Just got back from vacation in Colorado, where - while enduring the tourist hell that is Estes Park - I experienced the following: lost $237 worth of flies, bumbled my way into my first-ever nude photo shoot while fishing Rocky Mountain National Park ( To clarify: I wasn't butt-nekkid, but the model sure was, at least until my deer hair ant whizzed by her face...), watched (or smelled, rather) the second-hand weed smoke wafting down upon us from the nice elderly hippie foursome renting the condo above us, managed to get, for the second year in a row, my trout slam (cutt, brown, brook and rainbow), watched as my oldest son caught his first trout on a fly rod, and lost - at the rod tip - the largest brown trout I've ever hooked.
So that's where I've been lately. Sadly, however, when I finally cracked open the computer to see what was shaking on the Interwebs, I discovered that John Graves had passed away.
From Henry Chappell's Home Range (via the Dallas News)
"I liked her and had known her all my younger life, as I had most of the other people in town. But it was a good place to be, and the thermostat on the wall was set at seventy-five degrees, and outside the windows the cold sleet mixed with rain was driving down at a hard slant, and far far up above all of it in the unalive silent cold of space some new chunk of metal with a name, man-shaped, was spinning in symbolism, they said, of ultimate change. In that place the stark pleasures of aloneness and unchangingness and what a river meant did not somehow seem to be very explicable.
Somebody's wife was waiting for an answer. "Not exactly, I said. "I had a dog."
Damn, but John Graves was a helluva writer, the likes of which I doubt we'll be seeing much of any more.That hopelessly old-fashioned style of prose just isn't Tweetable enough to be relevant for today's single-serving readers.