The Incomplete Angler
I fish not to escape reality, but to find it. I fish because I find the world of CNN, ISIS, Facebook, political gridlock, and, yes, even weather forecasts and reports becoming more alienated from my own real world every day. I am tired of “BREAKING NEWS! BREAKING NEWS!” And I am weary of being worked up, jerked around and riled-up in a media-driven alter-world fraught with exaggeration and distortion. These unceasing stimuli raise our blood pressure, heart rates and overall feeling of dis-ease. Read more
As near as I can tell, fishing is not central to world peace or the next big discovery, medical or otherwise. Fishing may or may not lead to bliss or to enlightenment, but at a minimum fishing is just plain fun. Certainly, any form of fishing can be fun, and it doesn’t have to involve leaping Atlantic salmon, bruiser bass or elusive permit, tarpon or bonefish. Even the “lowly” eel can be fun. Read more
I’ve heard it said that we have the concept of “time” so everything doesn’t happen all at once. Well that’s a handy explanation, especially for anglers without advanced degrees in physics. As far as I know, Einstein, Sagan and Hawking were never known as anglers, so that makes us even, sort of.
We use expressions involving time on a regular basis. What time should we meet? What time is the hatch? How long is that drift? We had a great time, or maybe next time. You’d think time is like clockwork—however, in fishing, time warps, suspends, drags, bends and flies. Read more
From the perspective of an angler, there is a lot to be thankful for at this time of year. To begin with, just look at how far we’ve come. In the mid-19th century, fishing was pretty primitive. It had not progressed all that much from the earliest Egyptian hieroglyphic depictions—a cord, a stick and a hook. But in the last 100 years, along came some of the greatest discoveries since fire. Read more
The great battle of our time will be over water—pure, fresh water in particular. All earthly life depends upon water for survival. The human population worldwide, now 7.3 billion, is projected to be 9.6 billion by 2050. Even today, much of the world lacks adequate water for drinking and sanitation. Almost everywhere, different interests battle over water distribution. We read of dire problems in California where drought has intensified competing demands. Natural resources (made unnatural by human intervention) are stressed to the breaking point. Can the Upper Delaware River be far behind? Read more
Peter was off with Jim Serio fishing the Salmon River. Gib was stuck in a business negotiation and couldn’t shake free. Mauro was down in Washington selling some of his paintings and Josh wasn’t due in for a week. I would not be sharing the water with any of my usual fishing partners this day, but the one thing I did know for certain was that I’d be fishing. Read more
I remember a very early morning when the Great South Bay where I grew up was smooth as glass. I had just gotten back from college, and I was very happy to be home. I stood on the beach and looked out over the water and bayside I loved. Very gradually I became aware of a darkening hue toward the horizon. I looked and looked, baffled. Suddenly, like a punch in the face, I realized it was a layer of smog, creeping from New York City eastward toward Long Island where I stood barefoot on the shoreline—devastated. I was struck with the awfulness of this byproduct of modern civilization. Read more
Talk to anyone who targets smallmouth on the Delaware River and you will know that now is the time. Just after I suggested that we were in the “dog days of summer” and that fishing could be dull, Rich Roth of Eldred did a Delaware float with two buddies and they caught 105 smallies. That’s hardly dull.
Smallmouth have always been part of our fishing heritage. Find an old photo of Zane Grey, and he’s apt to be holding a smallmouth dubbed “Grandpa” or perhaps “King of the Lackawaxen.” Read more
ther than during the winter months, August may be the toughest one for anglers, especially trout anglers. To start with, it’s hard to find water with a temperature in the 60s. So we’re relegated to small-mouth bass in river riffles or large-mouth in lakes and ponds, but it can be slow—you know, “dog days of summer.” Read more