Doug Rose has passed away. Cancer.
We were friends, but not terribly close. I will miss Doug a great deal, he was an original inspiration to me when I first came to the Northwest. His books and his lectures made it clear there were secrets to find all over these mountains. Secret little brooks and ponds, secret steelhead runs high in the head waters.
Fly fishing is a sport of discovery, big fish, small fish, no fish, maybe you take a walk to a new section of river and discover you can’t get there from here, Doug personified this.
Finding a mushroom on the way to a steelhead spot, or getting there and finding cutthroat instead of steelhead, all are part of the larger idea that is fly fishing. When you see Doug on the river you understand how truthfully he embodies this idea without even speaking of it.
More than anything Doug was truthful. When you read his best writing you discover that he does not have to explain his feelings because you feel what he feels.
Read everything he has written, if you don’t own his books, go to your local fly shop and buy them. Tie the flies he writes about. Doug went on a awesome journey, if you retrace his steps you will arrive at a great place. Sometime this summer, pick a spot on a old paper map and hike through the woods until you get there. Try to catch a trout, take a picture, sit on a log by the river and enjoy being in a perfect place by yourself.