I’ve caught fish everwhichaway they can be.

On the Chattahoochee River I’ve used nets, gigs,

trot lines, and bare hands. Even electricity.

One day Braleigh and me caught so many

that two-ended punt boat nearly went under.

We were boys and didn’t know any better.

Catfish were plentiful as water for all

we could figure. That was back then.

We’d wrap the copper pipe and drop it in,

then use the telephone battery to make a wet cell

of that whole muddy dogleg of the river.

The small channel cats would rise, then

recover, but big whites and blues would float,

belly up, and we’d haul ’em in, fill the boat

to the oarlocks with fresh fish to eat or sell.

Their backs shined so bright it was a wonder.

But let me tell you this: it was also a danger.

If you caught the coil wrong or touched iron

binding on that old craft with a live wire,

it was enough to knock you on your ass.

A man could get killed just trying to catch fish.

Of course, such a method was a sin against Jesus

and man, fish and fresh water, but we didn’t savvy.

We were just free as gnats for the summer,

a little enterprising and a little hungry.

Besides, we hadn’t heard of sport or mercy.

That was a cooter’s age ago. That was then.




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


Poem: Fish

The poet reflects on the life of a brook trout.


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

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.


Fish Pimping

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

prm-Credit Focused Collection-Deposit Photos

The Fishing Pole of the Drowned Man

Sometimes someone's old rod brings good luck; sometimes it unleashes a new set of problems

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Run, Fish, Drink, Repeat

Flyathlons are a tailored for those who like to run, drink craft beer, catch a trout or two and have a blast


Fishing Buddies

Finding the right fishing partner is a bit like courting a potential spouse. Hold on to the keepers; they're few and far between.

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Fish Cutter

Dawn Root is part of a small and vanishing tribe of fisherfolk who know how to bone shad...