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Off she’d go at first light,

hooks, rod, dough bait wrapped in waxed paper,

walking five miles to the murky pond,

casting, sitting still for hours

for what sucked and burrowed

along the bottom, those thick-bodied fish

with hard-ringed mouths,

scales big as nickels,

sides red-slashed, bubbles rising

in their wake, smell of swamp gas,

and then suddenly the bobber moving,

pulled under, my mother feeding out line,

then striking up and back,

a big fish that she carried back to us,

reading our fortunes

in its blood and syrups and coils,

telling us we would marry,

live in small houses

with children, cats and dogs,

that we would have troubles all our own,

each of us touching the fish before it was wrapped

in tin foil and baked all afternoon,

that fish with many bones,

that she said grace over, that tasted of mud.  



Fish Story

A monster catfish, the remittance for a $67 debt, is on the menu at a bizarre party in Texas. Fiction by Rick Bass


Drink Like a Fish, Fish Like a Man

It’s no secret that fishing and drinking go hand in hand, and in Livingston, Montana, that means saddling up to the Murray Bar


Fish Pimping

Contradictory worldviews collide along a river in Montana, where a guide wrestles with heady questions of conservation, ethics and hypocrisy.

Bolton Ranch 1980

Fish Hippies

For a brief wrinkle in time, a band of cosmic cowboys from the '70s reveled in a western trout paradise.


Let’s Fish

I spent three weeks last winter living with the Salas family at their home and Los Torreones Lodge, which is on the Simpson River, about halfway between the towns of Coyhaique and Aysen.

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Fly-Fishing in Ukraine

A poem about fishing for trout in beloved streams before the bombing began.


Spirit of the Shad Stream

A chance encounter one spring evening with a fellow "fish fool" sets like-minded anglers on intersecting paths.


My Boat My Life: Gary Caputi

A lifelong love affair with a Mako 231