There’s many a fine turn of phrase in this electronic document, towards which I cannot hide my bias since I am lucky enough to be included. It can be purchased, along with volumes One and Two, via the publisher’s landing page: pulpfly.com
Some of the places I’ve been fishing vicariously, like the White River via Steve Dally’s Ozark Fly Fisher Journal. Others, like Henry’s Fork and the Deschutes and the Fryingpan, have been rolling around in my head since my fly-fishing infancy. Still others, like the Farmington and the Neversink, are almost in my backyard. And then there are the few, like the Bow River and Lake Taneycomo, where I’ve actually fished.
So after going through all 50 carefully selected and thoroughly vetted destinations compiled by Terry and Wendy Gunn, I don’t think of 50 Best Tailwaters to Flyfish so much as a book as it is a call to action. What have I been waiting for and, now that I’ve been thumped in the chest by this book, how can I apply what’s been given? Because the collaborators in this book, like the aforementioned Dally or the legendary Joe Demalderis of the Delaware, have given us a lot.
Overall, 50 Best Tailwaters to Flyfish is an incredible reference for fly anglers, and also a reminder that fly fishing can take you just about anywhere you want to go, if you let it.
Van Halen’s 1984 came out in January of 1984 but my first memories of it are from that summer. We were visiting old family friends in upstate New York and Brian, who was my age, had it on casette. We sat in a loft in his garage and played both sides of it on a boom box, along with other tapes like the Rolling Stones’ Hot Rocks, U2′s Under a Blood Red Sky and maybe the Dead’s Greatest Hits or something.
That type of musical surface grazing is perfectly acceptable for 12 year old boys trying to feel their way into the rock and roll landscape. Everything is new, even the old stuff, and–for the most part–yet to be decided upon. In the context of that summer, 1984 was pretty great.
But that’s likely the last time in decades I listened to 1984 with any real conviction.
At some point in your musical maturation you have to make a decision. In the early teen years your cultural affiliations–and to some degree who you hang out with and what you stand for–are defined by your tastes in music.
My older brother was a Deadhead, among other things, and older brothers tend to dominate access to the turntable. He had an impressive and discerning vinyl collection that ruined me for what was going on while growing up. 1984 was not to be included in the process.
The album has to placed in the musical context of the era.
–Led Zeppelin was only five years gone and still dominating in a very large way. FM radio still mattered and Zeptember, Zep 10-O’clock, Get The Led Out and all the other Zep blocks had not yet exhausted their shelf life. (People also still went to Led Zep and Pink Floyd laser light shows at the planetarium. In retrospect, these were like watching Pong on mushrooms.)
–The Clash had put out London Calling a few years earlier, which was and is undeniably epic but it still did nothing to stop the skinny-tie new wave and record-label “punk” that was about to happen.
–There was a lot of pop out there that people supposedly liked from bands like Naked Eyes, Men Without Hats, Men at Work and Culture Club.
–U2 and REM were on the cusp of being big but were not yet major acts. (REM still had that effete college radio feel to them and U2 would not release Unforgettable Fire until later that fall.)
–The Grateful Dead had no mainstream impact in this era, existing outside of it by the grace of the wandering lifer head scene and also college kids trading soundboards on cassette.
–Punk existed underground but that’s what it was, underground. The hardcore kids were few, far between and out there. The two kids who had lo fi recordings of DK and Black Flag did not like you.
–Nobody took 80s hair metal seriously.
The pre-1984 Van Halen fan, though, was not like the typical metal fan. They were punks not in a Western Civilization way but in the Alfred E. Newman sense of the word, smirking outsized personalities who the girls actually liked but who also had the potential to humiliate you in front of large gatherings. They were, in essense, an army of 13-year-old David Lee Roths.
They drew the VH logo over everything.
Still, with all that, it is easy to underestimate the mainstream impact 1984 had when it first came out. The songs, combined with the MTV videos, were huge.
Maybe the pop hair metal scene that arose in Van Halen’s footsteps unfairly snared them in its wake. Maybe Sammy Hagar diminished the band’s legacy in the way that Hangover II does to the original. Maybe it didn’t have the requisite staying power; the mainstream kids who liked it moved onto the next mainstream thing by 1985. But Van Halen’s recent Roth reunifications refute that. They were legit.
Morgan Lyle of The Fly Line reported, corroborated and commented on recent developments in striped bass conservation in a way that I had hoped to but didn’t, and so I’m reblogging his piece here:
A north, northeast wind with gusts to 30, even 40 mph can make the east coast of Florida an unpleasant place to be, especially outside the inlets. But there’s a lot of water to cover between the coasts, too, and there’s always a lee somewhere¹.
(1. I like ditches.)
An interesting article on the feasibility of sucking carbon out of the atmosphere with rocks.