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

Monday, April 30, 2007

Bye Bye Blogspot

It's been fun.

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


He who binds himself to a joy
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

"Nature's first green is gold..."
Robert Frost, Nothing Gold Can Stay

In among the ice,
where wind has blown the mountain free,
some of Autumn's last remains remain.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

One Month From Today

As of today, the Situk River is accessible only by snow machine or snow shoe (thirteen miles is a long way on snow shoes). As of today, the biggest wild steelhead on the planet are stacking up and pairing up in every drift and pool they can find. One month from today, the record snows should have receded enough for me to hitch a ride to the river. Then I should be reminded what it feels like to have a bent fly rod in my hands. And what it feels like to kneel in water to admire, measure, and release the ultimate game.

I'm bringing snow shoes just in case.