Saturday, May 23, 2015

For All You Fly Fishers Out There

This is the article I wrote for the local paper yesterday.I think you'll find it interesting.

People used to play a game called six degrees of separation. I don’t know, maybe they still do. According to Wikipedia, six degrees of separation is the theory that everyone and everything is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world, so that a chain of “a friend of a friend” statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps.

Being a fly fisherman, in part anyway, I’ve read many books about fly fishing and was even inspired to write my own book, after reading Seth Norman’s (A well-known author in the fly fishing community) book “Meanderings of a Fly Fisherman.” If you’d like a copy of my book Fishing, Ghosts, and my Mother’s Gray Hair, just email me at 

The six degrees or in this case three degrees put me three steps away from Seth Norman. Here is how it went. Yuki met Seth Norman, got a signed copy of his book and gave it to me as a present. 

Thursday the 14th Yuki was going to stop by the house and we were supposed to head up to Bear River Reservoir for a day of fishing. Following the weather guessers, they said that rain and snow down to 6000 ft. was the prediction for not only Thursday, but Friday as well. 

My new truck is not equipped for snow travel although it is a 4x4, it has those mud & snow radials that are absolutely useless in snow, so the only logical thing to do was cancel and fish another day.
Yuki, on the other hand, didn’t get my email cancellation until after he got to the house. I was gone running errands so Yuki decided to do a little river fishing on the Mokelumne off Electra Road.
Later in the day I received an email about his day. 

He said the river reminded him of the movie “A River Runs Through It.” Then he casually mentioned that he knew Norman Maclean. Casually mentions that he knew Norman Maclean.
He said that Maclean just walked into his office one day and after a while became friends. Yuki described Maclean as a short, shy, modest professor. 

Have you ever watched this movie? This is THE BEST fly fishing movie ever made. It is the “Holy Grail” of fly fishing movies. I have the CD and watch it at least three times a year. Yuki casually mentions that he knew Norman Maclean. 

Yuki was working at the University of Chicago. Norman Maclean had just retired from a teaching job in the English Department and shyly mentioned to Yuki that his novel was just published by the University of Chicago Press. This was kind of odd because of two things. One, he couldn’t find anyone to publish the book (little did they know) and two, the University of Chicago Press only published academic and cooking books. Maclean told Yuki that being a Professor in the English Department changed their policy about publishing the book. 

So, once again we have the six degrees of separation and once again it’s only three degrees, from me, to Yuki, to Norman Maclean. 

Makes me wonder who else Yuki knows. 

Who would have thunk it?


  1. You never know Mark.
    I agree it is one of the best movies I have ever seen.

  2. Now that's funny. I was born in Chicago not far from the university. Does that fit me in anywhere?

  3. Mark
    Why don't the movie industry wise up and make more movies like a River Runs Through It????

    1. I think they did with that movie "Salmon fishing in the Yemen", but in my opinion it fell far short.