Tag: superstition

Something Thoreau wrote on December 2, 1853

“The skeleton which at first sight excites only a shudder in all mortals becomes at last not only a pure but suggestive and pleasing object to science. The more we know of it, the less we associate it with any goblin of our imaginations. The longer we keep it, the less likely it is that any such will come to claim it. We discover that the only spirit which haunts it is a universal intelligence which has created it in harmony with all nature. Science never saw a ghost, nor does it look for any, but it see everywhere the traces, and it is itself the agent, of a Universal Intelligence.”

He lived in an age when science was methodical, slow moving. Yet you can be sure much of the science then settled was later expounded upon or tossed in the rubbish bin. Nowadays, tools exist to accelerate study while enhancing the reliability of measurement, as well as engage in alternative hypothesizing at the flip of a coin. And yet the scientific method seems to have been tossed aside in favor of expediency, despite the obvious risks.

Was Thoreau telegraphing the resultant skeletons in the closet?

MG signing off (thinking “Universal Intelligence” is often deserving of critical review)

Talismans are for superstitious weirdos (like my friends and I)

Good Luck CharmsI know this person who has a necklace of tiny shells hanging from their rear-view mirror. Every once in a while they reach up and fiddle with it. The guise is releasing nervous anxiety, but it’s easy to see through that excuse. They are, of course, a die-hard fly fisher.

The condition runs wide

Michael White, fly-fishing manufacturers’ representative extraordinaire (a.k.a. Whitey), is well-known for sticking toads, and (surprise, surprise) he carries a good luck charm around as well. It’s a hyena, one that looks like it has fashion sense to boot. Editor’s note: this amulet was not present when Mr. White failed to call someone’s all-in during a certain round of hold ’em that was probably the turning point in said match. Ode to the skills that pay bar bills. Thank goodness.

BuddhaI’m guilty too

Affixed in the northwest corner of the northeast-most room in my abode, facing southeast, is a three-inch tall red Buddha. I originally thought it a gag, but the collie dog quickly took to greeting me each morning from within close proximity to the thing, and then staring intently at it as though engaged in some telepathic exchange. The pup has always been good luck, so I’ve rolled with it, and would be hard pressed to deny the positive effects.

My spiritual advisor recently suggested I dust the little guy off, maybe rub his belly a bit before I hit the sack. I would have scoffed, but she gave me the Buddha to begin with. The fact she has a tiny black dragon hanging inconspicuously in the corner of her foyer, staring directly at the front door, has nothing to do with my heeding the advice.

Now I suspect he who foists a golden object – that look strangely like a full-brim fishing hat – may be doing some traveling in the very near future.

MG signing off (to dig up a protective satchel for my little friend)

If you find this sock’s brother, please let me know

gear bagEveryone has their superstitions, and fly fishers are no exception. For some it’s bananas – no bananas consumed while fishing, and certainly none in the lunch bag, particularly while on a boat. For others, it’s as simple as getting prepared just a certain way – put the rod together now, or wait until after the waders are on (regardless of the temps). I love fruit, but rarely take it fishing, and I have a certain system getting ready – it’s not bowing to the gods but plain ol’ habit. No…for me the big thing is socks.

A particularly pair of socks. I’ve had these certain socks for some time (sparing you the details, and sparing me the bad jokes). They are my lucky wading socks. They kept my toes warm on bitter days. I hand wash them and air dry them after each use – respect for many [insert time measure here] of loyal service. Now I’m getting ready for a short but much needed trip, and one sock out of the pair is missing. This is a huge fricken problem.

A lonely sock

If you find this sock’s brother, please ping me ASAP. The sock was last seen in the vicinity of a gray mid-sized Japanese-built SUV parked near the Blue River below Green Mountain Reservoir.

I must have this sock.

MG signing off (to check and recheck and re-re-check the sock drawer)

Editor’s note: your superstitious tales may be welcome relief, but the other sock in my mail box by Thursday eve would be even better.

Old Simms waders protect the family jewels

Last year around this time I found myself wading with a stub of a right leg, after something cut straight through my old Simms Guides near the knee. We were a hundred miles from home, but nothing was going to stop me from getting skunked that day.

Simms Waders Protect JewelsThen, a few days back I found the stars aligned, and wanting to get into an area that is sketchy on foot when the flows are running normal (i.e. it was at historic lows). Having roped some sucker into this game we proceeded down, but somewhere along the way I lost my footing (a common occurrence for me), and quickly ditched my rod and net for a belly-side sled ride – it was a yard sale for sure. Yea…I’ll admit I was a little ‘winded’ (a macho term for shit scared) after the fun, and quickly noticed that both knees on the waders were torn through the first layer.

Nevertheless, we wound up on the water, and actually got into some nice fish as a consolation prize. The water was extremely clear and low (much as we’d expected) and flashback pheasant tails, white discos, and buckskins ruled the day. It was a lot of sight fishing (no complaints here), and while bouncing bugs off fish’s noses I wound up ‘chatting’ (a politically correct term for cussing) with at the fish – my buddy must have thought I’d hit my head during the fall. Thankfully several rainbows and cutts complied with my orders kind requests to eat.

It wasn’t until a dinner time gathering that I noted I’d slid twenty feet down the icy trail. My buddy said “twenty feet my ass…you were twenty feet above me before I saw you whiz by, and you didn’t stop until you were twenty feet BELOW me – I thought you were going over the edge.” I’d spent the whole day with scraped/numb finger tips, which made tying 5x blood knots slightly more difficult, but I now knew said hands could also double as worthy ice picks should the need arise.

After the tasty grub I headed home to begin some much needed repairs on those wader’s knees (translation: pour a tube of AquaSeal on them), and it was then that I noticed that the waders had incurred more damage than I’d previously thought. Due to the low flows, we’d never found ourselves waist deep, and that, it turns out, was a good thing indeed – the waders had also been cut completely through where it really (REALLY) counts.

The moral of the story: the family jewels were unscathed. And I’ve got these ten-year old Simms gems to thank for it!

Editor’s note: A few weeks back I became the happy recipient of a fine new set of waders, but I’ve been reluctant to pull them out of the box as yet. I’ve been saying these old Simms are being re-purposed for brown water duty, while my buddy’s wife, being the superstitious type, thinks they are begging for full retirement. The cards are still coming up with muddled messages, but one thing is certain: I’m the only fly fisher on the planet that needs a jock-n-cup to go along with the helmet.