Name or Online Code Name: Steve Zakur
Blog URL: Sipping Emergers
1) Outdoor Activity of choice? Fly Fishing, though truth be told, standing in moving water is a strong second place. I love the fishing, don’t get me wrong, but some days (usually those days when I’m getting skunked) it’s enough just to be standing in moving water knowing there are trout out there to be caught.
2) Outdoor Mornings. Up at 5 a.m.? 6…7…8…9…Or when the sun heats up the tent and you can’t take it anymore? Wicked early. Put a kettle on for coffee. Walk down to the water (all camping revolves around rivers, if there’s no river nearby, we’re not camping there) to see if there’s an early hatch coming off. Make pancakes for the family when they finally roll out of bed.
3) Snicker Bar or Granola Bar on the trail? All of the above. During my last full day on the water I carried a Peanut Butter Cliff Bar, a huge Snickers Bar, and a bag of honey roasted peanuts. Fine dining.
4) Your Birthday is coming. What outdoor (dream) present should we all chip in to buy you this year? A 401K with a million bucks in it and full scholarships to college for the boys. Tax free money in the bank. No worries about paying for college. That allows one to live the dream.
5) Seven days in the Alaskan Wilderness or Seven days on a Tropical Beach? Alaskan Wilderness, hands down. While the beaches of the Virgin Islands have their appeal, being out on the tundra chasing Ptarmigan or wading a river chock full of brilliant, red Sockeye is something I could do on a regular basis and not grow tired of it.
6) What kind of Outdoor Store would you own? I wouldn’t. That’d make this whole thing too much like work. I might own some internet only shop, like what J. Stockard’s got going, but having a shop that’s on a river means one has to work a whole bunch when the fishing is prime. I bet those guys at J. Stockard fill all their orders at night and spent the days on the Housy.
7) Finish this sentence: When I was a little kid, I loved to go outside and... play army in the woods. It started off all innocent and such but as we grew we added BB guns, bottle rockets, and my best buddy even managed a bazooka that shot model rocket engines (highly inaccurate, always a thrill).
8 ) Do you have an Outdoor related item that is priceless to you? What is it and why? There’s nothing physical that I couldn’t do without or replace. Sure Ann’s given me some nice gifts, a 4 wt small stream rod comes to mind, that have special memories associated with them but it’s the memories that are precious, not the thing. If there’s something that’s truly priceless, it’s the time on the water whether I’m alone, with my family or with friends. More time, that’s priceless.
9) Fill in the blank. When I head outdoors I need to have_________________with me? A camera. I’m a camera nut. There are days when I spend more time thinking about the pictures I could take than the fishing. It’s not often, but it happens.
10) What’s the story behind your blog name? There was this one evening on Penn’s Creek. It was late spring. For a couple of years my buddy Ross and I would drive out to there and camp on the river and fish. This particular year he was in Iraq so I went with another friend. It was good time though Ross was missed. There was this one pool that we always fished late in the day. If there was going to be a spinner fall or a late hatch this was a reliable place when the shadows got long and air cooled. This particular evening the rain had passed and the clouds began to clear.
The spinner fall looked like a bust; the bugs were too soggy or cold or whatever bugs are when they’re not mating. Just before dark a nice hatch began to come off, a mix of March Browns and early Sulphurs. There was this one fish rising steadily and confidently hard against the far bank; a steep piece of ledge dotted with mountain laurel. The fish rose in a break in the mountain laural no more than three feet wide. I cast a Quigley Cripple into that slot several times; it was some of the best casting I’ve ever done. After a half dozen drifts, he took the fly and came to hand. That’s the visual I get when I think of sipping emergers. It’s also an approach to reading my blog, take what looks real, refuse the rest (or taunt me mercilessly as Jonny and T.J. are wont to do).
Courage Level Question: It’s You and a Grizzly Bear face to face on the trail. Knowing yourself, will you 1) Hold your ground and see who blinks first 2) throw your gear at the Grizzly and run for your life or 3) faint on the spot?
I’m a hold my ground type. I’m no braver than the next guy but I don’t go into Grizzly territory unarmed and I know what happens to food, I mean people, who run. We all gotta go sometime though I suppose there’s better ways than getting gnawed on by a Griz. I guess the real shame would be getting gnawed on before a good day of fishing.
Thank you for stepping into the OBN Ring of Fire Steve!