Stages

One fish, ten fish, big fish, Zen fish. That’s how Theodor Geisel—Dr. Seuss from our child- and parent-hoods—might have described the fly-fisher’s journey. In his excellent essay, “The Five Stages of Fly Fishing,” Todd Tanner includes another phase between big and Zen, something Seuss might have called finicky fish. This Read more…

How to See Montana

How do you see a place like Montana? A place that is roughly 550 miles across at its widest, and—in total—occupies more of the planet’s surface than Japan. A place with magnificent rivers that push through gorges, ravines, canyons and valleys to funnel the snowmelt from roughly 100 named mountain Read more…

Trout

I thank the trout. Rainbows for oceans, great lakes; emotions, fierce takes; return to small streams. Yearn and fall dreams. Browns for the depths and the darkness; the steps that bring sharpness; attention and caution. Apprehension forgotten. Brooks for innocence and grace; forgiveness, mistakes; the sharpness of small. The largeness Read more…

Old School

In late June I floated the big water of the Au Sable with my friend David McMillan, where we hoped, of course, to find big trout eating big flies in the big darkness. Our guide was in his early thirties, and—like most of the guides on the river that night—he Read more…

Chasing Geese

Scene I: The Proposition “I know a guy,” my friend Doug whispered, and—although I should have sprinted for the nearest exit—I stayed until he finished his proposition. Following a friend’s “I know a guy” advice usually involves some sort of felony, but Doug had no reason to believe I wanted Read more…