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The old lady

Other fishing buddies have come and gone, but Phoebe has always been there
Surveying the kingdom (photo: Chris Hunt).

There’s a lot of white on that black muzzle these days. Flecks of canine wisdom. I never thought Phoebe would get old, but then, I had a hard time imagining me getting old right along with her.

Several months back, she stopped trying to jump into the truck. It was just too much. Now, she just lifts her front paws onto the seat, turns around and looks at me expectantly and seems to ask, “Hey, bud. You mind getting the caboose?”

Help protect our fisheries and have your support doubled by Patagonia

Supporting Conservation Hawks fights the impacts of climate change on our fisheries
Photo: Jeremy Roberts

“We’re not gonna turn things around without changing government, because government can make big changes. I mean, if you’ve got a politician who’s running for office, who thinks he’s smarter than 98% of the world’s climate scientists ... they’re crooks or they’re dumb-asses.”

— Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia in the Conservation Hawks film COLD WATERS

The autumn swindle

There’s no such thing as dependability when it comes to seasons
Photo: Chad Shmukler

It got so cold so early this year that our aspens and cottonwoods didn’t really turn. Their leaves simply froze in place when the mercury dipped below zero in early October, and they’ve spent the last six weeks or so drying into sickly, gray, paper-thin ghosts and falling without ceremony to the ground.

Season theft. We were robbed of one of the best parts of fall.

What I learned at The School of Trout

Lessons from a week spent with some of fly fishing's finest instructors
Angler students at The School of Trout gather at a boat ramp on the Henry's Fork in Idaho before an on-the-water instructional session (photo: Tim Romano).

I’m a wannabe trout bum. I feel absolutely no shame about admitting this. I’ve pored over John Gierach’s writings before bed, read casting books on my morning commute, or just perused fly fishing magazines while laying around on a Sunday afternoon. I’ve often thought to myself how great it would be to throw caution to the wind, put my belongings in storage and head out west in pursuit of the various species of Salmonidae that have come to occupy an ever-increasing amount of space in my head.

It's tomorrow

It’s today. But yesterday, today was tomorrow.
Photo: Chris Hunt

Son of a …

My eyes flip open. I reach for my phone and blindly swipe the screen to turn the damned alarm off. Everything is blurry. The alarm keeps blaring. I close my eyes tightly and reopen them.

The phone is upside down.

I flip it and slide the alarm bar to, “OK, already! I’m awake! Sweet mother of Christ!”

Yes. I know. Blasphemy is no way to start the day. But, seriously. It’s 6 a.m. already? Where did the night go?