The Casting Pools & Angler's Lodge

04/01/07 - posted by jb

I recalled it from a single childhood visit; years ago, worlds away. Green swimming pools with hoola-hoops and I never went back. Until yesterday.

Shortcake and I celebrated our first anniversary in the City and, with blue sky for as far as the eye could see, we had little choice but to go to the park and see the cherry blossoms at the Japanese Tea Garden. We left the den of Zen and headed for Angler's Lodge, near where the buffalo roam, and stepped into a lost world now made familiar by my 10-year efforts to fly fish. I say "effort" because when it is done correctly, flycasting is effortless and the most graceful dance I have ever witnessed. Line and form, energy and space, air and water...the elements of all life, creating and connecting forces that can carry you up a stream to a higher place.

If you have ever wanted to see poetry in motion and step back into a time and place that is Montana of the Mind, go visit Angler's Lodge and the casting pools. Don't be shy. I was photographing a spey caster shooting line well over 100 feet when I struck up a conversation with Willie. Within minutes he handed me his personalized Sage rod (this is like a stranger tossing you the keys to their Ferrari) and began teaching me to double-haul cast. Ironically, I was to take a class on this very subject today and had to bag it due to a priority commitment. But as the Zen masters tell us "when the student is ready, the teacher appears."

Visit their website or better, go talk with Willie or Gunnard and watch these gentlemen wave and weave kinetic art in and around the water. You will be hooked!

The Western Neighborhoods Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.