Welcome to the eighth interview with the author/contributors of the Dec. 1 release anthology, The Water Holds No Scars: Fly Fishing Stories of Rivers & Rejuvenation, published by Tulip Tree Publishing, LLC.
Today’s author/interview is with Richard Welch. Welch is a former federal prosecutor and now a justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court. The author of numerous professional articles, this is his first foray into short fiction. He lives with his wife and two sons in Newburyport, Massachusetts and Tetonia, Idaho.
Richard’s submission to the anthology is titled A Hole You Never Fill.
I wonder if he goes to the river and says “All Rise,” and the fish do?
1) Tell us about your first fly fishing rod and where you used it.
My first fly rod, long since lost, was some heavy fiberglass model that I purchased from a discount store named Mammoth Mart. At approximately age 13, I had saved a small sum of money and bought it as a graduation gift to myself in celebration of surviving junior high school. My head filled with stories from Field and Stream magazine, and armed with this rod and a cheap reel, I taught myself to cast a fly labeled “mosquito” which I purchased at the local hardware store. If memory serves, the fly was substantially larger than any mosquito that has flown since the early Permian Period. I spent many hours that summer standing in a rocking Old Town canoe, whipping the rod back and forth, and occasionally tempting some of the most gullible sunfish ever to swim.
2) You get the chance to write (but no fishing!) near a stream or pond. Your choice: Write with uninterrupted silence wondering if there are fish nearby, or; Write with fish constantly rising, slurping, and popping the surface the entire time. Which do you choose and why?
Given the choice of writing by a silent stream or one bursting with trout, my attention span and will power only would allow the former. Indeed, I probably could only put pen to paper if the stream was one of those barren wastelands created by acid rain or nuclear holocaust. For one as undisciplined and lazy as me, the possibility of fishing always has been more tempting than the hard work of writing. Realizing my nature, I was wise enough to attend college and law school only in the grimmest climates; the temptation of California-like weather would have quickly produced an unemployable drop out.
3) Do you have a favorite fly and/or a favorite writing pen (or place to write)? Tell us about it/them.
My favorite fly is one that no one ties anymore. The Gartside hopper is an intricate hopper imitation made out of deer hair and pheasant feathers and invented by my late friend Jack Gartside. Jack was the best fisherman I have ever met and a wonderful companion on the banks of the Madison or the muddy flats of the Merrimack. Casting the low riding Gartside hopper on a mid-summer day and watching a large trout rise is true pleasure.
4) Every fly fisherman/woman has a favorite fishing story (other than the one in the book.) Tell us yours (succinctly as possible.)
Anyone who wastes too much of his or her time fly fishing has too many favorite stories to include in this small a space.
5) Let’s test your writing skills. Write a standard haiku about fly fishing.
If I could write haiku, I would give up my day job.
(Editor’s Translation Below)
If I wrote Haiku
I would give up my day job
And would still be broke.
6) Your final choice: You get to fish one place whenever you want, but only that place for the rest of your fishing days. Friends/family can come to fish with you, but cannot fish anywhere else. Where do you fish and why?
If restricted to one place to fish for the rest of my days, I would choose an undisclosed, small free stone stream in Idaho which holds plenty of trout and many of my dreams.
Thanks, Richard for being here today. We look forward to reading your essay A Hole You Never Fill along with the other great submissions on December 2, 2015.
Remember to leave a comment to be entered in the free book giveaway!
Tuesday’s interview, 12/01/15 is with Timothy O’Leary, an Oregon-based writer and fly fisherman who grew up in Montana. He is widely published.
Pre-Release sale is on now. until December 1, 2015 you can order The Water Holds No Scars: Fly Fishing Stories of Rivers & Rejuvenation for $17.95 + $4.00 shipping. That’s a savings of $7.00 off the cover price. This offer is only valid through Tulip Tree Publishing HERE.