Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A Buster Runs Through It: A Brief Exegesis on the Art of Angling

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;

And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

From Song of Wandering Aengus, by W. B. Yeats

Ever notice that some of the best things in life are associated with water? Like Schubert's "Trout Quintet." And the opening lines of Moby Dick. Those memories of long, languid summers at the shore that lie before you like an eternity. And Norman MacLean's last statement in that small masterpiece, "A River Runs Through It":

Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.

Well, I'm learning to fish!

Naturally, the first thing you need is proper attire!

The second thing you need this the right spot! My dad says that trout are breathtakingly picky about where they live. Only the coolest, most crystalline waters will do. In fact, most trout fishermen don't really care about the fish at all--they just want to be near them and share the place in which they live. This is Dad's favorite pool, on the West Branch of the Farmington River. Centuries ago, native Americans camped here and fished for salmon.

The third thing you need is, well, trout. This one came from that pool two days ago and measured 24 inches--it's a Brown Trout--not native to the United States, but a fish whose ancestors came here from Germany two centuries ago! In fact, the only "native" trout in our region, the "Brook Trout," is not really a trout at all, but a char: Salvelinus Fontinalis, literally, "little salmon of cold springs," left here when the glaciers retreated. By the way, this fish, like all that Dad catches, never left the water--he swam off to return to the task of sipping emerging mayflies.

The fourth thing you need is a Great Blue Heron. No fishing expedition is complete without "Big Bird!"

Oh, need a flyrod and reel! And an assortment of feathered imitations of beautiful insects with Latin names.
Right now, it's Epeorus Vitreus, otherwise known as a "Sulphur Dun."

The Sulphur Dun

As for myself, I don't really get this "catch-and-release" stuff. And Dad meditates too much! At the end of the day, I enjoy chewing the head off of a nice rainbow trout!


Asta said...

What a magnificent spot..your Dad certainly knows the bestest place to go, my Daddy likes to fish just like that, but he hasn't had a chance lately, not many stweams in NYC.
You're vewy lucky pups..have a gweat week
smoochie kisses

Maggie said...

Your dad sure knows a lot about fishing! My dad is clueless pretty much on this subject!
Thanks for the link about the Black Dog! We'll be checking it out!

Love ya lots,

Balboa said...

My dad never took me fishing, maybe I'll get him to take me one day.

What a great place to fish, so pretty.

Frenchie Snorts

Sundae said...

hey, thanks for popping by my blog! :) you guys are gorgeous!


Quinvale AstaLaVista Baby said...

G'day Mates,

Gosh you know about fishing & literature. You're sooo well edoocated.

xxx Asta down under

Putter said...

Boy Buster!

Your dad certainly knows his stuff on the fishing front:)! I am not really into catch and release either ... What are they thinking anyway????

Your Friend,

Putter ...:)