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Grays Best

Angling
My Life as a Dog

Lie down with arctic char and get up with hip dysplasia.
by James R. Babb
From the November/December 2008 issue.

After the usual uneventful flight from Montreal, we left Kuujjuaq, Nunavik, in a low-flying Air Inuit Twin Otter containing an assortment of middle-aged humanity serenely observing the scenery and three young bird dogs frantic to hang their heads out the windows and inhale it.

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Blackberry Winter

Return with us once again to those thrilling days of yesteryear.
by James R. Babb
from the May/June 2008 issue

Every time I buy a Tennessee fishing license, and the lady behind the counter asks Resident or Nonresident, I always say Resident, followed quickly by Wait, No, I mean Nonresident. This even though I left East Tennessee behind at 17 and haven’t been back more than a dozen times in the intervening four decades.

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Sailors Take Warning

Out there beyond the Weather Channel, it’s just you, your ancestors, and their poetry.
by James R. Babb 


Peer up the paternal stem of my family tree, and before the résumés vanish in the mists of time you’ll see a policeman, two masons, four farmers, two “planters,” a fishing master and three sea captains. Beyond a last name and a Y chromosome, they share one thing common to most of our ancestors: outdoors occupations ruled by weather.

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Treasures of the Sierra Madre

Senko? We don’t need no stinking Senkos!
by James R. Babb

To twist a pivotal passage from a favorite movie, Largemouth bass are a very devilish sort of thing. You start out, you want a 20 pounder. After days of sweating yourself dizzy you finally come down to 15 pounds, then 10. Finally you say, “Lord, just let me land a couple of eight pounders and I’ll never ask for anything more the rest of my life.” 

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