- Skeena Steelhead
- How to Spot a Striper Fisherman
- Snook vs. Snookie
- October Caddis
- N.C. Albies
- Fishing NYC
- Derek DeYoung
- Mag Bay
- and Saving Silver Creek
It takes a certain swagger to pull off a good mustache. Some guys just have it: Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, Jose Wejebe. And ’staches on Norris, Bronson, Chuck Furimsky, and the Marlboro Man say “badass” like no others. Hall-of-fame pitcher and fisher “Goose” Gossage carries an enviable upper-lip umbrella, as does Dr. Phil—meaty enough to inspire any preadolescent to sprout whiskers and start wearing Speed Stick—or give out relationship advice.
Unfortunately, today’s mustache has mostly gone out of style. Classics such as dundrearies (a sideburn and mustache bridge connecting one side of your face to the
Bob Dylan: Folk singer. Protest singer. Betrayer of folk music. Born-again Christian. Orthodox Jew. Victoria’s Secret pitch man. Christmas song crooner. Flyfisherman. Flyfisherman?
There is no photographic evidence of Robert Zimmerman stepping out of a river bearing a brace of trout, boots of Spanish leather glistening; nor are there secondhand tales of a small mumbling man with a bewildering patter and a decent roll cast, tales shared by grizzled guides after too much bourbon, and only with trusted clients.
No. There are only the songs themselves.
As you will soon see, a close scrutiny of the music of Bob Dylan will reveal the passion of Bob Dylan—namely, fishing. Specifically, trout fishing. Especially in the years 1967 to 1976.
“Yea Heavy and a Bottle of Bread”
Recorded in 1967 with the musicians that would come to be known the following year as The Band, “Yea Heavy and a Bottle of Bread” marks Dylan’s first unabashed declaration of piscine passion:
Saloons tucked away in the small Rocky Mountain communities that survive on the ebb and flow of anglers are where fishing stories either start or end. The more dilapidated, the better. If flakes of hide splinter off a 60-year old mule deer mount, or pornographic cartoons denote the men’s and women’s restrooms, then grab a seat and enjoy.
I believe Grogan’s was the former name, though I think most refer to it now as simply the Glen Bar. Cleaner and brighter than most, and roughly the size of a double-wide, it’s not the biggest one-horse watering hole in Montana. But because you can beach a drift boat, walk past the masked scarecrow to the rear entrance, wet your whistle, then resume fishing on the lower Big Hole, it’s one of my favorites.
1. The OCD
The OCD boat gets washed at the end of every day, and is always trailered with a cover on. The OCD gets an even more thorough power-washing on days off. The OCD owner will frequently make clients stand around at the takeout ramp while he gives the boat “just a quick sponge bath.”
Stickers: Possibly one or two, but very carefully positioned using a protractor, with obvious concern for the overall layout.
Amenities: The OCD carries something for every conceivable situation: several camp chairs, two snake-bite kits, toilet paper, a Sven saw, flares, emergency blankets, a tarp, binocs for non-fishing partners, kindling, a lantern, feminine napkins, the book: “What to do When Struck by Lightning.” What you’ll Find Under the Rower’s Bench: Not a thing. Ever.
How Not to Start the Day: By getting in with muddy boots, tripping over the carefully coiled anchor line, and spilling your caramel soy latte.
John Jackson began snowboarding as a preteen on the powder-strewn spines of the Eastern Sierras, near his hometown in Crowley Lake, California. Soon after, he cast his first flies in that same backyard—in places with legendary names like Inyo, Sierra, Yosemite, and King’s. Fifteen years later and the basic ingredients haven’t changed, just the stakes. He’s still riding snowboards—though he no longer shares one with his sister—and today he logs long hours chasing storms, sourcing untapped descents, and nailing burly backcountry drops as a pro rider for Forum Snowboards. When the season’s over, he fishes: the East Walker and Hot Creek; the Truckee River in his new backyard; northern California’s coastal steelhead streams, or somewhere totally off the grid, just to fuel the wanderlust.