Goodbye November

Since the big trip to Harker’s Island, I had only made it out fishing once. I’ve started to set my sites on the striped bass, and with that in mind, I’ve been searching for potential habitat. Here in Norfolk, the tasty water tends to be out of reach when wading. I’ve been told I’ll be settling for smaller fish if I insist on wade fishing with the fly rod. I have to say, so far, I’m fine with that.

Here are some photos from a recent walk (no fish caught) along with some other shots. It was a gorgeous night exploring Willoughby Spit near the base of the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel.

My buddy Kevin and I went down to Harker’s again on Monday. It was a last minute decision. No big fish, but it was a wonderful day.  So very relaxing.

Next up, I think I’m looking at some night fishing. Apparently the stripers like water with lights. They ambush schools of bait fish drawn to the lights.

Kevin with a world record flounder on a fly rod. Wow.

Zeeba. Our big dude with a fluffy belly.
He’s not watching anything in particular, just spacing out mid bath.

Harkers Island Blitz

My alarm went off at 2:30 AM.  We wanted to be on the road by 3 to catch the 8 o’clock ferry to the island. It was a gamble to hope for both good weather and fish, but, as I now know, the prospect of catching false albacore will make you do silly things.

We made small talk most of the way there, avoiding all topics regarding weather hoping not to jinx the day ahead. It is funny what we will do to feel like we are in control. The night before I left, Sara came home with a pack of Swedish Fish for good luck. I popped one or two in my mouth every half hour that day convinced it would do the trick.

Arriving at 7:30 gave us just enough time to gear up and pay the ferryman.  Shortly thereafter, his Carolina skiff was cruising across the water taking us to our destination. The cool morning air felt as good as a shower. I was refreshed and awake, excited for what was to come.

As the boat glided into the shore, we began sizing up our territory. Walking to our first destination, I noticed the sand on the island was made of broken down seashells. They clinked like wine glasses or wind chimes with each step.

After picking our first spot, we began to fish…..

The talk and mood during the ride home was lighthearted. We gambled and won. The Swedish Fish did the trick.

Rest Easy, Friday Night: Vol. 4: Neighborhood Edition.

It occurred to me that I grew up next to some very musically talented people. So, for this edition of Rest Easy, Friday Night, I thought I would share some music from my “neighbors.”  I’m using neighbors loosely.  I went to high school with each of these people and we lived less than 5-10 miles apart.
Bret and I go back to little league baseball. He is a wonderful writer and has a sense of humor to rival Andy Samberg. I used to grab a mid-run glass of water from his house on those humid Minnesota summer days.

Second: Enter Jeramiah Nelson, also here, and here. A prolific troubadour who plays with many midwestern musicians including Brad Hoshaw (RE,FN: Vol 3). A year ahead of me in school, we took the bus home together in 5/6th grade. He was a bit of a rebel even then.

*note, “nothing to lose” was covered by Brad Hoshaw in the previous friday music post. That’s right, the dots are connecting.
Lastly, we’ll go with Nathan Miller and the Unstoppable Company. In all fairness, he is my brother’s age, but we still overlapped in high school.


There is also Mark Noseworthy of Pink and Noseworthy who lived a mile or so away from us. He was in my brother’s grade as well. Great guitarist. To be honest, I don’t know his stuff as well. But the link is there if you are interested.
So ends the Neighborhood Edition of Rest Easy, Friday Night. That’s a lot of music.


A little homage to the time and energy we dedicate to preparing for a day of fly fishing. Next Monday I have a day off. I’m waking up early to blast down to Harkers Island with a buddy. We hope for agreeable fish as well as weather. Enjoy the short clip. It turned out a little melodramatic, which makes me laugh in hindsight. Not sure how that happened. I like tying flies. Maybe it is because I was really tired.

The longest title ever: Storm Trooper Tie-off: The Other Side of Fly Fishing (or Preparing for Battle)

Hickory Dickory Dock…

The mouse ran down to Harkers Island in search of it’s false albacore. Come the 14th, this mouse hopes to wet his ears with albie sweat. I’ve got some tying to do.

Buddy Kevin with the prize.

P.S. Remember to “fall back” with daylight savings time.  That’s this weekend. The last thing you would want is to show up to work an hour early on Monday.

E-zines and Poems.

Several online magazines, or “e-zines,” came to my mailbox inbox this week.

First we have the inaugural issue of Southern Culture on the Fly. It is a well done e-zine, and if you look closely, you might see some contributors you recognize. Pretty darn awesome. A nice video of carp fishing, an article on the Appalachian Brookie, and much more.

Next we have the a fun journal about the fly fishing, hunting, and related art of Argentina, Chile, and Patagonia. The Patagonia Journal. There are some great photos here. You’ll have South America on your wish list before you get to page 10.

Lastly, there is the always awesome Catch Magazine. Issue #20. Some great photo essays including Alaska and New Zealand. Let’s just say this: After checking out the latest issue, I’m moving us to British Columbia… or Alaska… or New Zealand… or wherever it is those guys were fishing in the tropics… Hard to decide 🙂

Now for November’s two-for-one poem post….

Lovely Things.

I went for a walk
Not expecting to catch a thing,
But hoping to understand the waters
I came away with a list of lovely things:

Spicy brown mustard and wasabi
The way you wiggle out of your jeans
Exploring new waters to fish

Peanut butter cookies, soggy with milk
You and the cat on the couches asleep
Retinas in stereo-vision
French press coffee.

Squeaky, warm, salty cheese curds
And drinking whey from the bag
Sliding the fish back into the water
Quiet at the end of the day.

Lying on the couch at my parents house,

with only the light coming form the Christmas tree

Breaking a sweat,
A cool, fresh breeze.


Skinny Love.

It was on the Pine Ridge Reservation
Of the Lakota Souix
While playing cards with the Jesuits
In an old Catholic school
Drinking root beer floats
When I first heard the song
“Skinny Love”
Performed by Bon Iver
And it echoed through
My marrow
And is moving me still