some great thoughts from Paul Harps.
“How much do you need to know before you go fishing somewhere? Knowing the regulations is an obvious need, but what else is required? It’s good to know a basic target species so that you can be prepared with the size of rod and fly. But assuming you are in an area with trout, do you research Google Earth ahead of time to find where the best looking pools are? Do you search the web for every fishing report? Do you go to some fly shops and ask subtle or not so subtle questions? There is something grand about exploration and discovery with your boots in the dirt, walking no known trails. But as I sit here behind a desk for too long, there is some else inspiring about looking at contour lines on a map, guessing if they direct a little stream down a hill. There is an excitement that comes with looking at a tree lined image on Google Earth, guessing the size of trout that might live in the shadowed waters. The idea of turning blindly down a road, only knowing that it goes downhill to some little creek is grand; no other preparations but an explorer’s mind, a rod in the truck, and the knowledge that eventually gravity and terrain will force the water into something that can hold fish. But also the idea of following those hastily jotted down notes or that printed map from Google Earth, down a road also never traveled, to a creek never seen. Either way, it’s a trail you’ve never explored, and when you reach the creek, you are never disappointed. Fish or no fish, you attained greatness, you became a dying breed; an Explorer.”
some might start debating whether it’s ethical or not to use satellite maps or whatever other gadget to plan a fishing trip and i’ll leave them to argue on their own as i have no problems with this as long as the locations don’t get shared in public.
Mystery River X is the was to go.
now Paul’s piece got me thinking in a traverse wave sort of fashion, and maybe because i can’t help but mix up my waves in one way or another but this exciting exploring stuff reminds me that this is precisely the subject of the book i’m currently reading and very much enjoying although there aren’t any electronic devises as it happens in the sixteenth century and they where far from being invented yet.
SOFT WHITE UNDERBELLY
“At an age when most young Scotsmen were lifting skirts, plowing furrows and spreading seed, Mungo Park was displaying his bare buttocks to al-haj’ Ali Ibn Fatoudi, Emir of Ludamar. The year was 1795. George III was dabbing the walls of Windsor Castle with his own spittle, the Notables were botchings things in France, Goya was deaf, DeQuincey a depraved pre-adolescent. George Bryan “Beau” Brummell was smoothing down his first starched collar, young Ludwig van Beethoven, beetle-browed and twenty-four, was wowing them in Vienna with his Piano Concerto no. 2, and Ned Rise was drinking Strip-Me-Naked with Nan Punt and Sally Sebum at the Pig & Pox Tavern in Maiden Lane.
Ali was a Moor. He sat cross-legged on a damask pillow and scrutinized the pale puckered nates with the air of an epicure examining a fly in his vichysoisse. His voice was like sand. “Turn over,” he said. Mungo was a Scotsman. He knelt on a reed mat, trousers around his knees, and glanced over his shoulder at Ali. He was looking for the Niger River. “Turn over,” Ali repeated.
While the explorer was congenial and quick-to-please, his Arabic was somewhat sketchy. When he failed to respond a second time, Dassoud–Ali’s henchman and human jackal–stepped forward with a lash composed of the caudal appendages of half a dozen wildebeests. The tufted tails cut the air, beating on high like the wings of angels. The temperature outside Ali’s tent was 127 degrees Fahrenheit. The tent was a warp-and-woof affair, constructed of thread spun from the hair of goats. Inside it was 112 degrees. The lash fell. Mungo turned over.
Here too he was white: white as sheets and blizzards. Ali and his circle were astonished all over again. “His mother dipped him in milk,” someone said. “Count his fingers and toes!” shouted another. Women and children crowded the tent’s entrance, goats bleated, camels coughed and coupled, someone was hawking figs. A hundred voices intertwined like a congeries of footpaths, walks, lowroads and highroads–which one to take?–and all in Arabic, mystifying, rapid, harsh, the language of the Prophet. “La-la-la-la-la!” a woman shrieked. The others took it up, an excoriating falsetto. “La-la-la-la-la!” Mungo’s penis, also white, shrank into his body.”
click the book for more on this well-knit, randomly wavy, highly recommended, entertaining book.