Posts Tagged Hudson River

RUSH-ing to the River

RUSH-ing to the River . . .

A fraction of Neil Peart’s philosophical artistic output
(NYC 01 10 2020)

(for Neil E. Peart, 09 12 1952 – 01 07 2020)
My fly fishing path has been often navigated by mountain bike. Ears free and open to the sounds of the way give my interior radio a  playlist, sometimes stuck on one incessant earworm, sometimes an album I have apparently memorized down to the mix, but always, either way, in music in mind rather than reflection or reminiscing thought.
The latter may best be for the page giving room to describe. Images, personifications,  full characters may dwell in music. There is the narrator of “2112” and the postcard report from “Xanadu.” Song sounds wave to me as I depart and welcome me at the end of an expedition. The tunes in between shift and lift my mood as needed.
Power and drive help me to pedal, later to cast. There are times when only the beat of my mental stereo can coerce the thighs to reach the smooth glide on the downward slope, or over the hump to the opposite bank. Such rhythms, internalized, get set in synch with the necessary speed and intensity of the physical motion, making a kind of yoga out of the outdoor sport. This is why I always have a little or a lot of RUSH.
For its combination of power, nuance, ad road-worthy imagery, I begin my day with the friendly voice of RUSH. This Canadian trio of rock remains relevant, having been the subject of several compelling documentaries over the last decade. And there is that little big thing of the band inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
RUSH also resisted the sentimentality circuit by staying a recording and touring together outfit for 40 years plus one. Retired now, since late 2015, and now, we also now know why. Farewell to “The Professor” — lNeil Peart: percussionist, lyricist, cyclist, and philosophical traveloguer.
The outpouring publishing since his passing reveals how broad and deep the man’s audience is. The irony not stated thus far, though, may be this that I noticed — for such a private man, he did share a heaping helping of his life in hindsight. Deep details is words and still images and instructional videos. He in fact shared far more life story than his two bandmates. I find this amusing, and bet it might even be a kind of chuckle already shared in the private world of RUSH.
Fans, deep and frequent listeners like myself and several I know, can usually mention this band now without enduring the rolling eyes of opinionated cynics. There was a time during university in the 1980s when an individualist would squeeze Peart into an art party circle discussion extolling Morrissey, Dylan, Lou Reed, and Leonard Cohen. “Hey,” I would say, “Peart is Canadian like Cohen, too.” At least the Whitesnake fan gave an affirmative nod.
Legitimacy established by perseverance and the Change with a capital C upon which Neil Peart often ruminated, RUSH remain in radio rotation.

First paragraph reveals joy of opportunity for an author to in print shout out “sources” even those contemporaries of philosopher status.
Excerpt from Small Fry: The Lure of the Little
(NYC 01 2020)

My appreciation of RUSH is doubled because drummer and lyricist, Neil Peart, the band’s primary engine and eyes, is an avid cyclist and speaks to those rhythms and BPMs. He began riding an “acoustic bike” between some cities during tours in the middle of the 1980s and explored China, South America, and West Africa off the road, literally.
Motorcycling and related writings then emerged as his passion after a period spent recovering from the trauma of losing his first wife and daughter within one year in the late 1990s.
When the band together again returned in 2002, “Ghost Rider” became my summer song, the song I would even attempt to sing as I road farther and farther to find fishable water.
That season was hot and a dry one, dust in the streets of Philadelphia, and New York, borne by winds of smoke from forest fires in . . .  Canada. Irony.
More simple, less worldly, then my main concern was how I felt unrequited love living in the townhouse next door and career stagnation in my day vocation. I escaped the workplace to write, or to fish, both often and hard, cycling twenty miles back and forth to smallmouth bass and brown trout rivers I could reach by bike from the city limits of Philadelphia.
“Sunrise in the mirror lightens that invisible load” . . . just like the song penned by Peart! My life at that time emulated musical art.
Reason(s) why? Peart can paint clean landscapes even in phrases of four words or less. Another lyrical talent is his use of strong nouns of place – “white sands / canyon lands / redwood stands / barren lands” – such images can alone describe an entire seasonal narrative along the water. Each works its way specifically because of the generality (the complex conveyed by the simple). Words of rock that speak to the full sensory experience in a manner still personal to an individual listener.
And that drumming! Percussion as complex as a Spey line with a wallet of tips, yet tempered as one switched to a steelhead, or tight to a smallmouth by 5-weight or tenkara rod; a stick, of sorts, not unlike that one for the drum.
Casting a line is rhythm after all, and Neil Peart composed “Mystic Rhythms” that continue to conjure moving pictures in the mind. That alone may explain why Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart make my day’s road music.

Fly Rider:
Excerpt from Philadelphia on the Fly
(NYC 01 2020)

Rock and Ride and Write in Peace, Neil Peart
— rPs 01 14 2020
“The River” . . .

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New Beginnings, New Starts

New Beginnings, New Starts . . .

Hudson River Casting Platform (photo taken 06 22 2014)

Hudson River Casting Platform (photo taken 06 22 2014)

Summer Begins: “Schooled at Meadow and Hudson”


Sounds like the subtitle infers something happened at the intersection of two streets. Sounds of people meeting and laughing interrupted by a sporadic clunk when and where some individual gets burned, yet learns street smarts.

The tenkara party continues to grow although, for me, the fishing fly life has become the quiet sport. The pupil piscator has been schooled at Meadow (Lake) and Hudson (River).

One spring June afternoon was made available and spent under sky around the brackish Meadow Lake in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens. Stories from here, heretofore, had come conflicted between hearsay and a past issue of The New Yorker, dated August 22, 2005, which in part relayed one portrait of mi amigo, Edwin Valentin, in a quest with two other anglers for a caught, perhaps photographed, New York City snakehead on the deadline of a feature reporter.

My Snakehead Spring; I have lived through such times, too, experienced a parallel coincidence pair on a matter urban angling. I decided to inquire through my experience further. The 7 train left me a walk’s distance around the National Tennis Center and the grounds of the 1964 New York World’s Fair. The scene appeared clear, without the makeup of sunlight angle streams. The view appeared direct and in that bare way consistent under an unbroken nimbus cloud lid that did open near day’s end, eight hours later, when the sun set off in an electrum burst at the bottom of a darkening blue sky.

Nimbus Grip at Meadow Lake (photo taken 06 11 2014)

Nimbus Grip at Meadow Lake (photo taken 06 11 2014)

Windy this place remained, even after the last of the sun’s light. Barnacles encrusted a few pieces of old construction wood. These planks and a green great wall, a phragmite monopoly, walled in the water in all but a dozen tight places.

Snakehead? No, tenkara instead touched tilapia , , , one dead, a few living, seen grazing in the visible lake shallows along with carp of my favorite proportion; those the size of largemouth bass.

Yamame and Tilapia (photo taken 06 11 2014)

Yamame and Tilapia (photo taken 06 11 2014)

This is one salt lake that certainly merits more attention and shall receive more.


The commercial fly life remains brisk. That’s where the block party has been going down. Tippet material, especially 6X, sells daily. I feel the standard tenkara 5X may be scaled down by one or two with most good fish played to satisfaction. Time and fish are all the necessities required to test such lines.

Two bright Sunday morning hours on the second day of summer did present a sole challenge within the wide, swift, Hudson River near Lake George.

A recalcitrant trio of brook, rainbow, and brown, this being one of the few areas in New York that possesses the potential for all three species netted on a given outing, felt near. A few glimpses of shadows defying current snaked under my sight. Was that first hang-up of a Peacock Herl Prince, the snag concluded below the water, near the cobblestone, without an explanation, actually a quick head snap of 6X under a trout take? The loose point of tippet returned clean snipped.

I did find the wading worthy enough for a staff. Without one, I somewhat stumbled up through a loose boulder garden. Plenty of slots and seams presented more prime soft hackle water than the time I had allotted to me. My best gave a few opportunities to hold the stick, high behind a granite monolith’s teardrop holding trout station, long enough for a short series of photos.

Bright Grip on the Hudson (photo taken 06 22 2014)

Bright Grip on the Hudson (photo taken 06 22 2014)

July Starts. “Tenkara Cameo”

Tenkara queries attract like minds. My July has been peppered with conversation several times a week with new faces on topics tenkara. Kebari practice remains close to the vise. There is time enough for deer hair and thread and the occasional bird feather. Peacock Herl is my A decoration. The wraps of iridescence are a pleasure; I never tire from the repetition, close knitted on a wet nymph fly hook.

Beginnings, some months, like this month, bear good news in the form of good press. Mid Atlantic Fly Fishing Guide, found complimentary in fly shops I have visited, gave me good news in the form of a cover appearance and a new story – “Brooklyn on the Fly” – on the pages of the new August 2014 issue. My Tenkara USA Ebisu rod makes two photo cameo appearances.

Mid Atlantic Fly Fishing Guide (August 2014)

Mid Atlantic Fly Fishing Guide (August 2014)

– rPs 07 09 2014

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