HOLDING THE MEMORY “After soaking the maple wood strips for a day, the net maker pulls the fragile lumber from the water and bends it around a curved form. When the wood fibers air out and dry, the wood has a unique characteristic to hold its memory in the familiar tear-drop, forming a unique net shape.” -From my upcoming article in the January/February 2022 issue of PA Angler & Boater Magazine.
After researching the art of net-making with my two friends, Dave and Dale (both skilled and accomplished net makers), the analogy of the wood “keeping its memory” kept popping into my mind. I thought back to so many fishing trips with my aged, wooden net. I thought of times during Opening Day of Trout with my own kids and watching their faces light up when netting a trout. With friends, I thought of not wanting to lose the big one for them and scooping up a huge fish in the net with big grins and high fives to follow (...and yes, we have lost a few out of the net).
My old net holds a lot of memories and has traveled with me many stream miles. It just seems appropriate to fish in a beautiful place and net an amazing trout with a wooden net, full of memory and hopefulness for the next fish to come. Then releasing the quarry, watching it tail out of the net back into the shadows. Now that's a memory worth holding.
NOVEL NEWS Great news to share as my Middle Grade novel, Salmon Survivor, is the in the works for publication in 2022 by Relevant Publishing LLC. We’re in the Draft 3 (D3) editing and revisions stages. The Relevant Editing Team from Sutton, Alaska, really has assisted in getting every Alaskan detail correct. Wait until you read about Jack’s “moose encounter.” Thanks to Linda and the team for all the answered questions and suggestions to make the novel amazing for readers.
I’m also excited to share that Nick Cobler, local Pittsburgh graphic artist and fly angler, will display his technical drawing skills with the fly patterns in the story. He has the unique style of making these flies really come to life.
Nick layers his sketches, creating a realistic style reminiscent of black & white, pen & ink drawings. Check out this amazing rendering of an Elk Hair Caddis. This one is really special since the opening line of Salmon Survivor is, "The Elk Hair Caddis drifted smoothly on the stream’s surface like a sailboat."
See more of his artwork at www.nickcobler.com. More news in October on some of Nick’s amazing fly patterns in the novel.
CASTING FOR RECOVERY This summer, I attended the Western PA Casting for Recovery retreat as a River Guide on Spruce Creek in State College. I met some amazing women who have battled (or are currently fighting cancer). Paired up with a wonderful person, both of us are Yinzers from the 'Burgh. So we hit it off on the water, hooked into some fish, and really enjoyed the short time together.
As all the River Guides can attest, the CFR day is one of the best days on the water thanks to the bravery and resiliency of these women. Thanks to all the Western PA volunteers, staff, River guides, and retreat participants for a great CFR season.