Storm

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     The clouds were dun colored, and starting to gather themselves for a ruckus. The logging trail down to the river had taken an abrupt turn up-slope, then flattened itself out against a bus-sized outcropping of gray-green stone. Lichens and moss covered the pockmarked surface of the rock, turning it into an old man’s stubbly face. As I approached the giant stone, I saw at its base where it had calved, forming a shallow cave. A good place to take shelter from the coming rain. The thunderhead was now compacting itself, hunching its shoulders, ready to deliver.      The autumn air was becoming palpable, and dense. I unslung the day pack and set it upright against the wall of the small cave. From the pack, I removed the small gas burner, the two cup...

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Something Old, Something New: A First-time Fly Fishing Experience...

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     “That stuff is for the birds, man,” Jerry Alfonso said to me when I first mentioned the idea of fly fishing a few years ago. Jerry is one of the old-timers from Delacroix Island that taught me how to catch redfish. For Jerry, the idea of casting a bundle of feathers back and forth was somehow ludicrous enough to be left only for men in fancy vests and silly hats. Even worse was the idea that they didn’t keep the fish they caught, as most fly fisherman practice catch and release.      Jerry grew up on the bayou and could tell a good fishing spot by simply glancing it over. His method for catching the fish was foolproof: Put a fresh shrimp on a hook and suspend it under a cork. When the...

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