Blog

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.

[There is some irony that a blog about the best photographers in the business is shot with a busted up iphone and a lens that came out of a crackerjack box.—WR]

Surface Film is a fundraising event that showcases the work of some of the best established—as well as new—flyfishing photographers in the country. The event was held last week at Anthology Fine Art here in Denver, Colorado. If you don't live in or around the Mile High City or happened to miss the event, here's a recap.

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The Greenbacks is a group of anglers whose goal is to make conservation fun and engaging, while promoting and protecting cold-water fisheries. Their primary mission is to engage and recruit members for the next generation of Trout Unlimited. Surface Film is their chance to highlight stunning flyfishing photography, raising money for efforts in the flyfishing community.

What winter 2013 will mean for singed fins across the country

Weird1

Two years ago winter delivered. Snowpack stacked at 100-, 200-, and even 300-percent levels—depending on where in the West it dumped. A year later, La Nina bitch-slapped us with one of the worst droughts in recent winter memory. These massive swings look a lot like global weirdness, the same volatility that united irritable forests to spark en masse this past summer and fall.

Ketamine, vision quests, and the answers we're searching for... from artist and flyfisher Bob White

Two years ago I interviewed artist, writer, guide, husband, father, and all-around good dude, Bob White. If you read Scott Sadil’s piece in the Spring ’12 issue of The Drake you already know a little about Bob. But to this point, Bob is probably the most interesting person I’ve ever interviewed. I’m not sure why, but I’ve never really tried submitting that interview anywhere for publication—kind of like a fly tier purposely hanging on to his highest quality feathers. While going through a bunch of stuff I’ve written the other day, I came across that conversation and one answer really stuck with me. So without further ado, here is small sample from what I consider a super-grade jungle cock cape.

One year of limited mitigation efforts and wrist-splaps for the energy firm that continues to lace the DSP with toxic levels of benzene

Today marks exactly 365 days since Denver-based angler Trevor Tanner noticed an oil sheen flowing from Sand Creek into the South Platte River just downstream of the Suncor oil refinery at Commerce City. And in that time a lot has gone on—both at ground zero and along the DSP itself.

So I found a lump near one of my testicles last winter. I can assure you, that's a tough pill to swallow for a dude. And since it's breast cancer awareness month and my story might help a girl or a guy find a lump before it's too late, I'm going to tell you all about it.

When you find a lump, a million things race through your mind. The first three are four-letter-words that start with F. You automatically assume the worst. At first you're afraid to tell anyone. Maybe if you don't acknowledge it, it really isn't there. You tell your wife and see the fear in her eyes. Despite the fact that you're just as scared as she is, you look deep into her gorgeous eyes, smile, and tell her everything is going to be okay.

It's October and that means three things: incredible fishing, purdy colors, and the veil between the world of the living and the dead is at its thinnest.

Some people who believe in ghosts have a theory for the presence of the paranormal. They call it "Recordings of Past Events." According to this theory, ghosts are basically recordings of past events in certain surroundings-- energy that is trapped somewhere in the space-time continuum and allowed to replay emotionally charged events again and again and again.

I really don't know if I believe in ghosts. But if I did, I'd have to ask a question. Who says that these recordings can only be of dead people? I've had some pretty emotionally charged experiences in my life. Maybe somewhere, right now, I'm haunting someone?

Plates

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.

How to secure your rod in an ultra-cheap tube for less

These days you can burn upwards of $200 on a space-age rod tube, or you can just toss your stick in a sack and hope for the best. I’ve been on the road and in the air quite a bit this summer. The people, places, and species vary but my one traveling companion that remains the same and that does not falter—my invincible rod tube.