Tuesday, September 24, 2013

First casts

The first of many, I hope. Her form was a little off, thankfully the little Eagle Claw could handle being slapped against the ground on her backcast..

Now if only there were some bluegill here in Switzerland...

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Finding trout in unexpected places

Trout can be found in some unusual places. Texas. Israel. Puerto Rico. And apparently a small drainage ditch in Switzerland. 

There's a small animal park and playground near my home, and today I stopped by with my young daughter, figuring I'd let her get some energy out before we braved the Swiss Saturday shopping crowds. There's also a duck pond full of geese, carp, and you guessed it, ducks, and while it's entirely fenced in and obviously closed to fishing, I can't help but fantasize about those dark, two foot long shadows cruising through the weeds. Today I found something that only increased my desire to fish there, namely a dozen or so brown trout in a drainage ditch the size of a large car. The biggest was 8 inches or so, and the smaller ones were 3 or 4 inches long. How they got there, how long they've been there, how they survive and apparently reproduce, are there any sizeable ones lurking out of sight underneath the undercut sides...so many intriguing questions, so few answers. They looked healthy and vibrant, but I can't help feeling bad for them in a way. They belong in a crystal clear stream, not an oversized puddle in a playground parking lot.

The ditch.

The trout.
The trout.

The spotter.

I'll be back regularly to check on them. It certainly makes a playground full of yelling kids a bit more bearable. What's the strangest place you've come across trout?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

"Les truites de marc"

I have no idea what the title of this film means, I won't be able to understand anything in the finished film, and I don't care. It's gorgeous, and this is my backyard, so to speak.

"Les truites de marc" from Caddis Productions on Vimeo.

Monday, September 2, 2013

An open apology to the Bluegill.

At first we were so good together, I couldn't get enough of you. Then I got a bit older, more sophisticated, and you were too available. I foolishly mistook your generosity and pugnaciousness for stupidity. Sure, when I needed snapping turtle bait, you were there. When I needed a fish to preserve in formaldehyde, I turned to you. If I wanted a big mess of tasty filets in a short time, you did just fine. For that, you were always good enough. But when my friends were around, I was ashamed of you. I'd yell at you, call you names.

"This bait isn't meant for you!" 

"I don't want to catch you!" 

"Stop #*%ing stealing my bait you #*%^ing #%^*!" 

"Goddammit another one!" 

I'd shout. Then I'd release you, generally long distances, sometimes at high speed, without even a fraction of the care I'd show your more glamorous and attractive friends. You deserved better, and I didn't deserve you.

Now, a quarter of a century later, you're gone, and finally appreciated. I miss you so much it hurts. I need you back in my life. I have a little girl and a boy on the way who could fall in love with you like I once did, only they'd never take you for granted, I'd make sure of it.

Go do something nice for a bluegill today. Buy an awesome print and hang it up like it were of a salmon. The next time you release one, take that extra second to appreciate it while you swish water through its gills, just like you would a trout. Take a photo, fly rod in in your teeth, cradling the bluegill like you would a bonefish. The bluegill deserves your love, not your scorn.

Bluegill print, available at
Bluegill print, available at