The Mad Fishicist
A fly rodding, sheep stalking, moose calling, guitar trying, bird watching, fly tying, Katie loving stay-at-home-dad.
- Name: The Mad Fishicist
- Location: Alaska, United States
Monday, April 30, 2007
Sunday, April 15, 2007
What is it?
The Making of a Mad Fishicist
"What is it?" she asked. "How should I know?" he asked. "What should we call it?"
That's pretty much the beginning. Most of what's happened since then has been about changing altitudes and latitudes in a search for cold water fishes in their home waters. It's never been the fish. If it was, it would be over. It's about the search.
There's a river. It's fast here and there and it's cold everywhere and it's home. There's some water piled up high in front of a big rock. It rises to a point until it breaks into foam. There's an eddy behind the rock. There are no guarantees in life, but there is this rock. Look for fish there. The biggest fish are in front of it.
There's a baby, too. The kind of kid who can make your day if you can make her laugh. Actually she's a knockout. They don't come like this often. When they do, you get on your knees and you stay grateful. And you take her fishing. And she takes you to the sun.
There's also a girl. Actually she's a knockout. She's more of it than she knows. Actually she's all of it. She's the search and the end of the search at once. When you find her, when you catch up, it starts all over again. You forget what it's like to need. And you keep searching because you know the end.
There's a moment. It happens every now and then, but usually you can't see it till it's over. It's never been about the fish, but it has been about this moment. It's the moment when the girl, the baby, the river look back at you and you don't have to wonder. You know it's right. That's when the fish come. That's when the laugh comes. That's when the search begins and ends, begins and ends, begins and ends. Tops of mountains, sunsets...maybe. But wait until you've met this girl. That's the moment. It's never been the fish.
When it happens again, it will show up here. Could be sooner than you think.
Keep searching. Keep fishing. Keep finding. Stay grateful.
But don't stop searching.
The Mad Fishicist
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sunrise.
-William Blake, Eternity
When the birds came to the feeder, she flapped her arms and shouted, "FLY! FLY! FLY! FLY...!" Real joy is contagious. Soon, every adult in the room was chanting and flapping along with her.
I've wondered if I'll ever be able to say the same thing to her someday.
Today, I know I could not.
Friday, April 06, 2007
Fragment from the Pass
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
One Month From Today
I'm bringing snow shoes just in case.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
To Catch a Rainbow
"...all my clear-eyed fish,
Golden, or rainbow-sided, or purplish,
Vermilion-tail'd, or finn'd with silvery gauze...
My charming rod, my potent river spells..."
-John Keats, Endymion, Book II
I've tried to explain why I fish. The answer seems to change with every attempt. Could be the challenge, the peace, the oneness with Nature, the river, the art, the presentation, the story, the sounds, the strike, the dance, the rocks, the birds, the bugs, the bears, the dark shadows in foam, the sun, the rain, the fish, the pals, or the wait. It's always something.
Today, it's the stripe.
TMF credits as credit's due:
Fish caught, released, and cropped :
Maybe we'll do it again someday soon.
HTML genius and fellow madman:
With thanks and much respect.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
-William Wordsworth, The Gleaner
Leaves and lives bud with every new hour of sunlight. The world is waking to giggles and curls and "Go, Papa, go!"
Today the Earth tips in our favor. The windows glow at bedtime. We hear the waters move. The trumpeter swan's mate for life has found her.
And somewhere in the Gulf of Alaska, a multitude as ancient as the sea itself is gathering. Their goal is fresh water; their clock is the sun. It is time to return to the river.
We'll trade our sled for bikes soon, and the world will thrive with giggles and curls and "Go, Papa, go!"
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Prince William Sounds
I hear the bell struck in the night;
I see the cabin-window bright;
I see the sailor at the wheel.
-Alfred, Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam, A. H. H.
A night on the Sound.
A sound hull.
To sound the sea floor for fish and safe passage.
Sounding murres and otters in the wake.
Not a sound but the lapping waves and the eagle's cry.
She is a temperamental lover who gives and takes without warning. Her sounds are life on the water.
We have learned to listen to the sea.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
ee cummings on Spring
Spring is like a perhaps hand
(which comes carefully
out of Nowhere) arranging
a window, into which people look (while
arranging and changing placing
carefully there a strange
thing and a known thing here) and
changing everything carefully
spring is like a perhaps
Hand in a window
and fro moving New and
Old things, while
people stare carefully
moving a perhaps
fraction of flower here placing
an inch of air there) and
without breaking anything.
It's still far too cold to go to bed without a fire in the wood stove. But tonight I split wood by sunlight instead of porch light.
I haven't split as much wood as fast yet this year.
The light changes everything.
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Applying the Scriptures VI
"...behold, I will send swarms of flies upon thee..."
Playing Moses to my Pharaoh, a friend has greatly increased my supply as well as my chances for success.
Hopes rising like the evening hatch.
Here's to trout and moving water, the cause and cure for madness and the search for deeper meaning. Kippis!
Monday, March 05, 2007
The Fishicist New Year
-Gerard Manley Hopkins, See How Spring Opens
She's the first of many migrants to return. Won't be long until the geese, pintails, widgeons, herons, sandhills, hummingbirds, canvasbacks, sparrows, scaups, eiders, warblers, redheads, spoonbills, robins, thrushes, and kingfishers follow. After these come the fish: kings first, then the reds, rainbows, pinks, chums, dollies, and silvers. After the fish come the orcas, harbor seals, sea lions, Dall's porpoises, fishermen, and cannery workers.
But she's the first. Her landing inaugurates the new year.
Her landing is what I've been waiting for.
Saturday, March 03, 2007
Two Months From Today
-Herman Hesse, Siddhartha
I have learned from fish and rivers.
The sun rarely shines over Yakutat, Alaska. The fish and river don't seem to care. The river is focused on its purpose downstream, the fish on theirs upstream. They will not be stopped.
Two months from today, come rain or more rain, upstream or down, I will sink into the Situk again, seeking the depths for curved graphite and living chrome.
I have learned to not be stopped.