly speakers — it’s all gone. And it’ll stay gone for as long as I’m here on the mountaintop. This is real silence.

Dry or Die?

. . . There’s a segment of fly anglers who will never see streamers, nymphs or wet flies as a legitimate offering. That’s fine. Keep it to yourself.

There’s another segment of fly fishers who believe trophy hunting for big browns with big streamers is the only way to live out there. And everything else might as well be tweed hats and waxed catgut. That’s fine too. Keep it to yourself.

The majority of us are fishermen, just having fun, trying to catch a fish and then catch another one . . .

Life On the Water

Accomplished and skilled fly fishing requires that you give part of your life to the river. That’s evident in the first few trips, and I think the depth of all this surprises would-be anglers. It intimidates some, and it captivates others . . .

Night Shift — This River and the Other River

Night Shift — This River and the Other River

I think I’ve night fished often enough now to make some conclusions -- not many, but a few basic determinations that allow me to have confidence in laying out a few principles. Here’s one: night fishing around here is hard. It takes dogged persistence over many...

I’ve lived, and I’ve left some good things here . . . that is enough

I’ve lived, and I’ve left some good things here . . . that is enough

Will climbed up the mountain path and out of the canyon. He walked through the back door and into the old sunroom to sit at his grandfather’s wooden desk. He paused in thought and then put pencil to paper.

When he’d finished, he looked up through the sunroom glass toward the fading orange October daylight. Will walked to the porch and felt the cool stone under his feet as he scanned the landscape of his life.

The rooster crowed before dawn . . .

Thirty-Inch Liars

Thirty-Inch Liars

My story, Thirty-Inch Liars, is over at Hatch Magazine today. Here are a few excerpts..... -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- ... I once read through a publication that printed, "Thirty-inch wild trout are common in this stretch of water." Now, I don't care what river in...

The Ladder and the Sky

The Ladder and the Sky

The sky seemed as though it may fall to the ground with the weight of so many stars. With no city lights on the horizon, no clouds, and no trees or mountains blocking the beauty, I saw the big sky undressed for the first time in my life.

. . . I sat on the roof for a while, then laid back, lying flat with my arms stretched out to the sides, using my body as an extra receiver to take in what my insufficient eyes might miss . . .

Spring Camp With Two Boys | 2016

Spring Camp With Two Boys | 2016

My Dad and I have often visited a campsite in the same remote spot atop a state forest mountain for almost fifteen years now. The spring trip is a four or five day event focused on fishing for wild brown trout in the limestone waters at the bottom of the mountain, and...

Gear – Kids In Waders

Gear – Kids In Waders

Took Aiden fishing today.  No, it's really not too cold if you dress for it.  For my youngest son, that means three pair of socks, three pants, two heavy shirts, winter coat, hat, and waterproof mittens. Sure, it takes about fifteen minutes to get dressed, but then I...

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Night Shift – Christmas Lights

Night Shift – Christmas Lights

I decided to fish close to home and in a section that rolls through a small neighborhood.  No, it's more like a series of cabins.  It was an odd choice.  A great choice during the day, but at night I always try to stay away from light sources because I've learned that...

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Last Good Island

Last Good Island

So it's been a Troutbitten theme lately to do the unusual instead of the doing the usual. Burke started it a few months ago with "Out of the Ordinary October," and I think most of us jumped on the wagon and haven't gotten off.   It's a good wagon. If you are into...

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Fall Camping Trip | 2014

Fall Camping Trip | 2014

My Dad got a new camper and he set up two fall trips, this being the first one.  So, my uncle joined him for the whole trip and I joined them on Monday and Tuesday. We fished the first upper island on Monday and the fishing was ok. I played guide a little bit and...

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Perfect Peace

Perfect Peace

Everything was too loud this week. Sometimes it feels like I wasn't built to be around people, and the simple interactions with others, even with my own family, stack and pile on top of me. My jumbled thoughts and endless worry needed to go away for a while, and I've...

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Night Shift – One of These Days …

Night Shift – One of These Days …

One of these days I'm going to file an amazing night fishing report . . . I started about an hour before dark, and action was crazy good on nymphs. Basically, I was Frank Nale-ing it, but just imagine what I could have done with a gold bead white spinner. Right before...

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