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5.4

Welcome to the ninth 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 Timothy O’Leary. O’Leary is a Montana native and now Oregon-based writer. He is widely published and several pieces were finalists in competition. His non-fiction book, Warriors, Workers, Whiners & Weasels was published in 2006.

O’Leary’s essay in the anthology is titled Fisherman’s Briefcase.

 

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1)  Tell us about your first fly fishing rod and where you used it.

My first rod was a fiberglass Fenwick.  My Dad took me to Sear Roebuck (they used the Roebuck in those days) – and bought me the rod for my 12th birthday.  It received a lot of use on many Montana streams, including The Bighorn, Rock Creek, The Gallatin, The Yellowstone, and The Boulder.

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?

Rising fish, of course.  While the distraction would be agonizing – I’m inspired by activity.  If I’m in a city I want it to be vibrant and full of stories – and the same is true for the water around me.

3)  Do you have a favorite fly and/or a favorite writing pen (or place to write)? Tell us about it/them.

I grew up often fishing with a Joe’s Hopper – and it has always been my favorite fly.  My aunt tied flies for Dan Bailey’s Fly Shop – and she specialized in that particular pattern, so I had a lot of them.  And the hopper hatch is my favorite – fishing big flies to very aggressive fish.


4)  Every fly fisherman/woman has a favorite fishing story (other than the one in the book.) Tell us yours (succinctly as possible.)

A year before he passed away, I brought my father to my new home, which sits on a river in Washington state. My Dad had grown too old to fish – and said he would enjoy sitting in a chair by the river with a big scotch, while watching me cast.

“How big are the fish here?” he asked.

I explained that while the river had salmon and steelhead runs earlier and later in the year – in the summer I fished primarily for the little ten to twelve inch rainbows that were eager to eat dry flies.  “They’re nice little fish,” I explained, “that for some reason they don’t get too large,

I caught a couple of the smaller fish, and then miraculously, a resident steelhead shot out of a log jam and grabbed my fly.  I was fishing a 4wt rod with 5X tippet – and assumed he would immediately break me off, but instead the fish ran upstream through a long flat, allowing me to get him under control and tire him with the drag.  I ran up and down the stream with the fish for ten minutes, and was shocked to finally land him, which I would estimate was around 25 – 28 inches and fat, probably 7-10 pounds.  I was thrilled and held up the wild fish so my Dad could see him – before releasing him.

Excited and a bit stunned by the fish, I crawled back up the bank where my father was seated.

He was not a man that showed much emotion, and said flatly, “the fish look pretty good size to me.”

5)  Let’s test your writing skills. Write a standard haiku about fly fishing.

Sorry – but I’ve learned to leave the poetry to the poets.  J

 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?

I am very partial to dry fly fishing for big trout in small streams and spring creeks – so I would probably choose the Patagonia area of Argentina.  The fishing is fabulous, and you seldom see another fisherman.

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Thanks, Timothy for being here today. We look forward to reading your essay Fisherman’s Briefcase along with the other great submissions on December 1, 2015.

Remember to leave a comment to be entered in the free book giveaway!

Wednesday’s interview, 12/02/15  is with Bryan Lally, a freelance writer and reporter. His previous work has appeared in the Yellow Chair Review and Shotgun Honey. He and his family live in Portland, Oregon.

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Buy The Book Now by CLICKING THIS LINK.

5.3

 

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