dreams, Fly fishing, Fly fishing book, friends, fun, inspiration, journey, life, love, mountains, Peace, Platte Rivers PHWFF, Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, River MASH, Smile, smiles, T. M., Todd Aringdale
Welcome to the thirteenth interview with the author/contributors of The Water Holds No Scars: Fly Fishing Stories of Rivers & Rejuvenation, published by Tulip Tree Publishing, LLC.
Today’s author/interview is with T. M. (Todd) Aringdale, a true outdoor’s man and apparently secret spot knowledge holder somewhere in the wilds of Wyoming.
Todd’s contribution to the anthology is titled River MASH.
1) Tell us about your first fly fishing rod and where you used it.
Back in the late ’90’s, I had a car salesman fishing buddy who persuaded me to purchase my first fly rod at a Gart Brothers store for $30 –an 8-ft., 5-piece travel outfit with reel, line, and a half-dozen flies included. (Crystal River brand I believe.) The North Fork of the Poudre, where Cornealius and George Creeks converge, was my testing ground for this ‘novel’ form of tricking fish. The transition from spin to fly-casting transformed a hobby into a way of life; and I am eternally grateful to that pushy car salesman.
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?
Even though my choice would be completely impractical due to its being closed to the public, I would choose Bollingen Tower, Carl Jung’s hand-built hermitage on the shore of Lake Zurich. I imagine the creative energy generated there would outweigh any thoughts or visions of fish whatsoever. I have been an autodidact Jungian for my entire adult life, so an artisit-in-residence in The Tower would be an honor and inspiration beyond compare.
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 (combo) is the standard Renegade with a Lint Bug ‘dropped’ about 24 inches down. Often times I will put a foam indicator 24 inches above the Renegade and fish it as a sunken ant or nymph, but that’s almost cheating.
4) Every fly fisherman/woman has a favorite fishing story (other than the one in the book.) Tell us yours (succinctly as possible.)
This story refers back to my car salesman fishing buddy, who by this time was breaking into the world of professional fly tying, designing, and writing–Vincent Wilcox. We had been fishing/camping at a favorite Wyoming tailwater and the heat of the final day had me shirtless on shore, lazily dappling my nymph rig not more than 20 yards above my buddy who was still pounding hard into a promising run which poured into a super rocky flat. Suffice it to say that I was jolted awake by the hog of my life, which I would have never landed without Vince’s verbal guidance, “Don’t let him get down that run!!” After his expert netting, we measured this Rainbow out at 28 inches with an 18-inch girth. We noted that one side of its jaw had been previously torn out but appeared quite healthy otherwise. What makes this my favorite story is that less than a half hour later, Vince yelled up at me that he had a monster hooked and I’ll be damned if I didn’t net the same exact Snake River cutthroat for him that he had for me minutes earlier. There were hugs and maybe a few tears after we released that one the second time.
5) Let’s test your writing skills. Write a standard haiku about fly fishing.
Depths see what I can’t,
Moon reflects on calm abyss–
Carp or Coelacanth?
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?
Our Toyota Previa van has 430,000 miles on her, a large proportion of which were devoted to the destination in Wyoming mentioned in question #4 –well out of cellular and radio range. Although I can’t bring myself to mention it by name, anyone who knows me would know where to find me.
Thanks Todd and we look forward to reading your essay River MASH soon.
The anthology should be back on sale within a day or two. My apologies for the disruption in ordering. We are working hard to rectify the problem/confusion with the printer.