Switching Lists

It’s that time of year when we are drawn into the centrifugal force of chaos called the holidays. My to do list has been eating me alive…return one more email, do another load of laundry, call the washing machine repair guy, wash laundry by hand, get those library books back up to school, attend the holiday music performance, pay bills, find work, do the work, buy new holiday clothes for Little Chick, cheer for football, scour the BCS bowl game predictions online, starve myself to fit into this one particular party dress, ditch the starvation idea and convince myself texmex food is South Beach Diet friendly, make the Christmas gift list (another list!)….and so on and so forth.

But in a few short hours I get on a plane and I am switching lists. Time to fold up the to do list and forget about what didn’t get crossed off. And in the spirit of Thanksgiving, it’s time to make a list of all the things for which I am truly thankful this year.

Specifically, I am grateful for:

  1. the fact that my daughter is so naturally sweet and soulful
  2. my mom for writing out her pumpkin bread recipe by hand and sending me a can of pumpkin to get me started
  3. my dad for giving me the Scott G2 5 weight for my birthday and the opportunity to catch some unforgettable trout on dry flies
  4. all the fishing I was able to do this year
  5. old friends from highschoool and college
  6. new girlfriends I’ve met here in Austin
  7. best girlfriends who lure me into long lunches with champagne and wine
  8. the Professor
  9. the jukebox at The Horseshoe Lounge
  10. Willie Nelson and Cross Canadian Ragweed and Seth Walker
  11. the people at Neuva Onda for knowing my breakfast taco order by heart
  12. the fact that Carolina beat Notre Dame and I was in Chapel Hill to see it 
  13. the family who has invited me to spend Thanksgiving with them
  14. my grandmother for sending a little check to help Santa stuff the stocking
  15. all the raucous laughter
  16. anyone & everyone who reads this blog and all the new friends I’ve made through FFC
  17. this hunk of a brown trout who, for just one little moment in time, let me win

cbj mo 019

And the list goes on……

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving filled with family and friends and food and football. If you have a second to spare, break away from your to do list and help me keep this list going. What are you grateful for this year?

23 thoughts on “Switching Lists

  1. Giving Thanks To Our Future!!!!!

    The very best wishes for Thanksgiving to you — up here in the Great White North, we celebrated our Thanksgiving back in October (and lately it has been THE GREAT WHITE NORTH with snow which makes fishing for steelhead interesting to say the least — guess you really have to love fly fishing to get out on a river in a blizzard — and spend time every 4 or 5 casts getting he ice out of your guides — be thankful as well for being somwhere warm — although the fishing isn’t bad up here so I’m thankful for any time on the river). But I really like the fact you share your love for fly fishing with Little Chick — children are the future of our sport. If you’ll permit me to just add something I wrote on my own blog (I don’t want to appear to be “hijacking” this discussion, only adding to it), I believe it shows how “thankful” we should be in that regard. Here’s what I wrote:

    The FUTURE of Fly Fishing
    I’ve been thinking of ways to give back to this great activity of fly fishing, and how to maybe to make my “living” doing this (since fly fishing makes me come “alive”). One of my fellow Canucks is Ian Colin James. Ian said on a podcast (on Utah-based Fly Fish Radio) in January 2006 that we should get kids involved in fly fishing. That we need to get them out with a fly rod as the kids are our “future”. Ian spoke about getting a young guy or girl out first with a spin rod, catching fish with a fly rod on small ponds for bluegills or sunfish (for 30-45 minutes at most), and maybe even teaching them how to tie simple flies that they can catch fish on. The need is to give them success. To get them to catch the bug. That we need to get kids involved since the average fly fisher is getting older and we need to do so if this sport is to survive. Ian also spoke about keeping it simple (the K.I.S.S. principle), that the usual equipment seems so mystifying — that we should keep it basic. I’ve thought that it would be a great idea of set up a foundation for fly fishing for youth — to be able to provide free or low-cost workshops or camps to young people to get them out fly fishing — even to include families. I’m always impressed when families fly fish together — and in my case, I got my start as a fly fisher through my grandfather. The Federation of Fly Fishers has a great Junior program. And there are fly fishing badges for Boy Scouts. Even some youth fly fishing camps already. On top of all that author/artist/fly fisher Kirk Werner has created a series of children’s books around a character named Olive the Little Wooly Bugger; these books teach chilren about fly fishing as well as simple life values too. Finally I just saw that Echo has a line of fly rods for kids called Gecko, made so they can handle them properly (not just cut down adult rods either). So I think it’s important to get kids involved in what can be a “lifetime” activity. That could be the “future” of our sport.

    My point (“thanks” for indulging my rant too) is that we should be THANKFUL for all that fly fishing has to offer and we need to find a way to share this great sport with the children — it might be the most THANKFUL thing we can do!!!!

  2. “cheer football” had me thinking of you in a cheerleader’s uniform, then I realized you probably meant just cheering from the bleachers. oh well.

  3. I cant believe I have only started this blogging melarkey so late on this season.What I am grateful for though coming across sites like this one which have inspired me to do the same.
    Following on from Mikes words I have been working this year in putting a similar program on the cards for kids here in Finland and will be starting a fly-fishing school for children in the Spring of next year.Although I don’t have kids yet myself I do see the importance of getting them started from grass roots level.I don’t think the sport of fly-fishing will ever disappear but maybe the quantity of fish will decrease,And with that in mind I truly believe that not only should we teach them proper fishing etiquette (How to handle them properly as well as the reasoning behind catch and release)but also how to look after our environment a lot better than what our generation has been doing.
    Anyway have a wonderful thanks giving wherever you all are.

  4. I didn’t even know laundry could be washed by hand. Sounds like you and Little Chick have had a good year. I wonder if I should get my little monster a G2 for Christmas?
    Thankful for
    - healthy family
    - wife who would do laundry by hand if she had too
    - friends, fishing and otherwise
    - roof over our heads and jobs -that we both love- to pay for it
    - hangovers, i’d be a drunk if it weren’t fer them

    Happy Turkey Day, travel safely.

  5. -my wife…The little Redhead
    -wet Labrador Retrievers
    -dry waders
    -the scream of Hardy Perfect reels on a wild steelie run
    all the familys of present and vetern soldiers.
    -friends to fish with
    -friends to Drink with
    and most importantly (because I have had a really shitty year)what ever puts a smile on your face FFC, it(you smile)has brightend many a bad day.

    Have a great Thanksgiving, and travel safe.

  6. -my wife and family
    -the grandkids
    -the fact that we both have jobs that keeps a roof over our heads
    -the country we live in and all the freedom that comes with it
    -those that defend us
    -some free time to spend fishing
    -great sites like yours & others where we can share our love of fishing and the outdoors

    Most of all I would like to thank the politicians we elected (all parties included) that have done as much as they can to screw things up for the rest of us! I am thankful that despite all their efforts I am sure that we will survive and things will get better.

    (and that concludes the political portion of this message)

    Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!

  7. Yeah, this is a good thread on the topic of gratitude.

    I’m thankful for bright, beautiful and charming Julia Belle Webb. she turned eighteen in October, and I can recall as if it were yesterday carrying her around like a football, all swadled with her head cradled in the palm of my hand…and yes, I’ll admit I’m having a hard time giving up the ball, so she can start to run her own life.

    I’m grateful for a job that allows me to have a roof over my head, food in my belly, and a little left over to give the aforementioned Julie for her birthday.

    I’m grateful for my life. Gettin’ to be sixty three this month doesn’t mean I’m old, but it does mean that I’m movin’ in that direction. I’m not over the hill yet, but the view is gettin’ good. Friends are starting to drop off of the radar.

    I’m grateful for the fish, and the fishin’…for the trout, and also for the Bass and the Bluegill on the small lakes and farm ponds back in Kentucky that launched my fly fishing endeavors; for all the fish I’ve caught, and for the ones I have’t caught, even the Mako sharks on an eleven weight fly rod off the San Diego coast.

    I’m grateful for the friends I’ve made in my lifetime, the ones who tolerate my occasional lapses in judgment and other character defects; for the friends I haven’t seen in a long time, and the ones who invite me to Thanksgiving dinner.

    I’m grateful for all the incredible opportunities I’ve been given in my life. Most have been squandered, but I have seized a few.

    I’m grateful for most everything that everyone else here has mentioned.

    Happy Thanksgiving, and
    Regards.
    Kentucky Jim

  8. I was going to answer with just one word, “YOU!”

    But I thought it might sound like I was stalking you (again). Truth is, many of us enjoy your writing, a lot.

    Being a typical male with an ego the size of Texas, I am also grateful that MY blog got visited and commented on by one of the better writers out there on the world wide web thingie, someone who certainly has better things to do than read my blathering attempts at humor.

    Again…that would be YOU.

  9. Wow, that to do list, really hit home. By the way, it is good to return library books as they are no longer 5 cents a day I found out! My bill was so high that I’m going to avoid the library now actually except to read there. I think the 4 hour work week he said to make a not to do list and follow that one.

    Great blog and I’m thankful for my health being good and remember that all the time due to so many family illnesses. I also am so grateful for my nephews and what they’ve taught me. Thanks for this reminder.

    Deb

  10. family, friends and health.
    opportunities to pursue new dreams and to have hope.
    reconnecting with people i adore!

    and just cause it is your blog – new friends that are going to take me to the robinson river

  11. Hey lady …it is fogeeee,I mean realy fogeeeeee, and more of the same is on the horizon for the whole week…..couple of new smiles might get us thru this gray dismal week.

    Not that I’m putting any pressure on you at all, I mean geeze Thanksgiving was almost a week ago.

    Monty Montana

  12. hey, happy t-giving…i assume you finished your christmas shopping on black friday. anyway, good seeing you at the patagonia opening.

  13. Where oh,Oh were has our little girl gone?

    I’m going to tie a pork chop on her fishing vest so my dog can keep track.

    FFC…the concert was over three days ago…time to come home and entertain us with some witty humor dialog and cute smiles…..please.

    Pretty soon she going to owe us some Christmas cookies.

  14. I’ve added you to my list of Genius Fishing Scribes on my blogroll. A dubious honor, I know. Your posts resonate. Suddenly I was flashing back to driving down a back road in MT, cranking up the Cross Canadian Ragweed after a long creek fishing expedition. I hope you get on the keyboard and feed us more! Check my blog if you get a chance for my Thanksgiving post–mostly pictures of my fishing chicks, both big and little!

    Wade
    http://www.skinnymoose.com/3rs/

  15. Monty — hee hee. fair enough. I wish I had some good stories for you. I have been incredibly well-behaved lately. But I will try and drum up some good tales here before you know it

    Hope everyone is gearing up for a good holiday season!!

    ~FFC

  16. I am grateful that my children still believe in Santa and that my wife is such a good shopper.

    I am grateful that I can take one day a month all to myself to go fishing. Before children, it was one day a week…that’s the way it is.

    I am grateful that there are women who like to fish and who like to write about it. I just wish my wife was one of them women.

  17. i like the article on fishing and photo is good. i do fishing when i am on leave. funny things happen with me and my brother. no doubt we end up with big fishes but at times we see snakes hooked. fishing is great entrainment and outing with the family or lonely.

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