The natural world

The Upper Delaware economy is getting killed this spring.

Its a ghost town.

Let me distill the issue, as simply as possible.

New York City needs water.

To drink.

If they don’t have that drinking water, they’re in deep shit.

We all get that.

But here’s the sad truth.

Life is not satisfying, and the needs of a man are not met by a glassful of water.


How sad it is when we’ve allowed this city to grow, to the point where its need for drinking water leaves none for our fishery.

None for nature.

That is what’s sad.

We take, take, take from the earth’s abundance, until it has nothing left to give.

The insights, art, literature and painting of anglers, birdwatchers and outdoorsmen have no value, if there is no water to drink.

Of course not!

But to live without any natural world left.

You’re getting to see the world we are leaving our kids.

Without nature, and without art.






Markets have turned men into workers, only.

Men who work for the profit of the idle rich, Wall Street types who have never worked a day in their lives.


And bankers.

People who create nothing.

And water?

Keeps the working man alive. So its taken, diverted from its natural course…

To the faucets in NYC.


To increase worker productivity, ya know whats effective??

40 second microbreaks, where workers stare at digital images of the natural world.

That’s gone.

Just looking at nature can make your brain work better.

Fishing w Charlie – 5.25.2015

Charlie is a throw back, I think, to the Jack Kerouacs and Hunter S. Thompsons…

Alexander Supertramp.

Worth a book someday, yes.

We each got a trout on dry flies.

Mine was a brook trout, and his was a brown on the last cast of the day, perhaps 9 pm or so.


Musings from Charlie

Here’s a recent exchange of texts between Charlie and I.

It starts with me…

Made it into the Gorge early Sunday morning

It was really off color

I only saw like 3 rises on Sunday

But dude

Sunday night

I caught a very large brookie in the sink

Probably 13 inches



Pic of it?



You’re gonna laugh

But it

Slipped through a hole in my net…

A testament to it’s Goliath proportions.

A 13 inch brookie slipped through a hole in your net?

An unlikely fish… and an unlikely disaster.

But that’s fishing.


Caught some decent browns

Sunday morning was pretty bad

The pocket water is slow

Unless you’re fishing like small Maine style streamers

And letting them swing around the boulders

I’ve pretty much only been catching them in the really deep stuff

Or on dries

Gotta move the car so I don’t get a ticket


I had to step away for a few minutes too

Had a parent walk in to my class to observe

I am pretty good at texting and teaching tho.

Its like texting and driving – you can do it well, most of the time…

And the accidents aint so bad – i’ve walked into the chalk board a few times.

Neversink Gorge – 5.17.15

Yesterday morning I was a guide for two awkward and inexperienced freshwater fishermen, Max and Michael.


Max is tall. Like an NBA power forward.


His stature forged the expectation – in himself and in others – that he should someday be an athlete.

I assure you, he is not.


When I started GB Mag, I made a decision that we wanted quality more than quantity.

Max brings the quality, so I appreciate that.

He is a good guy, and a far better writer than he is a fisherman.

Just a few weeks back, I guided him on the upper Passaic.


We started the day with a little casting demonstration from Max…

He said he could roll cast with a 6 foot cane rod, like it were a Spey…

“The dry fly touching the water is enough of an anchor to generate a powerful, Spey style roll cast on a small stream…”

Here it is:

With that cast, it was like a day off: for the fish.

I, on the other hand, was busy all morning, untangling leaders, and taking wind knots out of the tippet.

In fact, I would guess that Max’s numerous presentations – that made it to the water – confused the fish into believing there was a hatch.

And that the guy who fished behind us…

Did better than we did.

For the Neversink we met at 8 am.

The water was high and off color from a storm the night before, but these two still insisted on dry flies.

Fishing with dries requires a few things:

First, a hatch.

There was no hatch at 8 am.

So when they asked what flies would work, I suggested that perhaps there were dead spinners on the water…

From the night before.

(There weren’t.)

The second thing you need is a delicate presentation.

These two claimed to be “Spey casting” size 18 dry flies – with a small bamboo rod.

If their targets were trees, I’d admit they were accurate.

Theirs were 10 foot, “skittering” presentations at best, that perhaps imitated caddis flies…

The ones that managed to escape from the trout later that day, when there was actually a hatch…

After a few hours of that, and no fish to hand…

That’s about when these two insisted we target brookies, in a feeder stream nearby.

(No brookie pic here, bc no brookies were caught, either.)

It has been dry recently in the Catskills, and the streams are puddles – perfect for mosquitoes.

Luckily, these guys brought Deet.

But didn’t offer me any.


They said “brookies are easy to catch…”


But safe from Max and Michael they were…

So long as they were 10 feet away from where they set up to cast…

That was more than enough distance to be out of range.

First stocked trout on the fly


Finally got a stocker trout in my net at the Ken Lockwood Gorge.

Hooked three others; one shot straight up out of the water and spit the hook.

The water was moving ok, but a bit murky. The bite is on though!


Nothing more rewarding…

Then landing your first, stocked trout.

Kinda like losing your virginity to a crack whore.

It can be difficult – to find enough coins under your couch and between the cushions.

But you got it done.


Upper Delaware River – reply

I enjoyed your manifesto!
Gettin a little riled! All right!
Though I’ve never seen you use an actual quill Gordon, I support the spirit and love 100%!

I wish that place weren’t so “posted.”
It’s a shame.
Gotta explore in the actual conservation land more, perhaps.
And actually use a quill Gordon like he would have.
That would be a fun adventure.


Upper Delaware River

Its my homewaters

I love it and am spellbound by its beauty

By its tradition that is mostly human

Because I cast a quill Gordon to rising browns.

So the bond is to the man

Who tied it

Less so the fish.

But it is more than a coldwater aquarium

Whose fish can be replaced

It is also a beautiful museum, insofar that it is manmade

To the heritage and Catskills tradition that I love.