20 October 2015


by Andy Weddington
Tuesday, 20 October 2015

"Many go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after." Henry David Thoreau

Troutitude: A semi-permanent refreshed state of mind achieved only by wading a trout stream wielding fly rod and paint brush. 

Last week, as has been every six months for years, my brother and I waded a trout stream wielding fly rods (he built) - 4 weights that effortlessly throw fly line - carrying only a tiny sinker, feathery strike indicator, and a barbless hook fly smaller than a small green pea - what seems a country mile. 

Beauty is fly line gracefully swishing through the crisp mountain air as if elegant cursive writing and gently laying atop ice-cold moving water. 

Then, unblinking eyes and full concentration on the strike indicator.

Sometimes it dunks. 

Sometimes a barely detectable pause in the float. 

Either indicates fish. 

Then, to set the hook.

We caught trout!

My brother, a master fly fisherman, caught a lot of trout. 

'Floating the Texas Hole'
11 x 14 in. acrylic

I caught some trout. 

Truth be told, more paintings came off my easel than trout out of my net. 

'Working Slower Water'
11 x 14 in. acrylic

At work on 'Working Slower Water'
Photo: Courtesy of my brother

But fewer fish is mere statement of fact not complaint. 

Trout are caught, momentarily admired, and then released. 

Paintings are keepers and enjoyed for life. 

'Drifting the San Juan River'
11 x 14 in. acrylic

'Drift Boat at Anchor'
11 x 14 in. acrylic

Trout and paintings - memories both. 

Paintings endure. 

Troutitude wanes. 

A booster in six months. 

Fly rod and paint brush ready. 

Condition(s) from which troutitude emerges. 

Fly fishermen know a refreshed state of mind. 

Fly fishermen who happen to paint en plein air know more. 

Among Thoreau's many I am not. 

From troutitude I suffer, I reel; happily!  

Post Script

It was our third trip without but honoring our late Dad - a master fly fisherman. He, and my brother, too, are not amongst Thoreau's many. Thanks, Dad, for teaching me to fly fish and to paint - many decades ago. Thanks, Ken. 


Unknown said...

It is obvious to me that you are not a true fisherman; you did not overstate your prowess nor your results. Refreshing to read the comments of an honest man. Keep up the great work.

Denno Dog said...

Is that a bottle of "Vinotude" peering out from your bag in the bottom picture? lol

A Colonel of Truth said...

Actually, not vino but a plastic bottle that originally was filled with sparkling water now holding tap water for painting.

Unknown said...

Still working
Attempting watercolors (learning)
Enjoying hunting never harvesting (deer)
Of the latter two, they bring me respite.

I dare to try acrylics at a later time.

Semper fi

A Colonel of Truth said...

Acrylics are much more forgiving than transparent watercolors (the most challenging of mediums). But whatever medium, paint boldly - with confidence.