Terry Drinkwine Outdoors!

Fly Fishing, Grouse Hunting and Fine Bird Dogs Spoken Here!

Category Archives: Tongue ‘n Cheek

If you’ve read the book, you’re an expert!

Someone recently told me, “Don’t ever tell someone there’s nothing you can do for them; you can always do something.”

I suppose that’s a true statement ….if you’re a priest; someone whose job it is get into your pocket by selling you something; or someone so far removed from reality that their ego has them believing they can be all things to all people. The rub, of course, is, the proof is in the showing.

I recall a man – he seemed like a fairly intelligent fellow – who walked into a fly shop wanting the latest and greatest “stuff” so he could catch a trout on a fly …and he said he’s willing to put himself in the hands of the salesman. Well, the salesman, who thought of himself as knowing all there was to know about fly fishing, was delighted to be of assistance. So after selling the man the latest rod, reel and line on the market, a dozen each of a dozen patterns, the latest innovations in fly boxes, new tippet material, a vest to hold it all, and an app so he could instantly check if he was doing it right, the man spent $1500, thanked the salesman and walked out with his “stuff.”

Sometime later, the man came back to the shop and complained to the salesman that despite his latest and greatest “stuff,” he hadn’t caught anymore or any bigger fish than he did with his old outfit. In fact, he became so upset with the app, he threw his phone into the river in frustration.

The salesman listened to the man’s story, sympathized and told him he needed a see-thru waterproof case for his new phone that had a clip so he could hang it from his vest. And, just to cover all bases, he should probably take another dozen each of another dozen patterns …and asked if he needed a bigger fly box to put them in.

Before the man left, he asked the salesman if he fly fished, where he fished, and did he enjoy it? The salesman said, “No, I don’t fish at all, I like to bowl. But I read a book and can tell you anything you want to know.”


Category Archives: Tongue ‘n Cheek

Just Following Instructions!

 ….and went over to the local Sporting Goods Shop to get a small 9 mm for home protection.
 When I was ready to pay for the gun and bullets, the cashier said, “Strip down, facing me.”
 Making a mental note to complain to the NRA about the gun control wackos running amok, I did just as she had instructed.
 When the hysterical shrieking and alarms finally subsided, I found out she was referring to how I should place my Credit Card in the card reader!!
 They need to make their instructions to senior citizens a little clearer.

Category Archives: Tongue ‘n Cheek

A gift for Santa!


Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house,

Not a creature was stirring, except a brown mouse;

Santa had been there and saw what he saw,

A little brown creature with a little white paw;

He needed a pattern for to catch the brown trout,

So he struck up a deal with the little brown sprout;

For a warm place to settle and a crumb of soft cheese,

He became the new model for a pattern to please;IMG_4275-1024x768

With thread and bobbin, and deer hair he spun,

To make up a tidbit sure to give fun;

And filling his fly box with a dozen or two,

He took the mouse home before anyone knew;

With fly vest and bamboo and flies of all kinds;

He headed upstream, wishing all, tight lines!

Merry Christmas!



Category Archives: Tongue ‘n Cheek

Curmudgeon …and liking it!

I’ve been getting grumpier lately …if that’s possible. I haven’t been what you’d call “happy go lucky” for years and I’m more apt to scowl than smile. I’m not mean, but I don’t easily “feel your pain” either. I stopped taking newspapers, mostly because the integrity seems to have gone with the advent of the internet and opinions shout out, “common sense is dead.”

I’ve cancelled cable and bought a Smart TV and an HD antenna to get the standard channels and I’m seriously considering doing without those because of all of the commercials – out of an hour’s program they take up almost 15 minutes or more. The only programs worth watching are on PBS.

The internet is still a must-have because it’s taken the place of mail and is fast becoming the only way to access your financial accounts without running into some kind of fee, and is necessary to watch programs on NETFLIX that provide European style entertainment – shows that don’t insult your intelligence and don’t take place on one set, instead they rely on dialogue to entertain.

Now, before anyone thinks I’m going to stick my head in an oven or walk in front of a train, let me assure you I get too much joy out of making others shake their heads at my rumblings and ravings.

There is a benefit that comes from being a curmudgeon: people think twice before they talk to you like you’re an idiot …they still think you’re an idiot, they just don’t want to hear your response.

What all this does, is, it frees up your mind to concentrate on what matters: like planning for trout trips next spring and summer and tying flies in preparation.

Hey, this self-imposed hermit lifestyle isn’t bad. If your bird dog can stand you, what else do you need?

Ooops, have to go now, “She Who Must Be Obeyed” just yelled upstairs that supper was ready …can’t give up everything.




Category Archives: Tongue ‘n Cheek

There is no such thing as a stupid question …unless you ask one.

Our whole lives we’ve been lied to beginning with the declaration, “There is no such thing as a stupid question,” and followed by, “People care about what you think.”

Case in point:


I was trying out a new 3 wt LL Bean Pocket Water rod on the lower Jordan with good results in part because the little rod performed like the longer 5 wt I normally use. The little rod – light and somewhat limber – had plenty of back-bone and put out a tight loop at 25 yards.

Casting dry flies on matching line, the rod let the fly settle softly on the water thanks to a hand-tied leader that tapered down to a 6x tippet. There were strikes, misses and several browns in the 10 to 12 inch class that put the rod through its paces and a smile on this piscators face.

Suddenly, a voice boomed, “Are you fishing?”

I turned to see a man standing between two cedars holding on to one as he leaned his body out over the bank to get a better view of where I was casting. “Yes, I am,” I said back chuckling the words.

“Are you catching anything?”

“A few,” I answered as I lifted the rod and found resistance.

“Don’t horse him, let the rod do the work,” came back in a louder voice.

I didn’t say a thing, I just brought the brown to net; admired him and released him,.

“What’s the point of going fishing if you throw them back?” he asked. “I wouldn’t waste my time going through all those gyrations you’re going through just to hook a chub and then throw him back. Want me to tell you how to catch bigger fish?”

I did all he could to keep my voice at a normal tone and asked him if he had any more questions about what I was doing and why, and if not, although I really appreciated his thoughts and advice, it was time for me to leave. With that I reeled in, cut the fly from the tippet and put it on my headband. I made my way to the bank and climbed out. My head shaking, I walked through the woods back to the car where “two fingers” of bourbon was waiting …today I might make it four.



Category Archives: Tongue ‘n Cheek

If you’re married, you know what I mean.

Every so often I have what are best described as brain farts – sounds crude but as you’ll see, accurate. “She Who Must Be Obeyed” and I have been married for almost 46 years, and those with similar numbers know what I’m going to say is true.

First off, aside from the natural laps into forgetfulness, time and repetition have a way of taking trumping thought when it comes to doing, especially what you’re used to doing. So when friends – younger friends (most are) – tell me they have to put going fishing off because of a “honey do” list, my first instinct is to scoff. And without thinking I keep up with my plans, chuckling at those with little or no control over their household. But like the bear chasing you, eventually things catch up.DSC_0274

Trips to the cabin have been sparse this year for one reason or another and shorter in duration. Chores have gotten left behind and unnoticed by me …but not by “She Who Must Be Obeyed.”

This last trip had me raking leaves (blowing, actually) that I should have gotten rid of last fall. But fall is when Seamus and I chase bonasa umbellus up and down the banks of the Jordan and in lots across Antrim and Kalkaska counties. In short, the leaves, which are numerous due to the many maple trees, cover the open spaces around the cabin, making it look rather dismal, especially when the branches are empty.

I should have expected this, because for the last two weeks, there have been dozens of references to “She Who Must Be Obeyed” wanting to work on her flower garden, but the leaves are an impediment. Finally, I got the hint and fishing the Hendrickson hatch would have to wait.

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but it isn’t that an old dog can’t learn new tricks, he’s just so set in his ways that it never occurs to him to try anything new.

So now I have this ringing in my ears because I was too dumb to wear earmuffs when running the blower, my fingers ache and are tight and I’m tired.

Long story short; the leaves are raked; the flower garden is in and maybe I can sneak an hour or two to fish for brookies before we head home.

Seamus is the victim in all of this, he’s never been cooped up in the cabin for so long without being let run and go exploring, and he lets me know every time our eyes meet.




Category Archives: Tongue ‘n Cheek

Give me a call when the bite is on!

This social media is great. I mean, think about it, you used to have to wait until you got to a fishing location to hear from the guy in the fly shop, “Man you should have been here yesterday …or better yet, last week.” Now, with the advent of instant communication, you can get facebooked, twitted, (tweeted?) or emailed the latest conditions. 20140505_134901

Not only are the fishing reports water specific, but most notifications come complete with a person holding a fish so far in front of them, they look like a Ripley’s Believe it or Not candidate. Of course, most of those in the picture are guides …go figure.

So those just waiting for the word, jump in the fish car – which is already packed – and head to where the stars are aligned just right and the piscatorial Gods are smiling.

Of course, the trip involves travel time, so don’t be too surprised when the guy in the fly shop tells you, “You should have been here an hour ago, man were they hitting,”

Gotta go now, the Jeep’s running.


Category Archives: Tongue ‘n Cheek

“I got you, you silly wabbit!”



“Hey Doc, can it wait until tomorrow, I’m delivering eggs with my cousin today?”


See comment:

Category Archives: Tongue ‘n Cheek

There’s no substitute for bacon.

We all suffer frustration when things that seem common every day affairs don’t automatically happen. In fact, we’re so set in out ways, we don’t even notice they’re missing until we’re well into what took their place. Take Seamus. 3579450969_76c8c26b26_z

Every morning, whether at home or at the cabin, Seamus goes through gyrations until he gets to share my bacon. He just automatically assumes every plate or bowl I eat from while sitting in a chair catching up on the computer in my bathrobe, has at least two pieces of bacon, which he gets a piece of. This morning, “She Who Must Be Obeyed” dropped a bombshell. “We’re out of bacon,” she said.

Seamus heard this but it apparently didn’t register because he kept up his morning ritual of waiting in the kitchen for someone to fix something on the stove. Finally, “She Who Must Be Obeyed” came in with a plate of scrambled eggs with bacon bits from a bag and Seamus was there right on cue waiting for me to eat several rashes of bacon and share.

I ate the eggs and leaving a few morsels, I held the plate in front of him and let him lick the morsels, which he did with gusto. Finally, getting a taste of bacon, he was confused but seemed to know there wouldn’t be any more coming.

Long story short: he ate his dog good, came back into the living room, picked a spot where he could keep an eye on me and did his best to make me feel guilty.

I was going to make a comment to “She Who Must Be Obeyed” about not having any bacon, but as I looked at Seamus, there wasn’t room in the corner where he was laying.

We’re off to the store.


Category Archives: Tongue ‘n Cheek

A deposit on fly rods ….hmmm, might be a good idea.

There ought to be a deposit on fly rods. There is a deposit on bottles, cans, propane bottles for the grill and countless other stuff, why not on fly rods?011

Every sporting goods store or fly shop has a wall or rack of rods; different manufacturers, each in weights from 1 – 12 or higher. They have different flex designations – some numerical, others designated by definition.

The point is, the difference between rods, so we’re told, is the type of fish it’s designed to be used for (mostly by size or weight of the species). And there is no one size fits all …at least not designated by the manufacturers. So, like golf clubs, the accumulation continues. You probably can’t get off the tee any better, but at least you have the latest and greatest driver with the new and improved head and shaft.

Before I go further, let me say, I own one or two fly rods (ok, maybe a couple more) and some haven’t seen the light of day, let alone flexed in a trout stream, in years.

So, back to the point: if there was a deposit on the rod, it could be cashed in, resold by the shop where you’re going to buy the next rod because you just came into a couple of bucks and …well, you’re in a fly shop.

Think about it.



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