Went out yesterday--April 29th--with the Rodfather to look for morels. This is the sum of our efforts, one mushroom. My allergies nearly killed me. The Rodfather says it's still too early. Frequently he stooped and thrust his finger into the soil to check the moisture and the temperature. He can tell--within one or two degrees--the exact tempt of the earth. He said we're at 48, or 49 degrees. We need to reach 50, 51 to see the morels pop. Below, you'll see him doing his thing. It looks silly--especially the dandelion moo-moo he wore yesterday--but his methods are sound. Last year he collected over 1,000 morels.
My favorite brewery, Horse and Dragon, became famous this weekend. Sunday, I went in to fill up on their Sad Panda Stout only to discover the place swamped. It had the same carnival atmosphere of the other Fort Collins breweries, Odell's and New Belgium. There were thirty-year-olds wearing wicker hats and talking openly and hopefully about Rand Paul. A guy brought his own goat cheese and was sharing it, going on and on about the free market as he served his grassy product. Hipsters have discovered H&D, and now it's only a matter of time until someone shoots a short film there. It's over, baby.
What do I know about beer? That's a fair question. I did a tour of Belgium and The Netherlands and went several times to one of the world's six Trappist breweries. Last year, I completed a brutal tour of Germany, complete with many beer-centric events. I've had the worst, and the best. Horse and Dragon was incredible. Their dark beers were much talked about. But with fame comes a price to pay. Pretty soon the place will be overrun with children. The crowd with be decidedly white, and monied. Some moron will set up the game Corn Hole, just outside, by the gate. And that will spell the end of a once unique and somewhat obscure brewery where magic was still possible.
I was honored to have my latest essay, "All Us Clerks", published in the Fly Fish Journal. They are a glossy out of Bellingham, WA. Their photos are stunning. My essay is about when I worked in a fly shop in Laramie, WY. I was a part-time instructor at the university there, and a full-time trout bum whenever I got the chance. You can pick up a copy at Barnes & Noble, Powells, and specialty fly shops.
The Rodfather and I went out for mushrooms this Sunday. We didn't find a thing, but a deer skull and a few turkey feathers. The Rodfather, hung-over and a bit confused, stooped down several times to test the soil temperature and moisture. He tasted the dirt. He says we're still a few weeks away from shrooms. My sources in Iowa and Kansas are reporting findings of small, golden morels. I'm going to go back in a few weeks. Meanwhile, we are hoping for some rain.
Vlad DeVoogd of Casper, WY caught this brown trout by accident in the canyon section of Pathfinder this weekend. We were catching fish to eat, not releasing any. It was one of those days where the least experienced fisherman, Thom, caught all of this fish. The best fisherman--the author of this post--did not even get a bite. We were casting crankbaits and using worm harnesses. Vlad caught one brown, one rainbow, and one pure Snake River Cutt. These were all big trout, good eaters. This times of year, I stay away from the Platte River during the weekends. The Coloradans and the guides have it pretty much covered. Vlad served his trout with cabbage and vodka.