The Mad Fishicist

A fly rodding, sheep stalking, moose calling, guitar trying, bird watching, fly tying, Katie loving stay-at-home-dad.

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Location: Alaska, United States

Sunday, January 29, 2006


"I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great."
-Daniel 8:4

Friday, January 27, 2006

Inch Strand, Co. Kerry

"It is a strange and wonderful and embarassing feeling to hold someone in your arms who is trying to detach you from the earth and you aren't good enough to follow her."
-Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It

I float. She flies.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Poets, Fishermen, and Daddies

"Poets talk about 'spots of time,' but it is really fishermen who experience eternity compressed into a moment. No one can tell what a spot of time is until suddenly the whole world is a fish and the fish is gone."
-Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It

A trout strikes a fly; the fisherman remembers it until the next strike. A baby holds her daddy's hand to walk; he carries the moment to eternity.

And then there's that smile...

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Final JOB 41

32He leaves a shining wake behind him; one would think the deep had white hair.

More JOB 41

25When Leviathan rises, the mighty are terrified; they withdraw because of his thrashing.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

JOB 41

1Can you pull in Leviathan with a hook or tie his tongue down with a rope? 2Can you put a cord through his nose or pierce his jaw with a hook?

Sunday, January 22, 2006


"...a perpetual series of occasions for hope."
-John Buchan

Another train passes and he searches for another fly--fishing for another chance.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The One

Well, I love you.

And that's the amazing thing about you.

You're impossible not to love and

You make me crazy and

You say the best things ever and

Everything you do is beautiful and

You beam like stars and

Maybe I shouldn't but

I laugh and I cry all the time now

Because of you and

You're amazing, beautiful, beaming

Like a mountain or a river or a foreign language

Or a baby or a poem but

Better than all those combined and

The wildest part of all of this

(The hardest part for me to understand) is that

You love me too.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Another Perfect Moment (White Tailed Ptarmigan)

Some people wonder why we put up with such harsh winters. Those people have never seen these birds.

Some people are atheists...

Photo by my belle etoile

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Surprised By Lewis

"And so the great Angler played His fish and I never dreamed that the hook was in my tongue."
-C. S. Lewis, Surprised By Joy

Saturday, January 14, 2006

More Thoreau

"Fishermen, hunters, woodchoppers, and others, spending their lives in the fields and woods, in a peculiar sense a part of Nature themselves, are often in a more favorable mood for observing her, in the intervals of their pursuits, than philosophers or poets even, who approach her with expectation. She is not afraid to exhibit herself to them." -from Walden, Ch. 11

When Nature truly exhibits herself, it is a perfect moment. I made a list:

My first solo sheep hunt.
My first trout on a dry fly.
Watching the Northern Lights from above the Arctic Circle.
Or the Southern Cross from 13,000 feet in the Andes Mountains.
Or the sunset from the middle of the Pacific Ocean, five miles above the seafloor.
Coming face to face with a bull elk.
Discovering the 121st Psalm.
Finding my first perfect arrowhead.
Sharing a fishing hole with bears.
Seeing Katie for the first time.
Holding Katie for the first time.
Holding Katie every time.
Watching her tummy grow.
Meeting Sophia.

Every encounter with Nature is wonderful, beautiful, inspiring..., but these are my perfect moments. Keep them coming, Lord.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Argumentum Piscatorium

Why did God on high send Christ his son to fish for men and to surround himself with fishermen?

Go fishing and find out.

Well Said

"Many men go fishing their entire lives without knowing it is not fish they are after."
-Henry David Thoreau

And from "The Two Worlds of the Washo", a monograph by James F. Downs discussing the pre- and post-European practices of the native tribe from California and Nevada near Lake Tahoe:

"However, fishing is an activity which does not require large-scale cooperation. One needs only to look at a modern trout stream or fishing pier to realize the truth of this statement. Each fisherman searches the same water, using the same methods, but each is lost in his own isolation. In a sense, this was true of the Washo."

The photograph is of me lost in my own isolation on the Deschutes River in Oregon. I caught nothing that day and went home happy.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Sophia's Fragment

You woke me with your song again,
And I saw your mommy in your smile.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

A Fragment for Katie

The sound of water-riffles sliding over stones--
the sound of you in heavy sleep:
deep breathing and nearly silent moans.

Pied Beauty

GLORY be to God for dappled things—

For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;

For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;

Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;

Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;

And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;

Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)

With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;

He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.

-Gerard Manley Hopkins (emphasis added)

Read this poem out loud and Happy New Year!