Ride with Clyde VI

Adventures in Porn Camp

CLYDE WAS RIGHT where Viking had left him the night before, backed into a salmonberry thicket, booze and beer resting on his hood, a lone fly box open to the morning dew. I remembered then, vaguely, showing off some new patterns by headlamp after our arrival the night before. If the fly box was mine, the half-full IPA next to it must be mine, too. I looked over my shoulder before finishing it, then remembered that we were in steelhead camp, so who the fuck cares what I have for breakfast.

Off-Ramp to awesomeness. (Photo by Keith Carlson)

Cruising Portland’s Urban Grit.

IN 1972 WALT "CLYDE" FRAZIER was holding down the New York Knicks’ backcourt with Earl “the Pearl” Monroe, and my dad came home one day to our suburban Connecticut home at the wheel of a shiny white Mercury Montego MX Brougham. Though it was classified a mid-size, the Montego, with its hood extending into next week, seemed huge to my-nine-year-old eyes. Other than that hood, and the fastidious detailing that my dad maintained, I have few memories of the car beyond the faux Calypso song “Montego Bay” (by Bobby Bloom), which was still getting AM radio play. When it came on, I imagined a sea of Mercurys like my dad’s, bobbing beneath a bright Jamaican sun.


Since Clyde spews more fumes than the collective exhale of a Dead concert audience, an upcoming emissions inspection had him sweating some serious anti-freeze. No more. The issue has been resolved thanks to scoring these sweet 5-year collector plates from DMV.

Images: RA Beattie

Taking on the Oregon Trail
The Sacramento

There’s a special kind of summertime heat reserved for the valleys of California. Even up north, triple digits are common in the Sacramento Valley, which is where I found Clyde parked in Ryan Peterson’s driveway, its black exterior soaking up every ray in Redding. With no AC and an afternoon departure, my first few miles getting reacquainted with the Marquis saw me shedding winter weight directly from the driver’s seat.

Goin' to California with an 8-weight in my car

At 37 feet long, 9,000 pounds, and three miles to the gallon, Clyde didn't fit well in Berkeley, literally or figuratively. I passed an electric car with a bumper sticker that said, "Animals are just little people in fur coats," and eased on toward the Sac.

Image : Copi Vojta

Lock, stock, and two smokin’ six-weights

In the fall of 2010, a 1974 Mercury Marquis by the name of Clyde joined The Drake ranks as part of Beattie Outdoor Productions’ film, When Guiding Goes Gangster. An instant hit with indy rap fans and female ex-cons—and more than 17,000 views on YouTube strong—Clyde’s entry into the flyfishing stratosphere was electric. Autograph signings followed, along with late-night binge sessions and parties with lithe supermodels. But the fast life takes its toll, and rehab is rough. For several months Clyde was benched—reduced to sidewalk scrapmetal on the outskirts of Fort Collins. He’d nearly given up his dream of roadtripping across an American landscape teeming with trout and marginally employed writers and photographers—until we brought the big lug back into the fold this spring.