Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Angler's New Years Resolution

Upon careful consideration of my success and failures along the stream this last year I’ve resolved that for this New Year:

I will not wade deeper into the lake while my buddy false casts until he hooks the guy standing next to him, then lips the guy like a bass while attempting to remove said hook;

I will help my kids throw rocks in the water along my favorite fishing hole no matter how good the fishing is;

I will let my buddy have the best hole in the stretch... after I’ve caught the first fish, or the second…;

I will #keepemwet, except when I can't;

I will only tie on one new rig after losing my setup to the overhanging tree as I cast to the rising trout beneath it… not my entire fly box worth of flies, which would be better served by just throwing it straight in the stream;

I will fish more with my children; 

I will enjoy the journey as much as the fishing ;


I will remember, politics ends at the water’s edge- especially if they’re your home-waters!

Thank you every one and have a great New Year!
Cheers,

Brad

email- conservationflyfisher@gmail.com
Twitter- @ConserveTrout

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Demise of Public Lands???

Every once in a while you read a story that for reasons you can't quite fathom sticks with you as you go about your daily life. Aspects of the story seem to rise to the surface of your consciousness in intriguing and unexpected ways that provide insight into not only your life, but the way the world functions around you.  Stories like this enrich our lives through their subtle textures about the world that we live in.  In the summer 2016 issue of Trout magazine, published by the non-profit conservation organization Trout Unlimited, there is found such a story.  It is titled simply "2065".
Bison in Yellowstone National Park, Summer 2016


The story strikes home for any of us who have ever lived, visited, or enjoyed recreation on America's public lands.  It details in a vivid combination of setting and dialogue what the future may hold for an America without its legacy contained in public lands.  Just as the title echoes Orwell's 1984, the story rings with just enough plausibility to make the hair stand up on the back of your neck as it marches toward a conclusion that you imagine, but simply don't want to believe can be true.

Lamar River, Yellowstone National Park, Summer 2016

With that, I encourage you to find a copy of the story, or better yet, a copy of the issue of Trout magazine, which is entirely dedicated to the protection of public lands, and read it from cover-to-cover.  A year ago I would have thought the outcomes painted in "2065" unthinkable, today... I can only be cautiously optimistic.
Cheers,
Brad

email- conservationflyfisher@gmail.com
Twitter- @ConserveTrout
Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/conservationflyfishing

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

How I Accidentally Decided to Write a Book (Part 5)

In April I set out to write a series of posts that provide some insight into the circuitous logic and decisions that have led me to write a book manuscript on fly fishing and conservation.  I wrote four posts on the subject before succumbing to the call of the outdoors that meant the end of blogging to instead enjoy backpacking, hiking, and fly fishing (see the previous post on a little more information on this as well).  Having returned to blogging, and writing in general, this post will wrap up the conversation I initiated in April.

Originally, what has become my book manuscript, was nothing more than a way to keep myself writing while taking a mental break from my doctoral dissertation that, at the time, seemed like a form of self-imposed purgatory.  Following graduation and a series of life-shaping events- a professional career, buying our first house, starting a family, etc., it was time to decide whether to write as a hobby or as a professional endeavor.  It would make for a great story, and a lie, to say that I could point to a specific day when I made that decision.  In reality, I picked-up and dropped the project at least a half-dozen times over a couple years as I grappled with questions about not just writing, but career and family as well.  In the end, I kept returning to the manuscript and slowly walked myself into embracing my love of writing.

The stories that I had assembled early in the life of the manuscript all revolved around the place that I loved most in the world, my family's cabin in the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming.  And all of those stories related one way or another to fly fishing, but something was missing.  In searching for a unifying thread to the stories I found that what was missing was the need for conservation of the treasures that I loved most in nature- trout and their habitats.  Through the study of ecology I found the unifying thread I was missing and committed myself to rewriting the manuscript in its entirety to build a comprehensive story.

The Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming.  This was the first of several multi-day backpacking trips that took me away from writing, but renewed my creative energies in the wild places I love most.

Commitment to my manuscript on fly fishing and conservation, as a professional endeavor rather than a hobby or a side-project, brought with it new levels of anxiety and fear.  I now needed to dive into research to demonstrate to the reader why the trout I loved to pursue through the sport of fly fishing are in peril, while at the same time using scientific findings to serve as the foundation for my proposed solution to many of the causes for declines in native trout and their habitats.  In the end, it has taken me nearly six years to rewrite the entire manuscript four times.  At the same time, I learned firsthand the many frustrations that comes with seeking out a literary agent, writing a book proposal, rewriting the proposal, and the seemingly endless sting of rejection in email after email.

My love of the family cabin, trout, fly fishing, and conservation coupled with faith in the story I crafted gave me the mental strength to persevere over these several years.  Ultimately, I've decided to publish the book independently, which has brought with it a whole new set of challenges, excitement, and frustrations.  But, the journey has enhanced the thrill of writing.  And this is how I accidentally decided to write a book.

Until next time, tight lines & native trout!
Brad

email- conservationflyfisher@gmail.com
Twitter- @ConserveTrout
Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/conservationflyfishing