Trout Camp   1 comment

Tom and I have started the thread of an idea.  A ‘trout camp’ that would involve finding a secluded spot in one of our state forests to back-country camp with our young boys in order to hasten the development of something the poet Gary Snyder might call ‘the practice of wild’.

The human species has been around for some 70,000 years and it’s only in the last 100 or so that we’ve begun drifting away from the activities that shape how we interact with our environment.  Speaking for myself, I can often feel displaced and anxious if I haven’t gotten out into the great wide open and let my legs take me where they may.  Usually into anywhere from 6 to 48 inches of cool running water.  I want my kids to understand that there are real things you can do to alleviate the white noise of everyday life!

Not speaking of exactly where, we won’t be offering any thoughts about an exact location, I thought it might be nice to hear of other fishermen experiences related to this activity. Anybody out there ever participate in something like this? If so, we’d love to hear a story or two.

Also, for those of a literary bent, I have recently uncovered a treasure trove of ‘fishing’ writing which keeps my river dreams richly running even when I’m not near the water.

A friend of mine passed on a signed copy of The Nail Knot by John Galligan, a Wisconsin native and dedicated fly-fisherman.  It’s the first in a series of works that John has written about a down and out trout-bum named ‘the Dog’ who can’t seem to help himself solving mysteries.  I highly recommend giving this one a try.  You’ll be sure to investigate the rest soon after.  They are all available through the local library.  The latest, The Wind Knot, is scheduled for release very soon.

If you have a taste for something more involved I can’t say enough nice things about Tom McGuane’s The Longest Silence a fishing memoir that gives you your favorite subject from a justly famous scribbler.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg of course but these are the works that I wanted to pass along.

Beyond the ‘trout camp’ idea maybe somebody else has read something that we might not have run into?   I’d be very excited to hear about that too.

One response to “Trout Camp

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  1. Stephen,

    Unrelated to fishing, but related to “the practice of the wild”, I spent a week hiking and rock climbing in the Wind River Mountains in Wyoming several years ago and, though I didn’t know why then, I was drawn to the mountain lakes and streams in the area.

    Perhaps it was because we relied on the small snowmelt creeks running through the meadows there for our drinking water. Perhaps it was because I could sense that there was unseen life below the surface of the lakes in those valleys.

    Whatever it was, the combination of wide open wilderness, clear running water, and time to sit still and take it all in remains one of the most vivid of my memories. And I yearn to find a similar experience again.

    I also want my kids to experience wildness so that they can’t stand being away from it as they grow into adults.

    Here’s to many incredible experiences to come!


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