8 Years later: The Tree (conclusion on page 4)

This forum is for general topics. Keep all posts, images, etc safe for those who read the forum at work. Post only that content that you'd want your mama to read. Violators will be banned.
User avatar
fly-chucker
Posts: 942
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2010 5:48 pm
Location: Frozen North

Re: 8 Years later: The Tree (Part I and II) page 2

Post by fly-chucker » Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:26 am

I didn't read the part about the tweaker teen's smile.

I read it as "a cute girl in her late teens flashed us as we drove by, turning her torso to give us a full view. :Roll Eyes
"The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits." -CC

"Get off the water you dumb asses…there is a shit storm coming." -Pancho Rancho

"Fucker compared my small stream trout weenie cast to an epileptic with Tourette’s Syndrome." -Carpe Tructa

User avatar
rampant
Posts: 318
Joined: Sat Mar 23, 2013 5:46 am

Re: 8 Years later: The Tree (Part I and II) page 2

Post by rampant » Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:15 am

"do you know where this tree is"
shawhank-tree[1].jpg
Attachments
shawhank-tree[1].jpg
shawhank-tree[1].jpg (82.78 KiB) Viewed 405 times

User avatar
K_P
Posts: 1307
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 9:14 pm

Re: 8 Years later: The Tree (Part I and II) page 2

Post by K_P » Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:46 pm



Tuesday evening, a fresh wind blew into town by the name of Rick Harrington. It's been a pleasure and a privilege to communicate with Rick over the past eight or ten years. I've got a very faded South Lima Steelhead Society sticker on the Alaskan camper, but I'm guessing that's more of an expression of Rick's fantastic generosity of spirit than my qualifications to be a member.

As most of you know, Rick's been stuck between Syracuse and Buffalo for a long time. However, he's a native son of Oregon, and has recently been repatriated to his native land.

I can't imagine anybody could be more happy about a homecoming than Rick is with his.

I'd contacted him to tell him that we'd be in the area, relatively speaking, over the last week in March and that I'd like to see him if it fit his schedule. He texted back shortly before I embarked, asking if it was OK to sleep in his pickup in the driveway at our Airbnb rental.

As it turned out, the rental was very nice, spacious, and the owners were totally cool with another guest.

After spending the day covering the Wilson and Trask rivers from bottom to top and back down again, I whipped up some chow. The smokies are compliments of three unfortunate ungulates who had the dubious pleasure of venturing too close to me this past fall.

Image

Rick arrived, greetings and introductions were made. He brought two loaves of fantastic artisanal sourdough (not an option where I come from) and --holy crap!-- a chocolate pecan pie!

There are no photographs of the pie. They would not have done it justice. I don't think I'm exaggerating when I tell you that it must have weighed three pounds. It was simply decadent.

Rick's an amazing story teller, delivering narratives with the energy of three men and punchlines with contagious gusto. He related this fantastically vivid dream he had of being invited to the White House and spending quite a bit of time visiting with former First Lady Michelle Obama before being escorted in to meet with then President Obama. Michelle's parting advice to Rick just before his meeting with the President was, " Rick, put your mind in your bottom hand."

I have to confess: I didn't see that coming.

The next morning, we decided to leave Jake's raft and hit some runs on the Trask that Rick suggested. Jake and Rick were rigged up and ready to go. The looked like the Bobbsey twins, with matching outfits right down to the Patagonia Foot Tractors.

Image

I'm primarily a drift boat fly fisherman. That's going to be my excuse for what I'm about to confess. As I mentioned, both Jake and Rick were fully rigged (read: rods strung and flies tied on) and ready to go. I'd spent too much visiting, and not wanting to hold up the show, decided to rig my assembled rods after we got to the river.

Some of you likely see where this is going.

We headed down the trail.

Image

We'd gone nearly a half mile when Jake came up behind me and said, "Kelly, are you aware that you're missing the tip section of one of your rods?"

It was in the purest sense a rhetorical question.

Rick's effervescent personality left us momentarily. He said flatly "You'll never find it." He was, of course, right. The rain forest tangle of trees, blackberry vines, ferns, and bushes made the likelihood of finding the missing rod section very, very low.

"I'm gonna try anyway." I said, and headed back down the trail, cussing myself for violating a cardinal rule of stream fishing by not stringing up my rod.

I walked slowly, cautious, trying to visually sort through the thick vegetation when Michelle Obama whispered to me "Put your mind in your rod tip." It then occurred to me to look at what the end of my 13 foot spey rod would likely have snagged on as I followed Rick down the obscure trail along the river. I moved with less careful scrutiny through the more open areas, and slowed down where overhanging limbs, thickets of alder or willow, or sharp bends in the trail would have had the rod tip susceptible to a plucking limb or a snagging branch might have grabbed my rod tip.

...and then, there it was, glistening in the rain, lying atop some cushioning fern fronds.

Jake had decided to fish further downstream, and Rick was already working a nice run when I returned. I'm not sure who was happiest about my good fortune.

I rigged up my sticks and stepped into the top of the run above Rick. I would stop casting occasionally to watch him effortlessly firing out cast after cast, and attempted to emulate the simplicity and efficiency of his casts. "Put your mind in your bottom hand." I found myself in a hypnotic rhythm, and the casting just fell into place.

...

After an early lunch break, Rick give me first shot at the next run downstream.

Image

I worked my way down to the tail-out below a short pool, and when I turned to speak, I found Rick fast asleep in the rain.

Image

After a couple of fishless hours in an increasingly heavier rain, we hopped in our trucks and headed upstream to fish one final run.

Rick, killing it.

Image

We fished another 90 minutes and decided it was time to call it a day. Walking back downstream in waist-deep water, I lost my footing and went straight down. I was buoyant enough that I couldn't get my feet underneath me, and bobbed downstream past Rick. Later, when telling Jake about going in "up to the brim of my hat," Rick corrected me. "No dude--you were COMPLETELY submerged."

It sure was nice to be at a place with a dryer.

Image

Image

...

It was now Thursday, and I would only have through Saturday to find The Tree. There was another river near by that I had yet to explore, and several of the suggestions I'd received from online acquaintances pointed in that direction. It seemed like a good compromise, and we headed out to explore it more fully.

It did not contain The Tree. And yet, it did not disappoint.

Image

Image

Image

Image






Jake is the only one of us who had any action that day. Near the hang down at the end of a swing, he had a grab. He patiently waited, allowing the fish to pull a couple rotations off the reel. Unfortunately, the steelhead dropped the fly. On the very next cast, what we believe was the same fish savagely slapped at his fly in nearly the exact same location, but did not stick.

The rain had returned, and it was going to be well after eight by the time we got back to town. Rick was already packed, and we said our goodbyes riverside. He headed east, and we headed west. And while I had not found The Tree, I was beginning to adjust to the very real likelihood that I would never find it.

The Tree had become a symbol for me, a guiding force that had brought me in search of itself due to its incredible beauty. For eight long years, I longed for the day when I would find it, see it, stand beneath it, touch it, perhaps even commune with it. What I hoped it might impart to me is something I had yet to identify, and much less define. I had found it at a time when I was in a very dark state, but those days were long past.

Over the past several days, a new thought had been developing in my mind. What was becoming apparent to me is that these rivers, and the forested valleys in which they flow, were also places of spectacular beauty. It seemed perhaps even a little disrespectful that I might not be fully appreciating them for their beauty in my singular focus of just The Tree. The Tree had been the catalyst to my search. My search had brought me to This Place. And, This Place had so much more that was yet to be discovered. I might spend the rest of my life taking it all in, and still not see it all.

Perhaps that was the reason I was here, now, and present in a completely unanticipated moment.
Image

Last edited by K_P on Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
K_P
Posts: 1307
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 9:14 pm

Re: 8 Years later: The Tree (Part I and II) page 2

Post by K_P » Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:54 pm



Tuesday evening, a fresh wind blew into town by the name of Rick Harrington. It's been a pleasure and a privilege to communicate with Rick over the past eight or ten years. I've got a very faded South Lima Steelhead Society sticker on the Alaskan camper, but I'm guessing that's more of an expression of Rick's fantastic generosity of spirit than my qualifications to be a member.

As most of you know, Rick's been stuck between Syracuse and Buffalo for a long time. However, he's a native son of Oregon, and has recently been repatriated to his native land.

I can't imagine anybody could be more happy about a homecoming than Rick is with his.

I'd contacted him to tell him that we'd be in the area, relatively speaking, over the last week in March and that I'd like to see him if it fit his schedule. He texted back shortly before I embarked, asking if it was OK to sleep in his pickup in the driveway at our Airbnb rental.

As it turned out, the rental was very nice, spacious, and the owners were totally cool with another guest.

After spending the day covering the Wilson and Trask rivers from bottom to top and back down again, I whipped up some chow. The smokies are compliments of three unfortunate ungulates who had the dubious pleasure of venturing too close to me this past fall.

Image

Rick arrived, greetings and introductions were made. He brought two loaves of fantastic artisanal sourdough (not an option where I come from) and --holy crap!-- a chocolate pecan pie!

There are no photographs of the pie. They would not have done it justice. I don't think I'm exaggerating when I tell you that it must have weighed three pounds. It was simply decadent.

Rick's an amazing story teller, delivering narratives with the energy of three men and punchlines with contagious gusto. He related this fantastically vivid dream he had of being invited to the White House and spending quite a bit of time visiting with former First Lady Michelle Obama before being escorted in to meet with then President Obama. Michelle's parting advice to Rick just before his meeting with the President was, " Rick, put your mind in your bottom hand."

I have to confess: I didn't see that coming.

The next morning, we decided to leave Jake's raft and hit some runs on the Trask that Rick suggested. Jake and Rick were rigged up and ready to go. The looked like the Bobbsey twins, with matching outfits right down to the Patagonia Foot Tractors.

Image

I'm primarily a drift boat fly fisherman. That's going to be my excuse for what I'm about to confess. As I mentioned, both Jake and Rick were fully rigged (read: rods strung and flies tied on) and ready to go. I'd spent too much visiting, and not wanting to hold up the show, decided to rig my assembled rods after we got to the river.

Some of you likely see where this is going.

We headed down the trail.

Image

We'd gone nearly a half mile when Jake came up behind me and said, "Kelly, are you aware that you're missing the tip section of one of your rods?"

It was in the purest sense a rhetorical question.

Rick's effervescent personality left us momentarily. He said flatly "You'll never find it." He was, of course, right. The rain forest tangle of trees, blackberry vines, ferns, and bushes made the likelihood of finding the missing rod section very, very low.

"I'm gonna try anyway." I said, and headed back down the trail, cussing myself for violating a cardinal rule of stream fishing by not stringing up my rod.

I walked slowly, cautious, trying to visually sort through the thick vegetation when Michelle Obama whispered to me "Put your mind in your rod tip." It then occurred to me to look at what the end of my 13 foot spey rod would likely have snagged on as I followed Rick down the obscure trail along the river. I moved with less careful scrutiny through the more open areas, and slowed down where overhanging limbs, thickets of alder or willow, or sharp bends in the trail would have had the rod tip susceptible to a plucking limb or a snagging branch might have grabbed my rod tip.

...and then, there it was, glistening in the rain, lying atop some cushioning fern fronds.

Jake had decided to fish further downstream, and Rick was already working a nice run when I returned. I'm not sure who was happiest about my good fortune.

I rigged up my sticks and stepped into the top of the run above Rick. I would stop casting occasionally to watch him effortlessly firing out cast after cast, and attempted to emulate the simplicity and efficiency of his casts. "Put your mind in your bottom hand." I found myself in a hypnotic rhythm, and the casting just fell into place.

...

After an early lunch break, Rick give me first shot at the next run downstream.

Image

I worked my way down to the tail-out below a short pool, and when I turned to speak, I found Rick fast asleep in the rain.

Image

After a couple of fishless hours in an increasingly heavier rain, we hopped in our trucks and headed upstream to fish one final run.

Rick, killing it.

Image

We fished another 90 minutes and decided it was time to call it a day. Walking back downstream in waist-deep water, I lost my footing and went straight down. I was buoyant enough that I couldn't get my feet underneath me, and bobbed downstream past Rick. Later, when telling Jake about going in "up to the brim of my hat," Rick corrected me. "No dude--you were COMPLETELY submerged."

It sure was nice to be at a place with a dryer.

Image

Image

...

It was now Thursday, and I would only have through Saturday to find The Tree. There was another river near by that I had yet to explore, and several of the suggestions I'd received from online acquaintances pointed in that direction. It seemed like a good compromise, and we headed out to explore it more fully.

It did not contain The Tree. And yet, it did not disappoint.

Image

Image

Image

Image






Jake is the only one of us who had any action that day. Near the hang down at the end of a swing, he had a grab. He patiently waited, allowing the fish to pull a couple rotations off the reel. Unfortunately, the steelhead dropped the fly. On the very next cast, what we believe was the same fish savagely slapped at his fly in nearly the exact same location, but did not stick.

The rain had returned, and it was going to be well after eight by the time we got back to town. Rick was already packed, and we said our goodbyes riverside. He headed east, and we headed west. And while I had not found The Tree, I was beginning to adjust to the very real likelihood that I would never find it.

The Tree had become a symbol for me, a guiding force that had brought me in search of itself due to its incredible beauty. For eight long years, I longed for the day when I would find it, see it, stand beneath it, touch it, perhaps even commune with it. What I hoped it might impart to me is something I had yet to identify, and much less define. I had found it at a time when I was in a very dark state, but those days were long past. Over the past several days, a new thought was developing in my mind. What was becoming apparent to me is that these rivers, and the forested valleys in which they flow, were also places of spectacular beauty. It seemed perhaps even a little disrespectful that I might not be fully appreciating them for their beauty in my singular focus of just The Tree. The Tree had been the catalyst to my search. My search had brought me to This Place.

Perhaps that was the reason I was here, now, and present it an unanticipated moment.
Image

Last edited by K_P on Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
mitch aka 2 fish
Posts: 1429
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2007 1:01 am
Location: a big sincere thank you to all of you who still participate, I'm still here, every single day.

Re: 8 Years later: The Tree (Part I-IV)

Post by mitch aka 2 fish » Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:06 pm

waste deep before or after you fell in it?

you know where the jar is, two-two.
9 out of 10 entomologists fucking well aren't.

User avatar
K_P
Posts: 1307
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 9:14 pm

Re: 8 Years later: The Tree (Part I-IV)

Post by K_P » Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:12 pm

mitch aka 2 fish wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:06 pm
waste deep before or after you fell in it?

you know where the jar is, two-two.
Your talents are wasted outside of copy editing.

Mo' bettah? :Roll Eyes

User avatar
mitch aka 2 fish
Posts: 1429
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2007 1:01 am
Location: a big sincere thank you to all of you who still participate, I'm still here, every single day.

Re: 8 Years later: The Tree (Part I-IV)

Post by mitch aka 2 fish » Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:28 pm

'gawd, he's such a fucking dickhead.'
said everyone. all the time.
and then mtice ridiculed them for being boring.



harrington catches no fish with others and houses suspect dogs.
9 out of 10 entomologists fucking well aren't.

User avatar
yard4sale
Posts: 2147
Joined: Wed May 28, 2014 4:12 pm

Re: 8 Years later: The Tree (Part I-IV)

Post by yard4sale » Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:23 pm

Hang down fish suck but the peninsula does not.

I hope Rick told you the story of his rotisserie swim.
You can't go back and you can't stand still
If the thunder don't get you then the lightning will

When your choices are between a pedophile religious zealot or a dem suddenly the pedophile religious zealot doesn't sound too bad. - PLOW

User avatar
SLSS
Posts: 7001
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2007 6:24 pm
Location: Home
Contact:

Re: 8 Years later: The Tree (Part I-IV)

Post by SLSS » Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:55 pm

yard4sale wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:23 pm
Hang down fish suck but the peninsula does not.

I hope Rick told you the story of his rotisserie swim.
I believe I did- I laugh myself to tears every time I do.

Also, to quote Michele slightly more accurately, Like your friend Yard said, Keep your mind in your bottom hand.

It was, after all, my memories serving up the solution to my own casting problems, your advice delivered through the preferable visage of Michele.

And I can't believe I seemed to fish with you more when I lived in NY. We gotta fix that this year. We'll make RD go along too, even if we have to kidnap the little red dog.

KP, can't tell you how much I enjoyed putting the man to the handle, and sharing some water with you and Jake.
It's lime the battles between sperm whales and giant squid half a mile below the surface of the ocean. Only it happens in the palm I your hand.- thndr

when I fall, I am still cold and wet, but much more stylishly dressed. as my hat disappears in the riffle- flybug.pa


"Sugar? No thank you Turkish, I'm sweet enough."

User avatar
stillsteamin
Posts: 717
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:46 pm
Location: your mum's

Re: 8 Years later: The Tree (Part I-IV)

Post by stillsteamin » Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:57 am

Greatness. Thanks

Relates: The Golden Spruce is a good read, if you're into special trees.
I still like to explore new water, but these holes and drifts and slots are like the books and records I have carried around for decades. They are not only places of affection - they are the fabric of my life. - Doug Rose

User avatar
SOBF
Posts: 9034
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2005 1:01 am
Location: Maine

Re: 8 Years later: The Tree (Part I-IV)

Post by SOBF » Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:03 pm

Great read KP ! Thanks for taking us along.

User avatar
Lando
Posts: 4714
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2007 1:01 am
Location: Out West

Re: 8 Years later: The Tree (Part I-IV)

Post by Lando » Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:17 pm

Palmer's more of a Mink River kind of guy, I'd guess.
If my tombstone reads, "He never ate sushi." it won't be a lie, and I'll be OK with that.

~Average Joe

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: D-nymph, fishpimp, FredA, Google [Bot], hunterdau2, Majestic-12 [Bot], markl, rampant, RockinDaddyNotFromTN, Ruddy Duck, TwoThumbsUp and 176 guests