The Lost Art of Listening

I am what you call a selective listener.  I can recite, in a Rain Man like manner, what I have heard from multiple guides as to what is going down on various pieces of water in the area.  I can tell you the life cycle stage of the bugs seen, as well as the time (plus or minus twenty minutes) when they were reported to be doing their thing. On the other hand if you tell me ten times that I have a wedding to attend three weeks from now I will still find it appalling that you expect me to go to a wedding and give up a day of fishing with no prior warning. It’s not that I find what you are telling me is unimportant, but my mind has what I like to call a trivial filter. If my trivial alarm starts blaring, it is pretty likely that I am not going to make it much past the opening of the face hole.  With the Spring Preview Issue going live on Wednesday at midnight, my trivial alarm has gotten close to all encompassing. So if you see me around the next few days, at the shop or on the water, I would recommend sending me an email because the likelihood of me retaining anything important you happen to tell me has hit an all time low…now what was it we were talking about?

Maybe I’ll make it…maybe I won’t,


We’re All Gonna Die

Eventually at least, but for right now I just like saying it randomly and at inappropriate times.  I like to lob it out  during any awkward silences  when driving with buddies, down the highway, on the way to the river. Also a great phrase to throw at clients when setting the boat up on any scary looking whitewater runs. “We’re all gonna die”, is never something you want to hear your guide say when your life is actually in his hands.  Most folks will realize you are joking but that nagging feeling of,”Oh help me Lord, is he serious?” is always out there, and most people don’t do too good a job of masking the impending doom on their face…and in the end even a cheap thrill is a thrill. So this coming guide and fishing season I plan to utter my little mantra early and often in all situations.  Some days I will scream it at the top of my lungs to convince the audience that I am a raving a lunatic and we are all going down in flames…other times I will mutter it under my breath, barely audible to my unwilling participants, in order to plant the “Did I just hear that right?” seed for the rest of the day.  Any way you say it it’s just plain fun.


I’m Old and Things Are Starting To Get Wrinkly

I am on day two of my birthday hangover. I turned 32 this weekend and despite my best efforts to the contrary I am still around.  Forty is looking a lot closer than 20 now and I have decided I might benefit from taking stock in where I am these days…kind of like a self-help seminar, but without all the crying…well maybe a little crying:

  • I live within  a double haul of my all time favorite southern trout water with my wife and son who neither of which know how to double haul…yet. (The boy is only one but I still don’t think that’s a good enough excuse…laziness if you ask me.)
  • I used to make a lot of money doing something I really didn’t like that much.  Now I make very little money doing something I love.
  • I am about to start a magazine with no experience other than reading them on the crapper.
  • I have a bunch of good friends both fly and not so fly.
  • I have all my hair…but I have more hair in weird places.
  • I don’t smell old…but I often smell bad.
  • I can still tie a size 26 midge…but I can no longer tie on a weeklong bender.
  • I am not as old as Steve (Art Director Steve…you know the one I’m talking about…the really old one)
  • I am on the water more now than in all my twenties combined…but I have to pee a lot more.

Till now I never realized how much I needed a hug.

– dave

Sometimes You Feel Like A Soft Hackle And Sometimes You Don’t

The venerable soft hackle,  the transvestite of flies…is it a guy?… is it a girl?…is it a dry fly? it a nymph?…or do they just like to be gently swung like a kid on a swing?  Personally, I don’t care which team they play for  as long as they keep bringing back those  trout…I am a pimp with a stable full of tranny flies.

– Dave