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When I first read Hemingway’s stories of the Big Two-Hearted River in my teens, I assumed he was employing an artistic device in describing each day of fishing so precisely.But now after logging upward of fifty or sixty days on the water for a number of years, I think he was simply relating a point of grace.I checked my back-cast and then lay out an arc of line that put the fly on the seam where the current and the backing water met, and then, suddenly I woke up, drenched in sweat from a breaking fever at the end of a week with the flu, and the moon a thin crescent setting south of west out the window in the dark.It’s deep winter, the rivers are locked up under a foot of ice, and I’ve been off the road for over a month.Thanks, - JF Last summer I fished a river I used to fish regularly, on a hard-to-reach stretch I’d noted in years prior but never got around to investigating.
I made a bight in the line and fed it through the guides - counting, because I always count through the guides, though I could not tell you how many of them there are, being always distracted by the sound of the river, and the ambient thrum in the blood that precedes beginning - tied on a large, vague ant pattern, secured my hat and keys, and wandered down to the water.
From road to river all the intervening land is posted, and taken together these two facts require a fair hike within the high water mark - and time enough to get back out again - in order to fish the heart of the bend.
At a certain age you notice that time accelerates as your experience of it lengthens, each passing moment a smaller part of your life than the moment prior.
“I’ll book you into a song-swap with a couple other guys that don’t play out much, and between you, if you each bring in a few friends, you’ll have a healthy little crowd and a chance to play your songs.” That seemed fair enough, and I took the gig.
After college and a little running around, I moved to Fort, and the Cafe Carpe became my home gig.