Voices from the river

Room to breathe

Room to breathe

“Mom, has something like this ever happened to you?” Clara looked up from the snowy tire ruts where she was struggling to keep her cross country skis. “You mean like Coronavirus?” “Yeah.” I immediately thought of Sept. 11, 2001, when the planes flew into the towers,...

The home float

The home float

As the old Toyota truck bounced over the river rocks and headed toward the water I couldn’t help smiling to myself. My brother and I sat together in the cab, our dad behind the wheel. He was dropping us at the river for a day fishing, like so many times before. “You...

Fishing through trying times

A beautiful day on the water can’t be beat. Photo credit: Two Fisted Heart Uncertainty can be trying. Fishing is replete with uncertainty under normal circumstances and can test our patience and resolve. But the entire world is living in much more trying...

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Trout art and paraphernalia

Trout art and paraphernalia

When I was young, our family had a condo in a nearby ski town that was affectionately known as the ‘hatchery’ due to the copious amounts of trout art and decorations adorning the walls and tables. I recall attempting to count them at...

The quest for Mr. Big

The quest for Mr. Big

Mr. Big Lived in a deep, cool pool in a tiny, unnamed tributary to the South Umpqua River in Douglas County, Ore.  I spotted him for the first time on a chillly early summer morning in the late 1970s, when I was probably 12 or 13.   Mr. Big became my...

Ponderosas have secrets

Ponderosas have secrets

The giant ponderosa peers over blue-green water cascading and flowing around boulders, plunging into pools and meandering in eddies. This tree must be well over 100-years old. It stretches skyward with giant, twisted branches leading to more twists and turns extending...

Birding while fishing

Sometimes it’s tough to fish when the scenery is so gorgeous One of my favorite parts about fishing is the spectacular places it takes you. From high mountain streams with peaks towering overhead to desert rivers with cliff walls reflecting the day’s heat, there...

The autumn swindle

The autumn swindle

It got so cold so early this year that our aspens and cottonwoods didn’t really turn. Their leaves simply froze in place when the mercury dipped below zero in early October, and they’ve spent the last few months drying into sickly, gray, paper-thin ghosts and falling...

The old lady

The old lady

There’s a lot of white on that black muzzle these days. Flecks of canine wisdom. I never thought Phoebe would get old, but then, I had a hard time imagining me getting old right along with her. Several months back, she stopped trying to jump into the truck. It was...

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