Frances Ashforth’s breathtakingly gorgeous prints make their West Coast debut, kicking off with the artist herself, live and in-person, at Patagonia Portland this Thursday, October 26th, at 7:00pm. I am honored to be introducing her and her folio, Water + Words at the event. This is a rare opportunity to meet Frances, hear her talk about her work, and view the prints–I’ve been looking forward to this for years. If you are interested in water, conservation and art, this is an event you won’t want to miss. Note: the images above and below are lousy snapshots of her work hanging in my house–they look much, much better in person. Come check ’em out for yourself!
This summer, my friend Jason Rolfe (who organizes the Writers On The Fly events) came out to the house and we spent a few hours talking. Somehow, through great questions–and skillful editing–he turned our conversation into the inaugural episode of The Fly Tapes podcast. Of course, I still cringe a bit when listening to myself, but it was a fun talk and I’m honored to kick off The Fly Tapes series. You can listen HERE or download it for free at the iTunes store. Hope you like it. And Jason, now we just need to go fish without the microphones!
With the 2017 waterfowl season nearly upon us, Smarty needed to make space in his freezer. The solution? A 10-person wild duck dinner of (Russell) Chatham-esque proportions, featuring fresh Dungeness crab appetizers, wild rice, Helene Smart’s famous lemon-garlic-pine nut salad, and piles of whole-roasted, unstuffed mallards cooked exactly right–hot and fast. That’s the hunter/chef above, working the cutting board, and just a few of the ducks we consumed. (I eventually returned to the carcass pile to gnaw the chewy, flavorful legs.) I ate until I could eat no more, but woke up the next morning already craving the fresh version that’s soon to come. Clearing out the freezer is tough work, but someone had to make the sacrifice and help. And I did more than my share.You’re welcome, Smarty.
I’ve been meaning to post this since we returned from Japan way back at the beginning of summer: In the midst of a fantastic, city-based jaunt through the ancestral homeland, I savored each opportunity to look at and eat fish of every kind. In fact, one of the things about Japan that makes a fish-obsessed person like me feel at home is the overall cultural importance of fish. But after days of exploring fish markets, seafood sections in grocery stores, fishing departments in sporting goods stores, and fish restaurants, I found myself yearning to get out in the country and actually go fishing.
My old friend, Hisashi Suzuki, who I met years ago while chasing native trout in the Japan Alps, came to the rescue. As luck would have it, our one completely unscheduled day happened to be in Nagoya, where Hisashi runs a fly shop and guides. He generously made time to take the kids and me fishing, and provided expert guiding, boat, waders, rods and everything else we needed.
I was expecting that we’d drive to the mountains and fish small creeks for the tiny, jewel-like yamame (trout) and iwana (char) as we did when I’d last been there. Instead, we drove east to the Pacific Ocean, and spent a fun, completely absorbing day wading and sight-fishing for black bream on sand and eel-grass flats. It was the perfect contrast to our days in the crowded, chaotic cities (which us country folk love but aren’t used to) and a great time to introduce the kids to a good friend and new kind of fishing. What treat. Arigato gozaimashita, Hisashi!