This shot (yeah, that’s me) was taken by Tim Pask, one of the many great photographers featured in the new Patagonia fly fishing “brand book.” (The term “book” is used more and more loosely these days…it’s all digital. And it’s free.) Click HERE and page through the images at the top. I think it’s definitely worth a look, and if you’re like me, it’ll get you dreaming and drooling.
I was honored to contribute a short written piece at the end of the “book,” titled What Is Fly Fishing? Not sure if it really answers the question, but it was fun to write. Hope you like it.
After no snow here last winter, and none to speak of so far this year, we were stoked to wake up to some of the elusive white stuff Sunday morning. I’m always amazed at how much light and good cheer snow brings to our dark, Puget Sound winter. Of course, this was nothing compared to what other parts of the country have received the last few months, and really more of a light dusting than real snow, but it was enough.
Enough to convince the kids that walking to get the paper with Dad might be fun. Enough to scoop up for grape-juice snow cones. And most importantly, enough to slide down the local sled hill–even if it was mostly grass by the time we arrived.
At dusk, in a quest to make the most of the rapidly melting snow, we resorted to bike-powered tow sledding around the house. But after a few runs, Dad’s legs were shot, the driveway was down to bare gravel and our snow day was complete. Here’s hoping we get another shot or two of lowland snow before spring.
It’s easy to by cynical. We can complain about overpaid athletes and worry about brain-trauma issues in football at every level. We can protest public funds being spent on facilities for the private benefit of wealthy team owners. We can look at Paul Allen paying $194 million for the Seahawks to realize a value, today, of $1.08 billion. We can lament all that money and energy not going into schools, road repair, or any of a thousand more worthy causes. And we can think, as I did after the Seahawks’ Superbowl victory on Sunday, What am I so excited about? I didn’t do anything!
But what is the value of the collective uplift our region felt during and after the Seahawks championship run? Of the grocery checker who usually grunts a monosyllabic greeting, gushing about Percy Harvin’s kickoff return? Of strangers waiting in line at the post office (clad in matching blue jerseys) debating the merits of a cover-3 defense? Of five months of exquisite anticipation for Sundays? Of countless high-fives and cheers and celebrations with friends and family?
And what does it mean when 700,000 strangers, filled with civic pride, enthusiasm and happiness, wait for hours in the icy wind, to applaud our football team one more time? I have never seen so many people in one place in my life. The sheer volume of humanity was mind blowing. The inconvenience of getting there, staggering. And yet, of the thousands of people we came face to face with, I did not hear an angry word or witness even a hint of anything other than joy. Yes, unabashed, wide-open, hootin’-and-hollerin’ joy. In Seattle. In wintertime.
How do we measure such things? Is there a monetary figure attached to Weston yelling down from his perch on my shoulders, There’s Marshawn Lynch right there! He’s handing out Skittles! And there’s Pete Carroll with THE TROPHY!
It’s easy to be cynical. But not this time. Go Hawks!
35 degrees in my office this morning. Fingers numb on the keyboard. Full puff gear and fingerless gloves in effect. Even basking in the glow of the Seahawks’ Denver crush, it’s frickin’ chilly.
And since my fingers are taking about 10 seconds to hit each letter key, there’s plenty of time to daydream.
Ah, summer: Sunshine. Blue sky. Daylight ’til 10:00pm. No school. And of course, KINGS! To paraphrase the guy who once parallel parked a train, stay warm, my friends. The days are getting longer. Oyster tides are coming. Springers to follow. And somewhere way out there, summer will arrive again.