clues at the scene

clues at the scene

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Riffle, Run, Pool

AT left, a photograph by Trish Steel of Latchmore Brook as part of the geograph UK project. Trish was nice enough to allow us to use this image for the mere attribution.

Photos this nice should always be attributed to the photographer, anyway. Wonderful snap. Looks like a good day for a walk in the woods when she took this one, too!

You can find the image on wikicommons.

The classic trout stream can be broken into three water types for the convenience of discussing technique and tactics. Rivers offer the same water type but usually with only greater flows and depths.

I'm partial to these small waters.

In Michigan, many of our streams - brooks - harbor nice populations of our state fish: the brook trout. These are spooky but yet aggressive little beasts and it isn't uncommon to find a fourteen or sixteen inch version of this fish in water just like this. You'll probably find only one of that size, but it is possible. They're a well adapted animal and can grow nicely in an environment where they can feed continuously.

For every large brookie, you'll catch one hundred four-to-eight inchers. They'll all fight just as hard and each one is a little gem of fantastic design.

Fly fishing is a sport of disappointment. The outcome of any given cast or presentation is unlikely to be a fish. If "fish vacuuming" is the desire, a worm fisherman on the bank does far better at meat-hunting.

We use the fly because it is sporting. It is a difficult sport to master but a very easy sport to perform at the entry level. You can learn all you need for a lifetime in a good afternoon and still not have perfected your tactics and casting the day we put you in the ground.

Strange pursuit.

You know where I'm going.

It isn't the comma, the semicolon, the introductory subordinate clause or the gerund which matter.

It is the cumulative outcome of a million individual decisions which determine our accomplishments as writers.

To use "sprinted" or "ran."

To relate a date as "disappointing" in narrative summary or show the deflating anticipation of love  through the dialogue at a dinner.

To allow a minor character to slip away in the text never to be seen again or have that character return carrying important facts for the reader's context in which our story revolves.

We make a cast. We anticipate. We use the some of our skills on each potential reader.

Sometimes, sometimes, we have the desired outcome.

Still we write.

Still I fish.

At least the places I fish are joys themselves. I especially like my local Mill Creek which is close to the A&W and the Dairy Queen. Nice to have a trout stream with such amenities.

The walk-up river bar on the North Branch of the Au Sable at Lovells - the Riverside Tavern - is pretty great, too. Lunch and a beer in your waders. Try the burger. The perch is good, too.

Now, back to the vague smell of ink.

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