Things of an Owlie Nature

I love getting mail. Let me rephrase that. I love getting pertinent, enjoyable mail. Opening a letter from friend or family is always fun. Opening a package is even more exciting. Especially when you are not sure what is inside.

I came in 2nd place in the Rise Fishing Giveaway contest help by Owl Jones. Yesterday, I found a package leaning against my door, waiting for me to come home.

Inside I found a new Morell magnetic fly box, about 15 hand tied flies made by none other than Owl Jones himself (guaranteed to catch fish), a beautiful brook trout pin, a retracting tool holder, and a fancy Rise Fishing Co. decal sticker.

Other Owl related items. Mr. Jones is working on a Fly Fishing Across America trip this summer. What I like most about it (besides wishing it was me going on the journey) is that he is trying to connect with other outdoor bloggers along the way. There already is an OBN summer rendezvous scheduled and I believe his plan is to stop by that as well. Since this is Owl Jones we are talking about, he will be filming the entire thing. I am imagining an epic hour long movie showing us the fun and beauty of fly fishing in state after state.

Anyway, I’m supporting this trip, in writing and with a small monetary donation (money should never stand in the way of a dream. It is a real world reality, but a silly one). I’m posting a link on the side of my page, an Owl Jones one and hope you have a moment to check him out. As he says, at the very least, he is entertaining.

Southern Culture on the Fly

I stumbled across this on the side of Owl Jones’ Place. As far as I can gather, it is similar to Catch Magazine (in terms of photography, video and variety of fish), but with more words and focussed on The Southern US. They have their preview, or “spring thaw” issue to the upcoming October 2011 inaugural issue here.

I laughed a bit while reading it. I like the attitude. An enjoyable preview for what is sure to be a fun online periodical.

In Which I Re-discover a Book that Changed My Life

There are a lot of people who think really insightful things. Some of them, can convey them with speech, written word, or both. ( follow the link, when you get a chance. it’s better written word than what you’ll find here 🙂 For me, Jean Craighead George thought and said something really, really worthwhile. Thankfully, he wrote it down. It was delivered to me in the form of children’s fiction literature.

It wasn’t until I came across his book in grade school, that I really began to daydream about my relationship with the outside world around me. It took a story about Sam Gribley, a runaway from New York City, to show me how intimate the outdoor world could be.
I swung by my parent’s house a week or so ago, and I found the book on the shelf in my old bedroom. I find it funny that such a short book can be the reason I have practically fantasized that I was Will Smith from “I am Legend” or Tom Hanks in “Castaway.”
Long ago, David sat reading “My Side of the Mountain” and believed that could be me. I could hollow out a tree. Learn to live off that land. Find peace in the noises of the forrest. But when it came time to commit and really run away, I got only as far as those before me. I packed my ninja turtle suitcase, considered the inconvenience of having to come home to make my daily peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and decided it wasn’t worth the effort.
I think that is why, whenever I read about someone else’s grand, outdoor journey, get a chance to sit in the quite of the wilderness, or see a photo that transports me to a place of untouched beauty and solitude, I simultaneously feel at home and a pang of longing to be closer to the wild. Closer to the Earth and her animals. Further from fumes and concrete. I love the natural world, and always wish I could be as close to it as Sam Gribley.

If you get a chance this summer, read it again or for the first time. Maybe read or give it to a child. It has directly and indirectly given me so much joy, I can hardly believe it.
Let me take a moment to point out the title of this post. “In Which I Re-discover a Book that Changed My Life.” I didn’t say “the” book that changed my life. I acknowledge there are many more books important to me.

Do you have a book or story that impacted you unlike any other?

Video by Henry Harrison: Fly Fishing is a Joke

This is a beautiful project. The video has been online for a couple months, I guess. I stumbled across it this morning with my coffee. It was for his MFA Thesis for Montana State University.
It is about 10 mins and may take some time to load. If it does, let it do so while you prepare something to eat or drink, throw in a load of laundry, pay your bills, tie a fly, contemplate the remaining American Idol contestants, whatever, just make sure to sit and watch. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. He doesn’t start narrating until about a minute and a half into it.

Fly Fishing is a Joke from Henry Harrison on Vimeo.

The Little Mermaid Post

Well, well, well. What do we have here? Another quick trip to Walnut Creek turned out to be fun and productive. I wanted to stick to a frog-like popper since the hopping amphibians have been active lately in Nebraska. After downsizing about 3 times, and switching to a dark body to create a nice silhouette in the sunlight, I found what the fishies liked. I caught a little over 30 bluegill and 3 largemouth bass. Two bass with decent size, a 15″ and a 11″. The 3rd was the size of my thumb. We were all that size once, I suppose. Yes, you were once the size of a fish. Smaller even.

While fishing, a female Redwing Black Bird got all flustered by my presence. I looked down and happened to see her slowly developing family. After a quick photo, I moved on to set the fretting mother at ease. I think she appreciated my departure.

Next to the big bass, the highlight of the day came when I saw another of my reptilian friends skating across the water. This guy put the last snakes I saw to shame with regard to size. He was a good 4-5′ long. It was a Bullsnake (Pituophis catenifer). I watched as he (I’m 100% guessing on sex here) struggled to reach over the 10″+ rim and move up the grassy hill away form the water. As I followed, what did I see? Well, another Bullsnake awaiting his arrival. This one (I’m calling it a “she“) was slightly smaller, more slender, and had a lighter color to her body. They both made sure to intimidate me with hissing and tail rattling. No worries though, those tails were rattle-less. (Jay, any thoughts on sex differentiation between Bullsnakes? EDIT – see Jay’s thoughts in the comments below!)

“Almost there”

“Almost up”

“Sniff sniff”

“Let me go!”
I imagined Marvin Gay was blasting somewhere in their minds drawing them to do what animals do in the springtime. Unfortunately for them, they had this annoying human following them with a camera. About at romantic as Scuttle serenading Ariel and the Prince.
Anyway, I let them be and headed back to the car. It was a fun way to top off the morning.
Jay, I swear, I’m not trying to jump in on your snake game. You will always be “The Fly Fishing Snake Guy” to me. Cool?
This one goes out to the two cutest Bullsnakes in Nebraska. My part comes in at 2:22
You were wondering where the title for this post came in, weren’t you?


It was May that we walked
Beneath the tall bushes
Surrounded by a fragrance
I treasure more than any other.
In college I brought a branch to you
To keep in your dorm
For the last few days you lived there,
But in the water
They wilted.
Short lived is their bloom,
Even shorter when picked.
Enjoy them now
For soon to be gone,
Returning again the same
But always impossibly
And unbelievably better.

– David