Thursday, June 26, 2008
That's my Mom circa 1940's on our dock in Bluffton. Of course, we don't fish like this anymore. We are slightly horrified when we look back at these cool old photos, knowing what we know now. But we never imagined in a million years the day would come when strings of dead fish like this would seem sinful. When life in the river didn't replenish itself with the inevitability of tides.
I grew up being told we would never starve because the river would take care of us. So, it's not surprising I have angling in my blood. It's a trait that never seems to skip a generation and I can no more imagine my family's history without fishing than I could imagine the tide not ebbing at full moon. My brother has it much more strongly than I, but I feel a year is wasted if I don't pull my rods out. My brother though--my brother is a creature of rivers, streams and oceans. He's got a bit of Thor in him--forever reeling in the Midgard Serpent.
I wrote a story, a bit back, about my brother and his old fishing buddy, Zeke. The details in the story are entirely true. It's one of what I call my "sacred stories"--stories I write from the bone. And I wrote it intending it as a gift.
So, I'm extremely pleased that the story, A Prayer for the Gods of Fishing Dogs, has been published on Donavan Hall's excellent The Angler journal. I've had my eye on this journal since I first noticed it when I started subbing back in November. Donavan publishes stories about brew craft and the occasional fishing story--both things dear to my heart. I can't think of a finer day than one spent out on the river followed by the rich bite of a handmade ale. Life just doesn't get any better than that.
I hope you'll take a moment to read this one. It's a special little story about fly fishing, dogs and honoring a lifelong friendship.