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February 2015 - Volume 23 Number 3
The Lower Tuolumne
A tailwater for when the High Sierra is closed by snow.
By Bryan McMurry
Lower Sac Spey
The lower Sacramento River is perfect for two-handed rods.
By Andrew Harris
Two-Handed Rods for Trout
Aspects to consider in defining such equipment.
By Steven Bird
Evolution Wants You: Steelhead Fly-Fishing Etiquette
Doing unto others on Northern California waters.
By Jeff Bright
The Low Rider Popper
This popper will improve your hookup rate.
By Nick Curcione
Fishing with Bill Schaadt
The final installment of a three-part series about one of California's greatest fly fishers.
By Russell Chatham
The Clouser
Modifying a classic fly pattern for California waters.
By Andy Guibord
Bear Creek: Friday, March 14, 2014
An entry from one angler's fishing journal.
By Michael Burleson
Snapshot: Medicine Lake
A succinct overview that implies timing is everything.
By Michael Malekos
The California Fly Fisher 2014 Index of Articles
Listing last year's stories, authors, and places to fish.
By Raffi Boloyan

Click here for Doug Lovell's
February 2010 Good Fight article

Click here for Drew Braugh's
March 2011 Good Fight article about the Fall River - page 1 / page 2

In the Eye of the Beholder

When I fish, I often find myself responding most deeply not to the hookups, but rather to the beauty in which I find myself immersed. This beauty takes several forms that anglers, especially, can appreciate. One form of beauty, the form most familiar to us, is the charm of the physical setting. We’ve all heard the saying that trout are found in beautiful places, and it’s true. Trout need cool, clean water, which in turn means stable slopes with trees and leafy plants that shade the stream or a gentle meadow with long, uncut grasses that overhang the bank and provide cover and a source of food. The landscapes trout are native to are almost always pretty, and the less untouched and disturbed, the more attractive they become. If wildness is one of the qualities we seek in our quarry, then it is also a quality that we desire in our quarry’s habitat.

This wildness brings a second form of beauty, which is harder to see, because it involves relationships and natural processes that reveal themselves only through the flora and fauna around and in the waters we fish. Every living element of this landscape, each species of plant, insect, fish, amphibian, bird, and so on, has a role that has taken millennia to define and that will continue to evolve until the sun goes dark or catastrophe occurs. It is a slowly but always shifting balance between parts, and, visible to our eyes, can be appreciated as such.

We, as anglers, can also appreciate this dancelike beauty in another manner, which is as an embodiment of the ceaseless urge of all living things. The rock we’re on, our world, spinning through vacuum, has managed somehow to be placed and composed in such a way as to allow life to form. That a mayfly lifts from the water, that a trout seeks that mayfly, are wondrous phenomena that by all odds shouldn’t exist, but do. How utterly extraordinary, to be here, and to have caught that trout and hold it glistening in one’s hand.

How lucky we are.

Richard Anderson

Publisher and Editor

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