Good to be back in the beautiful pages of The Flyfish Journal, one of my all-time favorite publications. Especially with some cool shots from my buddy Tim Romano, and in the same issue as another buddy, the poet Cameron Scott. When you add in excellent words from Steve Duda, the pictures of and from Kate Taylor, more images from Dave McCoy, Reid Curry and Copi Vojta…this issue feels like a print reunion of friends. It’s an honor to be at the party. Check it out if you can.
After two book tours and countless other talks and readings, I can say without reservation that Wednesday night was one of those times when it all comes together. Great crew of readers on top of their game, engaged audience, beautiful venue, fun people to hang with, and high spirits. And beer. It was an honor, and my good luck, to be a part of it.
From left, that’s Jason Rolfe (WOTF instigator and MC), Kate Taylor, Cameron Scott, me, Cameron Chambers, Copi Vojta (WOTF photo exhibit curator), and Steve Duda. Kate did a beautiful reading of her story, “The Road Goes On Forever”, Scott gave me goosebumps with “Scout Captions” and other poems from The Book of Cold Mountain, Chambers made us all laugh with a new story about getting lost and excerpts from his book Chasing Rumor, and Duda had us laughing and crying with his heartfelt story about cliff swallows and an ode to all the flies dangling from the dashboard of his truck.
I drove home exhausted, voiceless (literally) and, for the first time in quite a while, inspired to get back to work on my novel. A huge and heartfelt thank you to Rolfe for inviting me to read, to everyone who was there to make it a fantastic night, and to tour sponsors Patagonia and The Flyfish Journal. Note: The WOTF Cascadia Tour continues–without me–tonight in Bellingham and tomorrow in Vancouver, BC. Wish I could be there.
Home now from a fantastic book event at the Vancouver Patagonia store. Great crowd, lots of enthusiasm and talk, good beer and friendly people. Awesome. Huge thanks to the Vancouver crew–especially Liz and Manny. While I don’t have any pix from the event, I do have a few from before and after. On the way up, I ran into these characters doing a little Ghostbusting at a Mexican restaurant in Bellingham. That’s Flyfish Journal photo editor Copi Vojta on the left and El Jefe, Jeff Galbraith, on the right.
After a brief tour of the palatial Flyfish Journal World Headquarters & Grotto, we retired to their exclusive, private waters–Ye Olde Whatcom Angling Clubbe & Retention Ditch–for a few casts. The pristine, gin-clear waters reflected the sky (Or was that an oil slick?), obscuring the multitude of trophy fish. But I did have some ditch-pickle action on the surface, and landed this rare, trophy spiny-back trout. Then it was on to the border.
Finally, after the book event, my good friend Aaron Hill and I took to the streets of Vancouver in search of late-night Chinese food. We had to run to slide in before closing time, but hit the jackpot at Hon’s Noodles on Robson. What a feast. Black pepper chicken and bok choy. Spicy beef with hand-sliced Shanghai noodles. Hand-crafted pot stickers. The only pause in the devouring happened when we shot this selfie for Aaron’s dad, Bruce, who couldn’t make it. We missed you, Bruce! Then it was back to eating, drinking, talking, and um, eating, until way after midnight. Solved all the world’s problems–at least those related to fish–ate a little more, and staggered back to our respective hotels. Awesome.
Something’s fishy in West Seattle: Freelance conservation advocate and webmeister, Paul Moinester; The Flyfish Journal Editor and occasional Santa impersonator, Steve Duda; and Patagonia rep and Wild Steelhead Coalition boardie, Brian Bennett digging in and grubbin’ down. Just part of the crowd at an impromptu, pre-Writers-On-The-Fly feast at West Seattle’s famed Ma’Ono. Did I mention the fried chicken? Or the Spam musubi? Or the saimin noodles? Holy smokes.
Any visit to Emerald Water Anglers should include a meal at Ma’Ono. Hey, McCoy…how ’bout a package deal: Buy a rod, get fried chicken free? Sales through the roof. Aloha!
No, this isn’t the Sadie Hawkins dance. It’s Jeff Galbraith, longtime supporter of my work, friend and publisher of The Flyfish Journal, and me hanging out in Bellingham last week. If you haven’t seen it, The Flyfish Journal is a gorgeous magazine, and I’m proud to have written for it since the first issue. I’m also currently working on a couple of pieces for TFFJ, but I like reading it even better.
Anyway, on our way up to Lummi, we swung through B-Town and Jeff was kind enough to take time away from World Headquarters (he also puts out Frequency and The Ski Journal) to meet us at the Harris Avenue Cafe for lunch.
Jeff and I talk and e-mail all the time, but this was a great reminder that sometimes it’s just good to get together in person. And I swear, we didn’t call each other ahead of time to plan our “outfits.”