Welcome to the fourteenth (and last) 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 Dean K Miller, the editor of the anthology. Yes, I am interviewing myself. Trust me, this was as antagonistic as an interview can get. Thank goodness we were talking about fly fishing or it might have gotten ugly.
My contribution to the anthology is titled, Family Currents, Home Waters and I am honored to include it alongside the incredible list of talented authors who contributed to the anthology.
1) Tell us about your first fly fishing rod and where you used it.
Ordered as a kit package, a Scientific Anglers 9.5 foot 4 wt. from REI Adventure Store. Came with rod, reel, sleeve (not case), backing, line and some flies. Pretty decent rod for a beginner’s set up. My daughter and I both caught our first fish on a fly with that rod. I broke the top 1/3 off in a car door during a winter trip on the Big T.
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?
I’m going with the constant rising of fish. If I suspected, or knew, there were fish in the water and they weren’t active, it would drive me crazy. I’d have to stop, get my gear and find out. But if they are there, rising and slurping along, I’m good, ‘cuz I’d go back tomorrow and leave the writing pad at home.
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 a pink/purple wooly-bugger my daughter tied when she was about 8 or 9. It’s all girl, made in a class of all men. I’ll never fish it, though. I’m partial to copper john’s and san juan worms, but will try anything to get a strike. As far as writing goes, I’ve used several different pens and pads, have learned to write on an iPad okay. Mostly I get the best groove on when Hearts of Space radio (www.hos.com) is streaming in the background, as it is right now as I type this. But never any tunes on the water. Nature has its own beautiful music that we cannot duplicate.
4) Every fly fisherman/woman has a favorite fishing story (other than the one in the book.) Tell us yours (succinctly as possible.)
Wow, so many to pick from. One of the most meaningful was in late August in 2013. My daughter was getting ready to return to college and we hadn’t been fly fishing together in several years. I asked if she wanted to go and wonderfully she said yes. We fished a semi-secret spot on the lower Big Thompson. She hadn’t missed a beat, casting as beautifully as she did in her earlier years. We had a great day of fishing, landing several large browns and ‘bows. One month later the Big T flooded again, devastating the river and forever changing the landscape and course of the river. This area still hasn’t begun to show much signs of recovery. I’ve only fished the Big T twice in the last two years. I, too, am slow to heal.
5) Let’s test your writing skills. Write a standard haiku about fly fishing.
Snow melt swells river
Spring floods scour the landscape
Fish find calm water
Life giving river
Flows downstream sustaining all
Snowflakes die in spring
Icy mountain streams
Watery birth of ancient times
Do fish understand?
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?
Again, so many great choices. Anywhere? Really? I’d pick a super secret spot I created in Rocky Mountain National Park where my unfinished story The River Zen takes place. Brandon fishes there and he’s a great guy to be with. The fishing is unreal, though a bit unsettling in a magical sense. It’s not always easy to find your way there, and if you leave it may not be there when you return. So there I would stay.
In the “real” world, I’d probably hunker down in New Zealand to spend many years learning the craft of fly fishing as taught by some of the smartest fish on earth.
So ends our author interviews (two authors opted out.) So far everyone who had left a comment has been entered into the drawing. Today’s visitor voices will be included and I’ll leave the contest open until Thursday at 11:59 PM (I may be on the river that day anyway so won’t be to focused on choosing a winner.) The winner will be announce on Friday December 11, 2015 sometime in the morning.
Unfortunately we are still working on getting the book back on the press and accepting orders. Stay tuned. It shouldn’t be much longer! Thank you for your patience.