Nov 14

The Post-Game Plan

Let’s be clear, I’m not going anywhere any time soon. This is not an announcement of any kind.

I saw a Facebook post from a friend about a biodegradable urn that would convert your physical form into a tree. Pretty cool idea, really.

I have a different plan for what I want done.

I want to both share some of my special places with my kids/wife and to be a part of those same places. I envision a tour of my most beloved waters with a little bit of my ashes deposited in each place.

  • The Upper Sacramento River – My home water, where I learned to fly fish. Specifically, the riffle just below the Prospect Ave access point. That has been one of the best spots to me and for me through the years.
From April

From April

  • The McCloud River – Beauty and solitude and emerald green waters. Love this place. I think I’d hope to be deposited in the camp waters behind the Ah Di Nah campground.
The McCloud... Upstate California, from a trip in 2011.

The McCloud… Upstate California, from a trip in 2011.

  • The Babine River – There is a hole on the Babine named Strom’s Pool, named after my grandfather. I only fished it once and I didn’t land a fish there, but it would be fitting to leave part of myself there.
My daughter's middle name is Babine... for a reason.

My daughter’s middle name is Babine… for a reason.

  • Grand Bahama – This is where I caught my first bonefish, right behind Deep Water Cay with an independant guide from Mclean’s town.
Bone in GBI

Bone in GBI

  • Belize, El Pescador – My grand slam and my honeymoon. Some fantastic memories.

bks and renee with bonefish Belize

I think if my children got to go on that pilgrimage they should find something they love along the way.

Here’s to hoping they make that trip in 40 years.

Aug 10

Babine, the book… totally not bonefish related.

This book brings to life more than 50 years in the history of the Babine River, one of the most famous of all British Columbia’s highly regarded sports fishing destinations. The idea for the book was sealed with a handshake on the bank of the river with the two men agreeing from the outset that the story of the Babine had to be something more that just another ‘how to catch them, where to fish’ manual.

via Amazon.com: Babine (9781571884626): Pierce Clegg, Peter McMullan: Books.

A book is about to be released that has a bit of family history in it.  The Babine is one of the  best steelhead rivers in the world.  It just is.  It is a beautiful and wild place.  It is also a place my grandfather, C.A. “Strom” Stromsness fished for many years.  He befriended owner of Norlakes Lodge, Ejnar Madsen, and for something like 17 years he spent a week or more on the Babine.  There is even a hole on the upper river named “Strom’s Pool.”  Some of his letters and recollections make it into the book, as does mention of my daughter with her unique middle name… Babine.

I managed one trip up there with my dad (and thanks to my dad). I don’t recall exactly how many steelhead I managed.  Somewhere between 9 and 12 with my largest being this 18 pounder caught on a skating dry fly… an image that will stay with me forever.

There's my biggest steelhead.

My dad is done being a regular up there.  The wading and long days just got to be too much.  However, his last year up there, in one day, he landed a 20# and 25# fish.  They were just about the only fish he caught all week, but what a high note to end on.

Here is “Strom” from those early days on the Babine.  Sadly, the C&R ethic hadn’t much caught hold (or caught hold at all).  Somewhere my dad still has one of his father’s steelhead mounts… it is called “Good Grief.”

Strom is on the left.