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Winter Reading for the Angler by Mark Usyk

Posted by Mark Usyk on

There’s never enough time for fishing lately. But even though time on the water is more valuable than gold this time of year you can always find something to connect you to the waters and the fish once the work day is done and dinner has been eaten, once the kids have gone to bed, and for me, once the wife has turned on that godforsaken Hallmark Channel where every movie seems to have the same plot and the same two female lead actors. I know when she flips to that channel without even being in the room. I can only describe it as a disturbance in the force. It’s as if a million voices suddenly cry out in terror and are then suddenly silenced. But like I said, even though it’s dark before dinner and icicles hang from the eaves outside the windows there’s always a way to stay true to the cause. For one thing there’s fly tying, and for another there’s a never ending list of books filled with fishing stories.


Tying Stonefly Looking Things by Mark Usyk

Posted by Mark Usyk on

Few words have the impact when spoken that steelhead does. See? You just felt something when you read it. Steelhead. Don’t believe me? Do you remember the scene in Stand by Me, (if you don’t know the movie then stop reading. Just stop. You’re probably too young to have seen it, because everyone else in the world that’s old enough has. Find it, watch it, and then come back to this later) the scene where Ace says to Eyeball and Charlie “You guys are like my grandmother having a conniption fit. I don't see your problem. We brought a whole bunch of fishing gear, and if a cop asks us what we're doing here, we're just here to take a couple steelhead out of the river, and look what we found!” That one line set a tone of extreme maturity and coolness at that moment in the film. Suddenly, a punk, a thug named Ace became a very cool guy for a few seconds. It was a line that would have never worked, never been so powerful had steelhead been replaced by bass, or even trout. Because of the use of steelhead, the line was pure Hollywood gold. I’ve never gone for steelhead, always avoided it because of people, but even I recognize the power in the emotions the name evokes. There’s only one other word in fly fishing that comes close to grabbing the attention of fly anglers by tender regions and making their eyebrows raise, their heads tilt to one side or the other like a dog, listening to the conversation with a feeling of importance. It also happens to be connected to steelhead…Stonefly.