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Rusty Flybox: Overlooked

You know how every parent thinks that their baby is the most beautiful thing in the world? I feel that way about my children, too. But I certainly don’t feel that way about everything I write.

Sometimes posts go up and I think to myself, “there it is – the post that will remove all doubt that I am even worse at writing than I am at fly fishing.” Then it gets lots of hits, shares, likes, and other e-accolades. On one hand it is good for my confidence. On the other, it makes me question my own taste.

However, there are some things that I write that I get really jazzed about. I plan, write, edit, and then send them off to their first day on the internet. For whatever reason, they end up alone at lunchtime. Maybe I’m delusional, and think my ogre of a child is baby-on-the-commercial cute. Or maybe it just got overlooked.

So today I’m offering up three pieces that I believe were overlooked. One is about retracing your angling footsteps. Another is the musings of a serious fly fisher who knows he really should be a better fly tyer. The last of the three is a cross between technique and angling psychology.

Give them a read by clicking on the titles or pictures below, and let me know if you think they are pageant winners or faces only an author could love.

First Fish

If, like me, you are in your 20’s or 30’s, chances are that you are among the last generation to not have their every move chronicled by ubiquitous cell phone photography. We’ll have to rely on parents’ anecdotes and fuzzy childhood memories to piece together the particulars of our early years. If fishing is part of your life, there is a good chance you do remember where you caught your first fish. Back in Chicago a few years ago, I took a hike down memory lane.

Another Tier of Tying

Guess what? This article is just as relevant today as it was when I wrote it in 2015. I’m still not tying as many flies as I like or as I really should. That does seem to be slowly changing. I’ve moved the location of my tying equipment. I’ve attended some events that revolve around fly tying. I refuse to pay money for nymphs that are comprised of only a hook, thread, and wire. If you are casually dating the practice of tying your own flies, hopefully this post will help you put a ring on it.

Footsteps and Fish Brains

How smart are trout? Not very. How smart do they appear? That is another question entriely. I’ve had enough experiences on the river to figure out that our perception of fish’s intelligence is really more of an indictment of our own faculties. Here, I explore some of that dynamic. Plus, this short essay includes one of the favorite analogies I’ve every composed: “…it is still quite frustrating to be on the Charlie Brown end of the kickoff. Especially when Lucy has the glassy-eyed stare of a hatchery rainbow.”


    • Matthew says:

      Yes sir! There is certainly a balance. On one hand, we should be writing for ourselves as much as anyone. On the other, there is always a big “?!?” when something we think is good goes over like a lead balloon.

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