One Down And One To Go

Jun 17, 2011 by

There were times fly fishing in Alaska that I would pause, often in mid cast. Drop my head.

I’d reel in my line, wade back to shore and just sit down.  Arms on my knees, rod against my shoulder, I’d just watch the salmon running.

Too many fish.

The curse of fishermen. Too many fish. What is the point of fishing if almost every cast brings a strike? Who wants that? Do we, fishermen that is, really drive way off to our favorite spot, walk for hundreds of yards, unload a myriad of gear, suit up, possibly unload a boat to boot, merely to catch a lot of fish?

Um, yes, Winters, that’s why we fish.  

Sometimes, however, too much of a good thing is, well, not a good thing. Like eating too much chocolate ice cream. At some point, you will either blow up or swear off chocolate ice cream forever. Sometimes, overloaded with your successes, you need to just pause and say, “that was a good day, enough.”

It’s true in life, it’s true with salmon fishing. When the salmon are running, they come in huge waves. Water is just boiling with fish.. You are on a little stream maybe 15 to 20 yards wide, and the salmon are five, six and up to 10-fish deep.

Heaven.

Not really. Because at those times, you aren’t catching fish, you’re snagging them. By that I mean you are catching fish alright, but in the back or worse, the tail. There are so many fish you can’t get the fly down to their mouths. Instead, your fly is just hooking onto one of hundreds, and rarely in the mouth.

Hook a fish in the mouth, you control it. Hook a fish in the back or tail, you lose.

Hook a salmon in the back, you will either snap your line or break your rod if you are dumb enough to actually try to reel that fish in. Not that I’ve ever done that, mind you. Hook a salmon in the tail, see ya. Because that salmon will turn and in about 3.485 seconds, will strip every inch of your line off your reel. He’s gone, your line is gone, and you are done for the day.

Too much of a good thing is not always a good thing. Sometimes you just need to regroup.

And that’s where I stand right now.

Earlier this week I got the type-set manuscript for my new book, The Little Black Dress And The Sons of Thunder ~ Recipes On Life And Food ~. I spent the week editing, reading, editing, reading it. Trying to make sure the wording was right, trying to catch that one last typo I missed the 37 previous times so I don’t look like a complete idiot.

I sent it back yesterday, ready to go.

And in the midst of all that editing and reading, I got a couple of other presents. The cover design for The Dress showed up. So The Dress, as in the Little Black Dress and mother of the Sons of Thunder and not the cover, and when I say the Sons of Thunder in this sentence I again mean the actual Sons and not the cover (get all that?) and I stared at it and turned it upside down and sideways and thought, “that’s almost pure awesomeness.”

Almost. So we’ve suggested a couple of tweaks here and there and sent it back yesterday as well.

That other present I mentioned earlier was yet another type-set  manuscript ready for me to edit. This would be the study guide to accompany my first book, Everyone Needs A Sam.

For a writer, getting a cover design you love and the final typed manuscript in your hands in second only to one thing – getting the actual book.

Two type-set manuscripts, one cover. Too much. Time to pause … regroup.

And so I will.

And I will be taking my fly rods on this regrouping. There won’t be any salmon, but there will be a bunch of Boy Scouts wanting to learn to fly fish. Being able to teach someone – who wants to learn – about one of your passions ranks up there with getting your new book in your hands.

So we will teach fly fishing; regroup and get back to editing in a day or two.