if i don’t…

if I don’t
fish for trout
every day this spring
i will die.

This is the poem i have been singing in my heart for the past week. Every time I think I have an hour or two or three something else is calling me. Now granted, the catch and kill season opens in Minnesota this weekend. And it might snow. I COULD go out.
But, as much as I like to have a dinner of trout now and then, what I am really after is… not a body count.
If i wanted a dinner of fish, I can go to Cub and get some any day.
what do I want when I fish?

I used to get it , in a canoe in a lake in northern Minnesota.
I don’t get it on a lake, on a motorboat, hearing other people listening to talk radio and looking at depth finders, smoking cigarettes, drinking beer and telling those kind of jokes.

I don’t get what I need from fishing in these places.

I need something else from fishing.

Maybe that’s why I have morphed into a mostly trout fisher. and mostly a fly rod.

The lakes around here are crowded for hours out of town.. You have to drive at least 2- 3 hours to get to a spot that is quiet. And of course, one can spend a chunk of money to go the far wilds. IF you have a chunk of money..

and, sometime I will, hopefully go to the far wild again. — But it’s not my regular medicine.

But, I am wealthy beyond measure. In one half hour, I can be on a classic trout stream, usually find a section where there is no one fishing. and if they are, they are not on a jet ski, listening to aggressive music, but drinking in the music of the river. I catch trout, often release them. They have spunk and sass, are full of beauty. Trout only live where there is beauty.

On a weekend,Kayakers go by: we smile and greet. the fishing slows down for maybe five minutes. who cares!
In an hour, I can go to places where most folks don’t go anymore. And those who do, mostly understand the restorative power of streams.

For two years, i had the pleasure of camping next to a trout stream.. hearing the ripples when I slept, when woke, all times the relentless music brought hope and calm.

Most folks want lakes. Most folks want to fish for trash fish, like Walleyes.

That’s okay with me. Give me little streams through fields and forests. Give me the wild anytime. ( the wild which is not obvious)

Musically, I have been digging Abdullah Ibrahim: an album of his from the 70’s called ” African Sketchbook”. He is simply one of my top influences. I love how he puts together suites, long connections of music which evolve and change. Rather than ” solo over the changes” endlessly, he states eloquent melodies, and then moves into rhythmic, harmonic structures which dive right into power and dissonance- and then- he is back into sweetness. And that left hand!

Next time, I want to talk about Uri Caine, Codona, and my good friends ” the” Fantastic Merlins” ( Nathan Hanson & Brian Roessler) and a huge show they have coming up.

I have a set on this Friday at the Black Dog, from 5:32 until about 7:31 pm. I am going to try for some of those long sets, refer to things I have been working on. Then, I will be off for two weeks, and May will be a /// thing. SO come on down if you can, get some great food and wind, coffee, micro-brew, and even macaroons! (I wish I had know about macaroons when I was a broke 23 year-old… you can make one cookie last a set with even chewing!) As usual, I wish that you can be outside.

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