CREEK TRICKLES THROUGH IT
I read that Jim Mizes book A Creek Trickles through It
(2014) was published by the Almost Literary Press, I figured the book
would be humorous. After reading the 169-page collection of fishing
tales told by a consummate fly fisherman I discovered that my prediction
was correct: the book is quite humorous.
46 short chapters about fishing mishaps and adventures offer more than
humor. Many of them are personal assessments on fish and people that
provide insight into the importance of anglers attitudes toward
the environment and life in general.
who like to fish sometimes seem obsessed with the idea of going
fishing, and to do fishing right you need a clean environment.
For instance, a mountain trout stream needs crystal clear water, which
means no upstream runoff from mining or other industrial activities.
a lake for largemouth bass, the anglers mood is lifted by a shoreline
of native willows or bald cypress, which means the peripheral wetland
has not been destroyed. Anyone who thrives on going fishing is by nature
someone who wants to protect the environment.
fish tales provide some wonderful perspectives into how a fishing trip
can bring appreciation of the outdoors. He tells of his minnow
bucket list, which are the fishing experiences from memory that
he wants to relive. One of the intriguing ones to me was his wish to
fly fish for trout in a blizzard again.
an account of walking alone through woods to a mountain lake one afternoon
40 years ago to fish for trout. He recalls the scent of pine trees,
the sights and sounds of five white-tail deer topping a ridge in front
of him, and the touch of snow as it began to fall. Each flake
fell like a cotton ball, absorbing light and becoming a light in itself.
He continued on, standing on the lake shore casting his lure out of
sight into the falling snow.
point of Mizes story to me is not that he ended up catching six
trout that day, as he hardly dwells on the fishing part. The real message
is that the beauty of healthy outdoor habitats can be enjoyed just by
walking through them or by sitting or standing in them.
natural environment can lead to a peace of mind acquired in no other
way. In the scene Mize described, he was closed in by the snow.
He goes on to say that he would like to feel that liberating exhilaration
of aloneness one more time, immersed in snow and frozen in time.
You dont have to be a fisherman to appreciate being outdoors under
those conditions, as long as you are wearing warm clothes, like fishermen
the later chapters focuses on Mizes many cold weather trout fishing
adventures from the mountains of Virginia to frozen streams in the Rockies.
Again, his intent was always to go trout fishing, but the aspect of
each experience that made it memorable and impressive was not just the
surrounding habitat of ice and snow but the overall scene of healthy
outdoor environments. Incidentally, apparently even properly dressed
fisherman can get too cold. He described one trip to North Carolina
after a snowstorm when he was hoping for a Saint Bernard with
a brandy keg under its neck because, as he says, Id
lost all feeling in my feet.
received first place in the excellence-in-craft award of the Southeastern
Outdoor Press Association for the best outdoor book of the year. Gift-giving
season is upon us and one of Jims books would be an excellent
choice for anyone who appreciates nature and would like to see it through
the eyes of an outdoor humorist and trout fisherman. Check out his website
Mize also received an excellence-in-craft award for one of his previous
books, The Winter of Our Discount Tent. Humor is clearly
a trademark of Mizes work.
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