Wednesday, January 27, 2010


(Photo: Trent Pittard)

Sometimes the most memorable moments of a fishing trip aren't about catching a fish. The other day I sent a text message to my brother, Trent, telling him I was heading to the Lower Yuba to chase steelhead. He sent me a cell phone pic to remind me of our last trip there together.

Look closely and you can see a person sitting on the roof of the Jeep he drowned below the Highway 20 bridge. Trent and I called in a rescue. What a fiasco.

Monday, January 4, 2010


I met my friend Adrian at 6 am and we started fishing at first light. Adrian put an end to his American River slump by landing a wild fish. His first of the new year. My slump, unfortunately, remains unbroken. The last solid grab I experienced was just before Thanksgiving. It is not for lack of trying.

In so many ways, swinging for steelhead is like writing poems. When I don't connect with a steelhead after a few weeks of trying I start to wonder if I'll ever catch another one of those wild beauties. The same kind of feeling settles on my heart, and in my gut, when I haven't written a poem to completion for a while. Well, it was a good run, I tell myself. Be grateful for the poems you got. Treasure them. Write prose. Fish with an indicator.

The fact is I'll wake early tomorrow and try again. I'll try to catch a wild steelhead on a swung fly, steal some fire from the gods with my pen. These are things I do. Just do. No new year's resolutions are required.