Wet Wade: CEC2010-002

 “No real-fly-fishin’-man would wear ‘wimp-assed’ waders in ‘wet-wadin’-time’ Eh?”
story ©2010 Les Booth; painting, Wading Wet, ©2010 Diane Michelin

The phone was nearing the end of its ring cycle. Two more rings and the really cool answering machine voice would engage.

“Hey Y’all! This is Curt’s sexy, silky voiced digital female assistant.  I’ll take your call, but Curt isn’t here.  He’s somewhere getting wet, freezin’ his ass off and loving it so much I have no idea when he’ll be back.  But don’t fret!  He calls me everyday; he can’t live without hearing my voice. Clearly say your name, the date you’re calling, state – clearly – what you need and leave Curt a callback number.  He’ll get back to you… ’cause you can only wet wade in 50 degree water just so long.  Thanks for calling. <Kiss!> .. Beeeeep.

Well, she’s sultry, witty and tireless.  She’s wonderful … but she didn’t get to prove it – again – this time.

“Hi. This is Curt. What can I interrupt to assist you?”

“Wow dude, you really know how to make a person feel welcome.  When did you join the International Order of Misanthropes?”

“Hey, Josh. Frick! If I’d have known it was you I’d have let CC answer the phone.”

“CC? Who’s that?  You got a new roomie or something?”

“Nah! That’s my new sexatary answering machine.  Her name is Chrome-Cathy.  I call her ‘CC’. You’d get a kick out her… knowing just how much of a perv you are!”

“Gee, thanks.”

“No problemo pard.  So, why’d you call? Surely, not to get a verbal butt kickin’ from me. Whatcha up to?”

“Well, I’m off on a fishing adventure in 3 weeks and wanted to know if you’d like to join me.”

“Where we goin’?”

“Idaho. Small drainage on the eastern side of the state. It’s remote. Quiet. No people.  And it has some of the best Cutthroat fishing this side of 1840.”

“So, where exactly in ‘eastern Idaho’ is our paradise located?”

“It’s in the Selway-Bitteroot Wilderness, just west of the Montana border. It is remote! Nearest road is 30 miles away. We have to fly in or do a hard 3 days on horseback.  This is one of – if not the most – remote area in the lower 48 states.  Mountain lion, black bear, gray wolf, elk, deer, bobcat and a whole lot more are still in abundant supply. It’s not a place for city folk.”

“When do we pack?”

“In three weeks.  Booked 2 weeks in the only lodge in the area, starting 21st July.”

“So, what do I need to bring?  I take it we’ll be doing a lot of back country hiking, right?”

“Yep. That’s all we’ll be doing.  That and overnight camping; at least 6 of the 14 days.”

“So why did you book the lodge?”

“Best place to stay. Best access to the area. Best food in 60 miles. And they’ll come get us if we get ‘stuck’.”

“OK. Just thought I’d ask.”

“Pack rod – fly only, of course.”

“Duh? Yeeaaah!”

“Count on bead-head nymphs, Stimulators, Hairs-ear nymphs.. and some gawd-awful big Wooley Buggers.  Black, dark-purple and olive w/flecks of sparkle dun in ’em.  There are the occasional Bull Trout in those waters, too.  Don’t want to pass that up, eh?”

“OK!  Sounds pretty much par-for-du-course, Bro. And thanks for the inclusion.”

“Oh and Curt, don’t forget your camera crap… OK?”

“Right!  You smart-acre! I got the ‘hint’ 10 years ago.  Just remember… I don’t ever ask anyone else to carry my ‘camera crap’ and y’all  -always-  love to look at the ‘purdy pictures’ I bring home. Eh?   Take care.  Hey! Gotta run.  Finally got hold of a live-one!  A real cash-paying victim .. uh, er…  I mean ‘client’.”

“Well, that’s good to hear.  Maybe you’ll actually pay for a beer or two on this trip. Eh?”

“Careful dude. You know which of us runs faster.  And I’d bet $2-and-a-donut’ that there are cougar where we’ll be goin’. So… just remember what ‘slow-buddies’ are for…!”

“OOOOO!  Shaking in my waders already.”

“Waders? Dude, who’ll have waders?  We’ll be there in July, ‘wet-wadin’-time’ !!  No real-fly-fishin’-man would wear ‘wimp-assed’ waders in ‘wet-wadin’-time’  Eh?????”

“Are you crazy dude? We’re talking about Idaho.. high altitude… cold mountain streams. Freeze your jewels off cold water man.  Not to mention rocks… and along with the cougars – there are rattlesnakes.  So, call me ‘wimp-assed’ all you want, but I’ll be wearing waders.”

“Hey, I’m just sayin’.”

“Gotta run. Talk with you again in a week.”

“Sure thing and thanks again .. REALLY! .. for the invite. I’m looking forward to it.”

[Two months later]

Rinnnng. Rinnng. Rinnnng. Rinnng.

“Hey Y’all! This is Curt’s sexy, silky voiced – and now really worried – digital female assistant.  I’ll take your call, but Curt isn’t here.  He’s somewhere getting wet, freezin’ his ass off and loving it so much I have no idea when he’ll be back. I thought he’d have called in …long before now.  But don’t fret! In the past he’s called me everyday; he can’t live without hearing my voice. At least… I thought he couldn’t.  You know the drill – After the ‘Beeep’, say your name clearly; state the date you’re calling and what you need. Please speak clearly as you leave Curt a callback number.  He’ll get back to you: I’m now only assuming this is still true. ‘Cause you can only wet wade in 50 degree water just so long.  Thanks for calling and please, remember Curt fondly. I certainly do. <Kiss!>

.. Beeeeep.


Streamside: CEC2010-001

”Yet, this type of ‘weirdness’ is the nature of such mystery.”
story ©2010 Les Booth; painting, Streamside, ©2010 Diane Michelin

Freestone Palette

Colors trace wild run
Essence of time freely flows
Life intensifies

Freestone Mystery

Penticton Herald, ePenticton Herald News
Josh Mavenhome Penticton Herald / Saturday Edition

Many unsolved mysteries exist around the world, but the 1998 unexplained disappearance of a Victoria, BC woman still has people down in Keremos shaking their heads.

This clip, from the article, written by my uncle Thomas Mavenhome, about the 1998 cold case, fills in some background for those unfamiliar with the 11 year old mystery.

‘Four weeks ago, Provincial Conservation Officer, Sarah Tumewatter, and BC Fisheries Biologist, Jon McCormick, stumbled upon a mystery on Bumblechoock Creek, north of Keremos, BC. The events of 23 September, 1998, still remain no closer to being resolved than they did on that fall Sunday afternoon, 4 weeks ago.

“We have no clues, other than the personal items and still alive brook trout, found, yesterday, on the banks of Bumblechook Creek. We are quite baffled. We simply have no idea where Jane Manson is today.”, said officer Tumewatter in an interview on Friday; 23 October, 1998.

Jan Manson, well known Victoria resident, is an attractive 32 year old, red-haired, athlete, fly-fishing aficionado, respected outdoor artist and conservation advocate. Ms. Manson, single, went missing Sunday 23 September. The answers to her whereabouts are still a complete mystery.

Tumewatter and McCormick were conducting a 10-year stream assessment of Bumblechook Creek, along a remote stretch of water in the upper reaches of the rough country, north of Keremos, BC, when they came upon a very strange scene.

Tumewatter and McCormick rounded a bend on the creek to find, neatly laid out on the rocks beside the stream, a fly-rod and reel, a landing net and a very much alive, brook trout.

Officer Tumwatter said both she and McCormick spent over 2 hours combing the area, after placing a call to report the strange findings to the Penticton BCCO office. Within an hour after the phone call – they were joined by other BCCO personnel. BCCO carried on the search, around-the-clock, for the next 14 days.

By the time the official search was canceled, nothing had turned up. No prints. No clothing. No personal items. Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

There were no shoe prints anywhere. None. No prints of any kind.  Not along the creek; into the creek bed; nor back up into the woods.  McCormick said it was as if Manson was,”… just transported away. Gone. Without a trace”. ‘

Ms. Manson’s 1998 2-dr GMC Jimmy, bearing the custom trademark of a – Screaming Brook Trout – located on both lower door panels and rear tailgate, was nowhere to be found in the vicinity.  Despite extensive searches all across Canada, Alaska, the lower 48 United States and even into Mexico, no trace has been found.

Bumblchook Creek’, is said to have more than the occasional black bear and a rare appearance of cougars.  But neither animal is suspected to be involved in Manson’s disappearance.

BC Conservation Officers identified the owner of the fly-rod, reel and landing net and therefore the missing person – as Ms. Manson – from the name, email address and drivers license number, marked on each item.

Many speculations have arisen over the years as to the whereabouts of Ms. Manson.

Some say Manson fell into Bumblechook Creek’s icy waters, drowned and was swept downstream, over the 14 meter waterfall, downstream roughly 1/2 kilometer. But the water was thoroughly checked; above and below the falls. Nothing turned up. Most feel this was most unlikely.

Others say, she fell, suffered a concussion and amnesia then either staggered out of the area or was possibly lost and died of exposure.  But that too, seems unlikely.  The area was thoroughly searched; thousands of motorists and people in the area were canvased;  nothing; not so much as a ‘maybe’, was uncovered.

One popular theory is that Manson, a very pretty 32 year old, was abducted and kidnapped by the fabled remnant of the Spanish conquistadors, said to be living in the wilderness around Bumblechook Creek.  No one has officially documented the veracity of the claims as to whether these mythical residents  really exist. But wild and fantastical stories abound. With many claiming to have had contact with them; and some even claiming to be descendants.

The list of speculations continue, and continue to grow.  Many are fantastical enough to even make sense. But not seriously, unless you’re under the influence of mind altering chemicals first.

Yet, this type of ‘weirdness’ is the nature of such mystery.

Maybe it’s to be as Tumewatter said in an interview on the 5th anniversary of the unsolved missing person’s file.  “Some things just remain a mystery. Until something else shows up, that’s how we’ll have to look at this case.”

Yes, maybe so.

For now we only have the image of the fly-rod, reel, landing net and a live brook trout to help us conjure up the actual events that have led to this mystery.

Waves of Creativity

“In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed” … Charles Darwin

Many metaphors have been used to describe the power of the forces found within those who are possessed with creativity.

I too have used the forces and elements of  fire, water, wind and earth to add imagery to explaining what happens.  But my favorite imagery word and metaphor is the WAVE.

Waves naturally occur in all elements of the natural world:  air, water, fire and earth.  Each of these are both elements and origins of waves.  The unknown forces of electricity and the inexplicable force of light also travels in, among and through the action of waves.

Thus, a better metaphor for creativity I do not know.

There is a force of an exceedingly odd and wondrous nature, which resides within the heart of those who create.  To me the best description of this force is that of a WAVE.

Waves do not begin as waves though. The begin as ripples.  Small at first, then growing as their energy builds.  In the world of reality, waves do not run unencumbered. There are always interferences that will divert, absorb, adopt… even eliminate a wave.  The same is quite true for the creative wave.

The ripple.  Beginning from a single source it spreads outward, touching nothing or everything.  It’s the luck-o-the-draw which it becomes.  The ripple continues on to its end back to a static state; so long as the genesis itself remains static.

When a ripple magnifies – in size or in number – it builds in size and energy.

The ripple turns into a wave.  The origin of the ripple determines the size of impact it will have at any time.  Each one housing its own kinetic energy the innate ability to instantly rise up to form a unified force that becomes a Wave.

When individual ripples of creativity unite, they form the creative wave and this is where collaboration begins.

Whether collaboration is the actual physical involvement – of two or more creatives  – with the outcome of a production – or the result of shared idea, discussion or other informative infusion of inspiration, the unification of the ripples cannot help but build into a creative wave.

The HOW and WHY of an creative wave formation is purely up for speculation. All I know is this: it was a kinetic amplitude that swept me into a barrel curl in the early days of January 2010.

GENESIS: The Continuum Begins

I was reading the mornings postings on my O’fieldstream Facebook account when I noticed a post by Jeff Kennedy.

Jeff over the 2009  year, had completed a self-made project he called Drawing Flies 365, which he posted the details, examples and updates of, on his blog.  In the project, Jeff – an accomplished artist – painted a fly-fishing fly each day for the 365 days of the year 2009.  At the end of 2009 he published a book of his work.  A very impressive piece of work, too.

In that Facebook post, I noticed he had teamed up with Jason Borger. Jason is, in his own right, an accomplished artist. He is also well knows for his roll as the renowned fly-caster ( the actual ‘shadow caster’ in the famous ‘A River Runs Through It‘ movie).  Jeff and Jason were teaming up to produce a daily, “My Take vs. Your Take”, collaboration of producing an illustration of a fly-fishing fly- every week- for the length of 2010.

I don’t know Jeff well, but we are FB friends and I’ve carried on a few FB posts with him over the past year.  While I’ve never met Jason,  I know ‘of him’.  Yes – just like and in the same way as – about 200M other people. Eh!  But, I do know his very famous father, Gary Borger.

All this rippling has gotten my creative juices and in turned put me into a mood that has gotten me to thinking. What I thought was…

“I’d really like to engage in some serious fun collaborations with other artists I know.”

And I knew just the person I wanted to contact for my first collaboration. In fact, I’d already stepped out and did a ‘silent-collaboration’ on a piece of this artist’s work.

Diane Michelin, of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada was the first recipient of a  collaborative invitation.

Diane had placed on her Facebook page – around the first of January 2010 –  an image that immediately struck me  by the coloration, composition and characterization of one of my favorite outdoor passions (fly-fishing) and point-of-pursuit (brook trout (char).

I composed a ‘comment’ on Diane’s Facebook that included a  presentation – unfortunately no longer available online  – in which I invoked verbal liberty of assigning the name “Streamside”, to the print.  The forwardness was also liberally showered  in a wide variety of complimentary, ‘sides’.

That verbal jousting triggered more ideas.

A few minutes later a private message landed in Diane’s Facebook mailbox, waving, as an offering,  the following proposal.

I see you’re doing a ‘self-challenge’ of a painting a week .. a bit of Jeff Kennedy here, eh?

How ’bout adding a bit of Yin-Yang to the mix.

– You do a painting (Yin)
– release it to Facebook and point to it as your ‘Yin’ – and
– within 3 days I do a creative -something- (Yang) – in compliment

You produce your visual image -whatever it will be- and I’ll produce a story, poem, haiku, or other ‘visual’ to compliment (in true Yang principle), and then I will post it on my O’fieldstream Facebook,  OOAK Digital Gallery and here, on the Creative Exponential Continuum site, with links to your image, within 3 days of your initial posting.

In essence a Yang, to the Yin of your painting.

As an example:

To your most recent display (not sure of the ‘name’ or ‘title’ of the painting) – the brook trout at brook-side, w/ fly-rod+reel on stones, I submit the following Haiku and short-story, for your review.

My Yang.

Whadaya think?  “. )

To show Diane I was serious, I also sent her two ‘samples’ of my YANG to her YIN,  with the print, “Streamside”.

One was a traditional Haiku, the other a short-story in a news-story-report writing style of a fictional incident reported in the fictional pages of a very real Vancouver BC newspaper.

Diane’s response was more than I could have hoped for.  She was ecstatic about the idea.

Her enthusiasm for my proposal spurred me on.  The ripples was now beginnng to look just like a wave!

As of this posting, the goal is to obtain at least one collaboration – during 2010 – between myself and another ‘artist’ –  on each of the seven continents.  I’ve already connected with 4 Continents and am working on 2 of the remaining three!   Antarctica, you’re in my sights!

This site –The Creative Exponential Continuum – will become a running record – and gallery – of the collaborative creations taken on and hopefully completed in 2010.


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Again, thank you and we look forward to your visits and comments.

Les Booth
Founder of Creative Exponential Continuum