Category Archives: Stupid Stuff

Behind The Shed

When RFP brought his guitar he played The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down and everybody around the bonfire liked it. So the next year ZB checked his guitar with his luggage and flew it all the way up from Florida. As soon as we got off the water he pulled it out and started playing, strumming chords in a tight four count as if he were reading sheet music.

Andy was standing down by the river and he saw this and walked up through the cedars to the deck. Andy was a union electrician and he liked to smoke weed and ride around on his mower and perform acoustic sets on open mic night. Andy sat down and we gave him a beer and he watched ZB work through the song. ZB looked up at us for approval and Andy, who didn’t even know him, laid it down.

“If you’re going to play like that then just go behind the shed and masturbate.”

He took the guitar out of ZB’s hands and growled out a blues tune that made no sense but it was kind of cool and we liked it. ZB never brought the guitar back again.

Me? I’m thinking of adding a second shed.

(More) Fish I Did Not Catch

The best spot in the stream has acquired a second orange traffic cone. The stream–or creek or rivulet or mudhole–is far enough away from the road to make their appearance in it mysterious. But they do add color to an otherwise brownish palette.

The common carp that reside in this area are on the smaller side, maybe the biggest are 8-10 pounds, but they are freakishly skittish. Probably due to the fact that they are confined between two concrete waterfalls about 200 yards apart, with minimal deep water for retreat. Definitely because they are stalked by snapping turtles, two of which are about the size of a V6 engine block.

I have visited this spot four times of late and landed one fish. But I like to go there because the water is so shallow that in some spots the fish feed with their backs out of the water. And it is the closest to my house.

I fish a saltwater six weight and have been experimenting with floating line and decided to overload it with a 7-weight redfish taper. There were a half-dozen fish actively feeding and for once oblivious. I had a seam between some shore bushes and a willow tree to make a backcast and I loved the way this line loaded. Particularly after my recent frustrations with a certain monocore line.

I had created a built-in butt section with a loop for easy leader switching, and attached it to the fly line with an Albright knot. I still use the Albright to attach backing to fly line and fly line to leader even against others’ best advice, because I happen to love tying that knot. Despite its propensity to fail when not perfectly tied.

All I can say is there is a common carp now swimming there with an orange carp-crack fly in its lip and a hastily-constructed 9 1/2 foot leader in tow. Hopefully he steers clear of the traffic cones because if he gets entangled a snapping turtle is going to get him good.

Can Fly Fishing Save A Community?

The sunglass maker Costa Del Mar has a new film out about fly fishing for arapaima in Guyana.

I’ve only watched the trailer but am awaiting the DVD, and it seems well worth the screening. Sure all the protagonists are wearing Costa hats and sunglasses but so be it. I love fly fishing videos that go beyond just being awesome, and actually have some weight (see Rivers of A Lost Coast, Red Gold). This one seems to. It’s based on the premise that developing a catch-and-release fly fishery for these giant freshwater fish can create an eco-tourism economy and thereby save a community and ecosystem from habitat destruction.

That’s a tall order, but I’m buying into it.

I give Costa props for the message. Lots of companies make pledges to protect the environment, especially ones who depend on it to sell product, but few put real money behind that. (Patagonia and Rise Fly Rods are two that come to mind.) I look forward to seeing the full film.


Agent Foster Grant*


I dig cheap sunglasses. I used to buy counterfeit Oakley jackets for five bucks in Midtown until I feared they were burning out my retinas. And I started fishing heavily.

On the water switching from regular (street-legal) polarized to Costa 580 lenses rocked my world. I have two pair and the frames don’t fit me right but I don’t care because they give me HD X-Ray vision.

I don’t wear my HD shades on the street anymore. They are susceptible to the indelicate hands of my two young children, who like to grab them bend them smudge them and, in the younger’s case, use them as a teething biscuit.

For that reason alone I hit the Walgreen’s circular-spinning sunglass rack and found a bitchin pair of polarized Foster Grants. My long-term evaluation sizes up the pros and cons of dime-store shades.


Driving, sacrificial shades with kids, dropping, stuffing in pockets, hangover softening, sticking on top of hats



*Alonzo Mosely, Midnight Run