FLYFISHING When I am not teaching or engaged in research, I am usually found eiher flyfishing or out in my studio/woodshop. I have fished for as long as I can recall. When I was ten years old I began saving my allowance (35 cents/week) and collecting bottles for the deposit. I bought a flyrod, reel, and line from LLBean for $15. I recall setting up a basket on the lawn and practicing my flycasting. More recently I started building my own flyrods and tying my own flies. I am blessed that the Dog River, one of the premier trout streams in Vermont flows through Norwich’s campus.
About 15 years ago I became addicted to flyfishing is salt water. I am a member of the Striperheads, a group of folks that get together at least once a year to flyfish Cape Cod for striped bass and bluefish. We camp at Nickerson State Park and fish the “elbow” of Cape Cod. We wade the surf in search of cruising stripers or wade out Brewster Flats at low tide where the falling tide concentrates the fish.
Painting. I started carving fish and duck decoys about 10 years ago. I realized that I was spending more time painting the carvings than carving them. Using the same acryilic paints I took a canvas and painted a winter landscape. It gave me a great deal of satisfaction to be able to make my hands do what I was seeing. I never thought of myself as and artist and still do not, however, nothing comes without practice and I do believe over the past five years I have improved. Kathrena Ravenhorst Adams gave me a watercolor lesson and showed me some watercolor basics. I spent a winter doing nothing but watercolors and really enjoy that medium. Pen and ink is fun. I cheat and do the sketch in pencil first then put the ink on. Sometimes I will put a watercolor was atop the final sketch.
GOLDPANNING. Vermont is not known as a gold producing region but it has had a mini-gold rush in the Plymouth area. There is placer gold in most all the streams of the state. As the glaciers moved south over the state they brought with them large amounts of gravel bearing gold. The gold is much heavier than any other minerals and drops into pockets. During the summer, when my garden is in shape and the lawns are all mowed, I will take my gold pan out to some of the local brooks and pan gold. It is a wonder way to cool off and enjoy the quietness of the Vermont countryside. My current “dig” is a series of small ledges that were covered with gravel. The gold has settled down until it reached the solid rock and was trapped there. Nearly every pan of gravel I take down will yield one or more small pieces of gold. We are talking small! I did find one piece that was the size of a grain of rice.