Fly fishing Saranac lake — Winslow Homer

by on February 19, 2016 at 2:28 am in The Arts | Permalink

1 prior_test February 19, 2016 at 2:50 am
2 anon February 19, 2016 at 8:44 am

To tie this a bit to the present, women and children are advised to “DON’T EAT” such a nice trout, if you could find it. Mercury.

3 chuck martel February 19, 2016 at 9:13 am

Hardly any black people fishing on Saranac Lake and the tradition of fly-tying is slowly disappearing from the African-American community.

4 Nathan W February 19, 2016 at 4:57 am

Tyler suggests that I leave too many posts (I know there are a lot) and that I am “dominating discussion”. Since I learn quite a lot from people of different perspectives here, I would appreciate the view of some other commenters of my frequent posting, and whether I should refrain from engaging with so many different commenters in the goal of not “dominating” discussion. I offer the following defense of my frequent posting.

A pretty decent share of the commentariat has strong ideological predispositions against any and everything related to public sector activities, with the exception of various security services. Also, many of them have strongly entrenched views against non-white peoples and many other groups of lower status. This leads to very numerous points of agreement between myself and other commenters, sometimes leading to myself needing to revise my position, sometimes the same on the other side, and at the least, I believe promotes better mutual understanding of perspectives (except for those who prefer the strawman or insult approach to anything they disagree with).

I believe that my moderate views (I get ripped to shreds on both right and left wing outlets, for all the predictable reasons) contribute to balance. Were I to restrict myself to just one or two comments per post, I would only get to present the moderate perspective and then observe it get ripped to shreds, with the occasional word of agreement.

It’s not like I’m spamming the blog or pushing any sort of identifiable ideological (I`m fiscally fairly conservative but socially liberal) or partisan (all I really care is that you guys don’t elect someone who will start WWIII) agenda. I DO believe that I am positively contributing to the quality of the discussion. Without considering that a lot of you plainly disagree with my perspectives, I respectfully ask “Is my frequent participation negatively affecting the quality of discourse?”

5 Baphomet February 19, 2016 at 7:17 am

Could you give an example of something you have posted?

6 Heorogar February 19, 2016 at 7:32 am

Like the name: Baphomet. Good one.

7 Nathan W February 19, 2016 at 1:27 pm

Hit “ctrl-F” and search “Nathan” in your browser on most posts and you’ll find a few hits.

8 The Original D February 19, 2016 at 8:02 am

You, Art Deco and especially E. Harding post way too much. I think I probably do too.

9 dan1111 February 19, 2016 at 9:05 am

Many of your comments are rapid-fire rebuttals that don’t offer much in the way of substance. Also, a lot of the comments you are responding to were not very substantive in the first place. You spend a lot of time engaging some of the worst commenters on the site, which just encourages more low-quality content.

Also, I think you get “ripped to shreds” because of the type of posts you make rather than your ideological position. While you may be moderate, the tone of most of your posts is anything but.

Your perspective would be a lot better presented in a couple of well-reasoned, level-headed comments than this sort of argumentative exchange.

10 dearieme February 19, 2016 at 9:34 am

Also you’re too wordy.

11 Nathan W February 19, 2016 at 1:49 pm

I basically just write and then post. I will edit to see how I can cut down before posting to avoid duplicity or using more words than necessary.

12 dearieme February 19, 2016 at 3:23 pm

Good Lord, I don’t accuse you of duplicity. Duplication maybe.

13 Anon February 19, 2016 at 10:46 am

….”engaging some of the worst commenters……”

Perhapsthe best way to respond to Harding is to hardly respond to him(/her).

14 Thor February 19, 2016 at 11:39 am

Remember that brevity is a virtue.

Give yourself a cooling down period of 10-20 minutes after reading a post that, uh, makes an especially strong and convincing case against something you have said.

15 Nathan W February 19, 2016 at 12:31 pm

Thank you, that is very constructive. I struggle to resist responding to comments which are essentially “you’re dumb, liar, socialist”, etc., as I dislike leaving that as the final word. But I should take your suggestion to heart.

Sorry for the sarcasm. Sometimes the quick sarcastic strawman makes the point that would take hundreds of words to explain. Perhaps using the “/sarc” convention would be better. I was surprised for a few seconds that someone would suggest I have an immoderate tone, but indeed, I think I have been drawn into some less-than-polite habits.

16 Enrique February 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

you could start your own blog

17 Nathan W February 19, 2016 at 12:32 pm

I’ve had a blog for over five years, but Tyler’s so annoyed with my posting that my comments are now blocked if I attach it. No big deal, since I’m not actually that concerned about cultivating a readership.

18 mavery February 19, 2016 at 10:05 am

I think you overrate the quality of the responses you get if you think they’re “ripping you to shreds”. The problem isn’t typically the things you post, its that you knee-jerk in response to the knee-jerk responses you get, if that makes any sense.

As someone who’s political leanings are in the same realm as the authors of this blog (and as a necessary result, much to the left of most people posting on this blog) I find it refreshing to read perspectives in the comments that don’t sound like they came from Brietbart.

Just look at the discussion on the Wilkinson article discussing the impact of a Sanders presidency (vice other candidates) on freedom in this country. Most people couldn’t get past the idea that Sanders is a dirty commie and discuss it reasonably. If anything’s frustrated me about the evolution in this blog’s readership over the past 5 (8?) years, its how few comments remain that don’t read like they came straight out to the amygdala.

19 Jeff R. February 19, 2016 at 10:41 am

I respectfully ask “Is my frequent participation negatively affecting the quality of discourse?”

If you even have to ask the question, then you already know the answer is yes.

20 Cliff February 19, 2016 at 11:50 am

This my be an aesthetic thing but I get annoyed when two or three people have long chains of short comments back and forth with no substance. You seem to have a lot of those.

Interesting that Tyler contacted you but not E.Harding. E.Harding is a problem commenter but I guess Tyler gave up or is satisfied with the reforms that he did make.

21 Nathan W February 19, 2016 at 12:34 pm

I contacted Tyler because he blocked comments where I include the link to my blog.

22 Brian Donohue February 19, 2016 at 12:41 pm

It’s like anything. If you post a lot of long comments and your content isn’t great, I’ll start skimming, then ignoring.

Offhand, I can’t think of anyone who posts long comments and is consistently good. John Thacker maybe.

I pretty much ignore anything prior says that goes beyond two lines at this point.

Shorter, pointed comments on narrow topics are better.

23 prior_test February 19, 2016 at 1:00 pm

So, you read about the fascinating history of that part of New York, as the link was just one line?

24 Nathan W February 19, 2016 at 2:12 pm

Peter Shaeffer was good, even though I disagreed with him on nearly every matter which is debatable or related to the ideological spectrum. Always lots of good points, never less than a few hundred words at a time.

25 Jack February 19, 2016 at 2:25 pm

“A pretty decent share of the commentariat has strong ideological predispositions against any and everything related to public sector activities, with the exception of various security services. Also, many of them have strongly entrenched views against non-white peoples and many other groups of lower status.”

I think you are projecting the views of some imaginary opponent onto the mass of MR commenters.

I just don’t see this.

26 Hrding February 19, 2016 at 2:28 pm


27 Nathan W February 19, 2016 at 3:08 pm

Consider two kinds of articles. 1) race related. 2) schemes for the poor.

1) Perhaps you’re a little less attuned to it, but if you identify someone which seems to be motivated by the belief that blacks are inferior (people are rarely so clear in saying so, but I assure you it is common), call them on this point (e.g., by suggesting that racism could explain that, and so could the legacy of slavery) and observe the reaction (complete denial of either explanation, which is only consistent with actually believing they are inferior). You might notice it more now.

It’s even more obvious on the open borders articles, which are stock full of people concerned about the genetic degradation of America that would follow mass immigration (they will cite some statistics about the results on standardized tests of people from countries with lower quality education systems, and assume the difference to be 100% genetic).

Since racists like to pretend that they are not racist, all the while insisting on the inferiority of other groups, I doubt they will be so kind as to prove the point right here and now.

2) Relating to welfare (lazy/incompetent), unemployment (lazy, got fired become they’re incompetent), medicaid (waste of money, but this is more rare), arts students (low status among many here) (stupid and naive people who study useless things instead of STEM) and others, you will find many arguments which are highly unsympathetic to the situation, and often any effort to highlight social factors which might contribute to the difficult situation will meet responses which reveal the entrenched views I refer to. I don’t suggest that these entrenched views have zero basis in reality, but are generally based on broad negative generalizations about groups who are not doing well in the current socio-economic environment. I’m probably more aware of it because I’m engaging with these comments.

By “pretty decent share” I don’t mean anything like 50%, definitely less than that, although I wouldn’t venture to put a number on it. Less than Fox (50%?), but more than the Globe and Mail (2-3%?) or National Post (20-30%)?.

28 John Smith February 20, 2016 at 2:51 am

I explicitly acknowledge here that I am racist, and also note that almost all humans are racists. Racism is defined as either hatred of certain races or believing that races provide useful information. The latter is almost true by definition and practiced by almost everyone.

You simply do not feel as anxious about encountering a bunch of Chinese fellows on the street late at night as you do encountering a bunch of Black fellows. Within the context of the US.

29 Nathan W February 20, 2016 at 11:49 am

“I explicitly acknowledge here that I am racist, and also note that almost all humans are racists. Racism is defined as either hatred of certain races or believing that races provide useful information. The latter is almost true by definition and practiced by almost everyone.”

You must spend a lot of time in echo chambers. I cannot fathom how else you could believe this. Around the world, which I have travelled extensively, people don’t generally hate people for their race, although hatred by association with certain governments (e.g., US government) is not uncommon. And not many people think that race provides useful information except insofar as it allows you to guess culturally defined characteristics. I will not debate the matter further in this thread though, so the last word is yours if you want it.

30 We can all love and be loved February 20, 2016 at 12:39 pm

A eugenicist white nationalist Nazi, or just an old fashioned racist? Is hate and belief in their inferiority enough for you, or do you want to go just one step further and act on it too?

Trying giving a big smile to a black man and offer to shake his hand. By the tenth time, the revulsion may begin to fade.

31 The Original D February 19, 2016 at 3:22 pm

There are comments and then there are commenters. On some posts over a third of all the comments posted will be by Art Deco and E. Harding. That’s only two people, but if someone asked me I’d say the comments (not commenters) on MR are heavily skewed toward a rightist perspective.

32 Nathan W February 20, 2016 at 12:34 pm

A lot of the more tiresomely long (and for some seemingly pointless) debates associated with lots of posts essentially amount to me defending the following types of perspective: “your “evidence” that non-white people are inferior is bunk for reason ABCDEFG”, “socialism is not synonymous with evil, and shifts to the left are not synonymous with Stalinism”, “Muslims are not ubiquitously evil and in fact are mostly decent people”, “social factors, not genetic inferiority, are likely to explain the poor performance among group X”, “there are reasons to believe that upsides to intervention X exist, without disregarding the downsides you mention”, “critiques to policy X are based on econ101 logic, and the real world is more complicated for example ABCDEFG” … that’s what crosses my mind right now.

Sorry for my difficulties in letting staunch opponents of these views have the last word. Personal responsibility is definitely important, but victim blaming, irrational hate and fear, and absolute deference to first year logic to derive solutions to global problems are things that bother me.

Also sorry that it’s not quite fair to bring it all up like this, because those who oppose these views are probably sensible enough to be aware that this is not the right (or particularly useful) time/place to get back into those debates.

33 Cav February 19, 2016 at 6:14 am

Interesting milestone. Pluralism is understandable, rooted in tribal behavior and institutionalized by Socrates. Perhaps a good question is: what is your mission? And as a follow up, what is Tyler’s?

One of the things that I appreciate about MR is that it inspires us to dig deeper, and challenge our preconceptions. In a media shrill culture, here we are prompted to see the complexities and mysteries all around us, to celebrate diversities in thought and culture; to celebrate what we have conquered, but to confront the limits of our knowledge, and errors in our models and ways. I come here expectantly, to see a new idol that needs cleaning out and to laugh to at others but also myself, and usually I come away more humbled and enlightened, less religiously impetuous and antagonistic.

Perhaps there is a noble ambition to bring together a diverse group, not to make us more homogenous, but to make us richer in mind and more collaborative in spirit. Socratic dialogue is a hammer, and there are only so many nails required in any given week, for any given post.

34 Heorogar February 19, 2016 at 7:39 am

Nice picture!

Two consecutive years, my son and I (fiberglass) canoed/portaged from Long Lake, up Raquette R., across Sand Ponds and through Upper Saranac Lake. That was almost 30 years ago.

The boat pictured is an Adirondacks guide boat, reputedly a good craft for Adk rivers and lakes. There can arise strong winds in Adirondack Summer afternoons.

35 dearieme February 19, 2016 at 9:36 am

It’s a pity it’s not pictured so I can decide whether it’s intended to be clinker-built or carvel-built.

36 Vivian Darkbloom February 19, 2016 at 7:50 am

For a nice description and a bit of history.

37 Bertollo February 19, 2016 at 8:20 am

Fly fishing the Adirondacks is a beautiful way to spend time.

I spent a lot of years fishing Blue Mountain Lake and Eagle Lake from my father’s guide boat, and to me it was the best kind of fishing – sight casting to smallies all day, water as clear and deep as could be, and stone-simple flies (olive-on-black woolly buggers and grey-on-white Clousers). The kind of thing that is just good for your soul.

Blue Mountain Lake isn’t the best fishery in the area, but the scenery always made up for it to me and you can always at a go find rock bass to bend a five- or six-weight, if all else fails.

38 Hazel Meade February 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

What do you need BOTH a net and a fishing pole for? Seems like they would get in the way of each other.

39 Bertollo February 19, 2016 at 10:29 am

Fly rods, especially in lighter line weights, are large shock absorbers that bend a LOT. Fish that you could simply lift out of the water with a bass rod can and will break a fly rod if they are heavy enough. I’ve broken a couple of old six-weight fiberglass rods at the ferrule doing this, and that was catching panfish. Lesson learned – good new fly rods are hundreds, so this is a costly error. I think my Falcon casting rod was $125, by way of comparison.

You bring the fish to your boat and then net them.

40 Rodney Chun February 19, 2016 at 11:29 am

I’ve heard that fly fishing is the sport of central bankers and economists. Is this true? If so, why?

— signed a fly fishing economist.

41 Thor February 19, 2016 at 11:48 am

I have friends who fly fish; they are neither bankers nor economists. However, it has been a status activity, it does require a certain skill set — without also needing, say, the fitness level of endurance running or biking — and it costs time and money. The equipment is also very expensive, if you get the good stuff. (Though if you know what you are doing, you can fly fish for under a couple of hundred. I am sitting at my desk looking at a reel my dad gave me when I was a kid. Cost $17 bucks, and it’s reasonably light with a smooth enough action.)

A friend of mine was an avid outdoorsman in the 70s when he was a young man. He did some guiding. He was asked by his businessman father to guide a client from Japan. So in 1976, this Japanese fellow got to fish some remote lakes and catch some lovely trout. As a gift he gave my friend a $1200 reel (70s dollars).

42 Ray Lopez February 19, 2016 at 11:55 am

A good short book on fishing is by Robert Hughes, “A Jerk on One End: Reflections of a Mediocre Fisherman”, the title is a reference to the joke about fishing being a jerk on one end waiting for a jerk on the other.

Also in Germany (as Hughes points out) you must eat what you catch (assuming it’s within the legal limit) or else you’re considered a wussy. Wussy. That’s a 70s word, don’t even know what it means, I think “sissy”.

43 Bertollo February 19, 2016 at 12:14 pm

It doesn’t have to be. A basic setup is less than an everyman’s deer rifle if done correctly.

The air (or pretense) of gentility comes over from Walton in my experience. Fly fishing guides aren’t investment bankers, just like wingshooting instructors aren’t investment bankers. The experts are experts because that’s all they do. Their clients with lots of disposable income and an eye toward social status are a somewhat different story.

Lefty Kreh is the archetypal fly fishing expert to my mind, and he’s as salt-of-the-earth as they come. He just doesn’t represent the bulk of the dollars being spent (he probably does represent the bulk of the expertise-holders though).

44 rayward February 19, 2016 at 3:24 pm

Of course, Lefty is known for salt water fly fishing. His book (with Mark Sosin) on knots is essential for any fly fisher (we are “fishers” not fishermen). Here’s my take on the appeal of fly fishing: it clears the mind. When fly fishing, it takes total concentration, on the conditions, the hatch, the surroundings, the presentation of the fly. For those with stressful occupations, fly fishing is a way to clear the mind. I haven’t fished in Colorado or Montana in almost ten years and my father in law died over ten years ago (he provided my access to one of the greatest eastern streams), so I am pretty much limited to salt water fly fishing in my low country home (for spot tails). I never liked to fish from a boat, even on the Bighorn or in the Bay, preferring instead to put my feet in the water. Funny story: I caught my first spot tail with a fly rod while in a kayak. I still laugh about that fish dragging my boat up and down the creek like I was on a surf board.

45 Linda February 22, 2016 at 2:16 pm

Fly fishing in Saranac Lake. Been doing that for years (well a few miles outside Saranac Lake). Now Albert Einstein was famous for fishing up there and often had no idea what he was doing.

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