Friday, September 29, 2017

Dawn Photo Shoot

Awoke a 6:00 a.m., quickly drank some seltzer water--since no juice was in the fridge--and then, a second before I walked out the door, told my wife I would be home soon. I was a little nervous I might be too late, sky already brightening a little, but I had plenty of time to park in the main ramp area, walk over the dike, and position beyond the Tongue to set up my tripod and camera. All of this walking and doing felt pleasant. Not only was I in the process of fulfilling that promise to myself of coming over here at dawn for a photo shoot, I felt 100% better than last time I was here on the 15th.

I sat for a half hour, it seemed, before sun poked up just to the right of the highest Cushetunk peak. In the process of shooting, I realized I have never before waited on sunrise. So many times fishing I've experienced it, but never before by just sitting and waiting. And for a minute or so, I felt elated. Unlike ever before in relation to sun coming up. And then I felt like a fool for a few seconds, because for more years than I can account for exactly, I've heard of people talk about greeting sunrise, and now I realized I'd taken the likes for granted. Sunrise. I've experienced this hundreds of times. While fishing, that is. Involved in something else, really. Never by sitting still until it comes up.

Or by clamming. I used to watch it rise over Long Beach Island, though I remember sunsets....and come to think of that, I did experience some awesome responses. I used to stop treading, hold my basket of clams, and watch the sun go down. I saw its motion as it sank below horizon. Legally, I should have been getting in my boat.

I might have mentioned in a previous post that I will have to make more sunrise ventures yet. I have 10 years or more of shooting to do, before I select photos for the book. I figured I would walk the dike and position near the Tongue, which I did, but probably realize in the process another opportunity for next time. I did. Next time I need to walk the trail further for another position. I thought of getting rocks in the shot, and I might be able to do this, possibly by setting the tripod behind some jagging outward right at shore edge.

Two guys fished for rainbows at the Tongue. Another guy by the gravel ramp. Nothing caught, which doesn't surprise me after the heat. Temperature this morning was probably about 50. Seventies and 80's are forecast for the next 10 days, though some cooler weather until the 2nd bodes better for Joe Landolfi and I on Lake Hopatcong Monday.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Info Meeting on Round Valley Reservoir Structural Work

If any of you are interested, the New Jersey Water Supply Authority is holding an information event about structural work on Round Valley Reservoir. Don't worry, it won't be drained to the bottom, or even close to that, but from what I've come to understand, water level will go down even lower than resulting from last year's drought. Or perhaps attend the meeting and prove me wrong on this. In any case, look to a full level once again...eventually.

I copied information for you from the email I got:

The New Jersey Water Supply Authority will hold an information session to inform the public about the Round Valley Reservoir Structures Refurbishment and Resource Preservation Project. Attendees will be able to ask questions and provide their comments directly to project representatives. Residents, recreational groups, business leaders, public officials and other stakeholders are invited to learn about the design and construction phases of the project. 

The information session will be held from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 14, 2017, at the North Hunterdon Regional High School, Cafeteria A, 1445 State Route 31, Annandale, New Jersey. Representatives from the New Jersey Water Supply Authority and its project engineer will make remarks during a brief presentation at 7:00 p.m. There will be a question and answer session after the presentation. 

The Authority is making improvements to the reservoir over the next few years to extend its operating life as a critical source of drinking water and increase its durability for years to come.

The Round Valley Reservoir Project website was launched in early June to showcase photography, historical information about the reservoir, answer frequently asked questions, list project updates and allow users several ways to provide input or ask questions via email or phone.

Link to further information:

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Knee Deep Hybrid Derby Results, Walleye Derby October 7th & 8th

One of my largest.

Just got Laurie's report from Dow's on the Knee Deep hybrid striper derby this past weekend. Dismal. Of 47 entries, only six keeper size (over 16 inches) came to the scales. Winner seven pounds, 12 ounces. Second place six pounds, seven ounces. And third place five pounds, five pounds, 14 ounces.

It's just not fall yet.

Temperatures in the 90's for this derby, when usually, stripers have begun to shift into fall pattern.

Joe Landolfi & I fish for hybrids on the 2nd, which isn't to say we'll shun any walleye, no, just that I have hybrids in mind, as if just maybe we'll find some and hitting. But it's not forecast to cool off very much.

The Knee Deep walleye derby is October 7th & 8th, so if you want to compete, just click the link below. Non-members welcome.

Monday, September 25, 2017


About the arc of development I mentioned yesterday. I have the day off, and I spent a little time going back through posts last year, proud of what I saw and read. And then I thought of my readers, knowing that some of you take real pleasure in the words and photos, also knowing, occurs to me now, that Temple University Communications Director, Chris Dubble, who interviewed me, describes the writing as brilliant, and I thought about my striving towards additional publication. If I were any of you who read this blog, I might be thinking, "Why doesn't he at least get that first book published the tab on the upper right corner promises?"

At least one of the posts from late last year mentions me working on essays. I never blogged about the good news, though. The first of maybe half-a-dozen I worked on, an essay of I think 19 pages, I sent to one of the world's foremost literary journals, Agni, literally just minutes after midnight on Election Day. I had finished the essay about three minutes before midnight. Six months later the editor got back to me, and though the essay was not accepted, he began his communication by emphasizing that his was not a standard rejection notice. He found the writing lively, and asked me to please submit again.

Which I will do. The publication business is super tough. This is partly why I feel Litton's Fishing Lines so special, because all I had to do was log in to Blogger and figure it out--easy--and we have a platform. A man of credentials no less than Chris Dubble's picked up on it, on us. I think of this blog as representing a network. By what I've carefully read on getting a book published, you need various sorts of credits before an agent or publisher will take you seriously. I have plenty of credits towards my book on salmon eggs for trout, a book which ultimately will about why I think stockers are valuable despite so much flack they take from fly fishermen. (Not that I would ever argue for stocking wild trout waters.) I need more credits yet for my book of essay chapters on fishing, because this sort of book is so tough a sell that Angelo Peluso, who has books on fly fishing and a novel published in addition to numerous magazine credits, is turning to self-publication for his book of essays on fishing. I plan on trying to get novel(s) published first.

Around 2012, I began work on my novel Space Cruise. I wrote about 500 pages in six months or so. Too many pages, I fear, for a first novel. I got away from the work, and that's what it needed, because now I understand much better what intuition then led me through, so I can make the changes needed by conscious choices.

It's a period piece. The 1970's. Space Cruise. You get it. But the novel just uses the backdrop of that time's challenges to create the story of a boyhood and adolescence that descends (and certainly in some ways ascends) into madness. In the one respect, there's a dark appeal in this I hope readers will be drawn to, though they may be drawn by reviews that speak of hope, and I hope so all the more because the publishing industry is ruthless. I've read that if your first book doesn't sell, publishers may not ever consider another from you. I'm not worried about the salmon egg book. Not only will that surely do OK, judging the numbers of salmon egg post visitations on this blog, it's a fishing book, not a novel.

If I took my former writing mentor's advice, I would end my "dark" tale tragically. Ed Minus was an older man and a modernist. He is the author of the novel Kite, published by Penguin Classics. ( But I've never believed in tragedy and never will.

I've mentioned in a number of posts that I keep the better of my photos out of sight. I imagine I have another 10 years--maybe more--of shooting before I approach a publisher with three books of photos. The Raritan River System from Zarephath north, including perhaps most of the tributaries; Round Valley Recreation Area; Lake Hopatcong.

And finally, who knows. About those journals I've mentioned, which contain all sorts of stuff I'd never put on the blog. I have Curt Cobain's published journals. "You will judge," he wrote on the first page. There's a tragedy, by the way. And yet, I believe his suicide was completely unnecessary. Some might say, "How dare you judge him," but I do, with sadness. I have the journals, however, which perhaps so few read, but I have read. A man like Ed Minus, for whom I have great respect, might argue that tragedy is acceptance. Each of us dies.

But each of us lives. As I see the issue, it's a matter of which emphasis to choose. Curt Cobain isn't really gone altogether. I pick up what he put himself into--those words he wrote--and I accept the spirit present for as long as anyone reads him. 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Robust Health Returned

What's a weblog? If you remember back to when the web first got up, "blog" wasn't a word yet. It was weblog. At least some of my posts I think of as true to what a "weblog" might be. Indices of personal information. If well written, then I congratulate myself, but the essence is information forming a sort of arc of development over time. A log.

At least once or twice before, I 've written a post reflecting upon a previous post, an attempt to fill in a progression I know about, so it might seem unnecessary to put words on a screen, but I do because it adds value to the blog as a whole. I am never exhaustive of any subject I write about, and by conscious intent refuse to write a lot that I could write, because I choose between what I want to make public, and what I want to keep to myself.

On the 15th, I went to Round Valley Reservoir and fished. I had this in mind for a number of days. Fred happened to inform me a couple of days or so before I fished there of his hooking a nice bass and catching a smaller. I went straightaway for the bass, rather than waiting awhile for the trout. When Jorge and I finished our float on the 9th, I walked along a ridge of stone about a foot wide. That's when the trout desire came to me. Walking rock. The gravel and rock shores. I had felt at the South Branch my affinity with stone. The way walking on it makes me feel heady.

With temperatures in the 90's, who knows how long the wait for trout to come ashore now.

I had a lapse in health. I wrote about the interruption some posts back. Maybe the North Branch post.  I won't call it a crisis. How call it that, when I missed not a single day of work? I suffered it on the Barryville float, which must be nearly a dozen posts back, so you easily infer it's not only work I hadn't missed. I had hopes for me at Round Valley, and though that post doesn't say it, those hopes were all but thoroughly dashed on the 15th. And I wasn't so sure I would quite recover, as I fished that length of shoreline, so greatly removed from my former joy. You can tell by that post I didn't give up, but you read the uncertainty, and my discerning judgement simply let that hang over me, rather than to have pulled it over my face as a false mask of despair.

Sure enough, by the 19th, I was all but returned to normal. And since the 22nd, I have no doubt all is fine.