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Showing posts from 2020

Mountain Bridge

When searching for trout in these southern mountains, the ability to navigate your way through laurel slicks and over slippery boulders the size of Volkswagens is just as important as your angling skills. The farther you find yourself from a paved road, the more aware you become of potential danger: a broken leg, head trauma,  a nasty cut across your forearm, with massive blood loss, or God forbid, the bite from a timber rattler. Somehow, though, the desire to find and catch just one more fish is far greater than any sense of self-preservation. 
Maybe it's the eerie silence surrounding you each time you stop to get your bearings that causes you to keep pushing on. The white noise of fast flowing water over the backs of moss-covered rocks is calming, yet unnerving at the same time. The idea that you're not the only living creature in this deep cove keeps you looking back over your shoulder as the mountains close in all around.
The cold headwaters of the Middle Saluda, rising up f…

Wildcat Creek Journal: Selected Stories and Prose

My book, based upon the posts on this page, is now available on Amazon. Thanks for reading my posts, and check out the book if you have the chance. Don't forget to leave a review on Amazon once you've read the book. It will help my rankings tremendously if you do. I appreciate your readership. New content coming in the days to come.Right now, I am working on material for my next book, some of which I will be sharing on this blog. Thanks, Josh Lanier Here is the link: Wildcat Creek Journal: Selected Stories and Prose

Wildcat Creek Journal: Selected Stories and Prose

My new book is out on kindle! Purchase your copy here and leave me a review. Paperback will be released soon. I'll update when it is released. Link to order below: Wildcat Creek Journal: Selected Stories and Prose

Walking: Finding the Right Path

Sometimes late in the evening, the mood hits me, and I grab my hat and walking staff and head off in whatever direction I so choose. I do some of my best writing as I walk, because there is always something new, undiscovered, waiting just around the next bend, no matter how many times I have taken that same path.
Lately, I have neglected to walk like I should, even when my doctor instructs me to do so. Though the kind of walking she speaks of so often is more than a mere sauntering at a slow and contemplative pace like I prefer, I understand that I need to get my heart rate up in order for the exercise to do my body any good.
As far as elevating my spirit, however, there's nothing like a nice evening walk in the summertime. Or autumn, spring, or winter for that matter. In all seasons there are so many things to see, to draw inspiration from. 
Just to get out and place my feet on solid ground, feel the earth move beneath me, improves my mental clarity, helps to relieve my stress and a…

Sustenance

For many years, I have struggled to manage my weight, get into and stay in shape, and do all the things that I need to do in order to keep myself healthy so that I can enjoy all the things in life that bring me so much joy.
When I was growing up, like many of you, I didn't have much of a choice of what I would and would not eat. At my mother's table, it was Eat it or starve: the choice is yours.
As an "adult," I pretty much have free range of whatever food I want. The problem is, though, I always go for the cheeseburger or pizza, not the fresh vegetables and lean cuts of meat.
Another issue that I face is that, for all my life, I have been an emotional eater. Yes, I eat when I'm sad or sort-of depressed, but also go overboard when I am happy, proud, embarrassed, anxious, amused, fearful, surprised, uncertain, relaxed... you get the point.
I used to really enjoy food and cooking, but now with the way things are in the world, and how busy our day to day life has become…

A Trout Stream of My Own

Late evening haze, the warm glow of sun on the surface riffles of the North Fork finds me casting a hare's ear soft hackle, mending the drift downstream, trying to keep from hanging up in the tangled arms of a half-submerged yellow poplar tree that fell sometime in the squall of late winter, strong icy winds blowing across the lower mountains, at the foot of the Blue Ridge escarpment.
There are not very many trout here, in fact, I don't know if the state DNR even stock this stream anymore like they once did. What fish I do catch here are usually good ones, though, and put up one hell of a fight to match the struggle an angler must endure to locate and catch one of these wild, holdover fish. 
This stream is moody. At times, she is as calm and lazy as a summer day, water slow as a glass of fine wine. Other times, she becomes a handful, rough and dangerous, full of pent-up rage, making it difficult for even the most skilled of waders to stand in her powerful current. The waters of …

Corner of the Yard

I had a little help with our garden today. These two young ladies like doing most anything that requires getting dirty, or allows them to play with worms, or having a chance sighting of a garden mole. This afternoon, we dug one up, and it wouldn't do until I had captured the fuzzy little bugger in my cap for further study.


We worked the soil together, me making sure nobody loses a toe or finger to the hoe, or ruins a foot with the garden claw. Safety first. We had a few disagreements over who got to use what, so I made them take turns.
We planted a few hills of squash and cucumber, some Cherokee purple tomatoes, plus bell and cayenne peppers. In another location we will plant watermelons. Hopefully some of the plants will make it to adulthood. I have a tendency to kill things. I've always had a brown thumb, except when it comes to weeds.

Now I'm sitting on the patio, resting my back and swollen knees. Getting old sucks. I never thought I'd see the day when I would have to…

Refuge

At our house, we don't watch the news anymore. All we get are snippets from social media posts, most of which only exacerbate the feelings of fear and dread of our collective psyche.
There's the occasional press conferences we will listen to, ones that directly effect our region, state, and community. We're not ignorant about what's going on across the nation, across the globe, neither are we in denial of the dire situation we face each day during this pandemic.
I told my children yesterday that we're living through a period in time that will be looked back on for centuries. Their lives, too, have been interrupted. I realize that it's my job to provide for them some sense of normalcy. We spend as much time outside as we can. 
So far, my job is holding up. Each day is a constant worry of how I would provide for my family, should I find myself without an income. 
Every one of us will be affected by this, if not by the virus itself, by the economical situation. Family…

Gearing Up For Spring Fishing

The unseasonably warm temperatures have awakened me from my hibernation a little early this year. Already, I have fish on the brain. I’m standing at the back of my Jeep, trying to solve the jigsaw puzzle of how to fit all the gear I have into the trunk, without having to throw out the jack or spare tire.The only reason I keep fishing gear in my vehicle is the off chance that I will drive by prime fishing water and want to check and see if anybody’s home. I pass by Lake Robinson and Lake Cunningham each day on my way to and from work, and often find myself taking a detour on nice days. I never know when the urge will hit me, so I need to stay prepared.I’m guilty of going a little overboard, especially when it comes to tackle. You can never have too much, I always say--and then by mid-summer, I’ve either lost or destroyed half of what I started with.This year will be different, I promise myself.After taking everything out of the trunk, I step back and assess the situation. What I need t…

Familiar Waters

Among my earliest recollections are those of Saturday mornings, fishing the small farm pond across the road with my father. We didn't have any money, so he'd pack some food in a brown sack and we'd walk the dirt road in early morning darkness. We'd sometimes fish all day, returning with a stringer or two of catfish, bass, and bluegill before supper. 
 Dad woke my brother and me one morning to fish the pond near my aunt's cabin in the mountains of Tennessee. It was still dark when Dad hooked into something akin to a naval submarine. He fought the fish as us boys looked on in excitement. But when he pulled the giant catfish through the ring of neon green slime to the bank, we were horrified at the slimy monster, and both ran up the steep bank thinking Dad had landed The Creature From the Black Lagoon. Dad laughed about that for years. 
When my son was old enough to hold a fishing rod, I would take him often to farm ponds and creek banks and tried to teach him everythi…

Very Superstitious

Bass anglers are a peculiar lot. They set the alarm extra early, grab a coffee or energy drink, and pile a trove of expensive gear into a boat or pickup, shirking all domestic responsibilities to head to the nearest water in an attempt to catch a few fish they will ultimately throw back. Anglers take time off work and spend wads of cash on equipment and lures to outsmart a fish that are known to hit beer tops and cigarette butts.
But like all tribes of people, bass anglers have their own philosophy, and are steeped in fishing lore handed down from ancient times. Passed on as well are the many superstitions held by fishermen and women for generations. It is believed that applying this esoteric knowledge will almost guarantee success on the water, if you hold your mouth right (whatever the hell that means).
Never Whistle
In this Cancel Culture we are living in, with the Me Too!movement and all, it is no longer acceptable to make rude remarks or cat-calls to women or to bass, apparently. If…