View Full Version : Lord of Lackawaxen creek

02-11-2008, 08:54 PM
I hope some of you are familiar with Zane Grey and his passion for fishing, and the stories he wrote about it back in the early to mid 1900's. For those who don't know anything about them, here is an excerpt from one of his best stories - The Lord of Lackawaxen Creek. The rest of it isn't that long and its available online to read. http://www.laketeedyuskung.com/html/creek.html I would also strongly recommend that you read his real life books if that story interests you. Its some of the best outdoor writing I have ever read, and I'm sure you will enjoy it. ( yeah its about bass fishing, but its a smallmouth and in a creek, so its not too sacreligious. )

Big bass choose strange hiding places. They should be looked for in just such holes and rifts and shallows as will cover their backs. But to corral a six-pounder in the boys' swimming hole was a circumstance to temper a fisherman's vanity with experience.

Thrillingly conscious of the possibilities of this pool, I studied it thoughtfully. It was a wide, shallow bend in the stream, with dark channels between submerged rocks, suggestive of underlying shelves. It had a current, too, not noticeable at first glance. And this pool looked at long and carefully, colored by the certainty of its guardian, took on an aspect most alluring to an angler's spirit. It hid changed from a pond girt by stony banks, to a foam-flecked running stream, clear, yet hiding its secrets, shallow, yet full of labyrinthine watercourses. It presented problems which, difficult as they were, faded in a breath before a fisherman's optimism.

I tested my leader, changed the small hook for a large one, and selecting a white shiner fully six inches long, I lightly hooked it through the side of the upper lip. A sensation never outgrown since boyhood, a familiar mingling of strange fear and joyous anticipation, made me stoop low and tread the slippery stones as if I were a stalking Indian. I knew that a glimpse of me or a faint jar vibrating under the water, or an unnatural ripple on its surface, would be fatal to my enterprise.

I swung the lively minnow and instinctively dropped it with a splash over a dark space between two yellow sunken stones. Out of the amber depths started a broad bar of bronze, rose and flashed into gold. A little dimpling eddying circle, most fascinating of all watery forms, appeared round where the minnow had sunk. The golden moving flash went down and vanished in the greenish gloom like a tiger stealing into a jungle. The line trembled, slowly swept out and straightened. How fraught that instant with a wild yet waiting suspense, with a thrill potent and blissful!

Did the fisherman ever live who could wait in such a moment? My arms twitched involuntarily. Then I struck hard, but not half hard enough. The bass leaped out of a flying splash, shook himself in a tussle plainly audible, and slung the hook back at me like a bullet.

In such moments one never sees the fish distinctly; excitement deranges the vision, and the picture, though impressive, is dim and dreamlike. But a blind man would have known this bass to be enormous, for when he fell he cut the water as a heavy stone.

Cane Pole
02-11-2008, 09:02 PM
Didn't know he fished, but I read some of his western novels. Zane Grey Theater in the 50's on TV with Dick Powell.

02-11-2008, 09:34 PM
At the time of his death he had over 100 world fishing records, the first fish on rod and reel over 1000lbs, and the largest fish ever caught on rod and reel. He had a 3 masted schooner and a fleet of smaller ships that followed it around all over the world. His stories about hunting and fishing are a joy to read and I suggest you read em and give em to your kids to read. In the 20's only the Bible and McGuffey reader were more popular books in the world. He wrote westerns for a living, but many think his best writing he saved for his fishing books, and I agree. Heres a list of most of them. There are more though. If I remember right there is one called Zane Greys undiscovered fishing stories and a best of collection that is very popular. I dont remember the name though. There are hunting books as well including one about roping cougars. :D Gives you an idea about what kind of guy he was. I also think he owned 1 or 2 of the florida keys at one time.

1906 - Tarpon the Silver King
pamphlet, New York and Cuba Mail Steamship Co., New York

1919 - Tales of Fishes:
Harper & Brothers, NY.

1922 - Fishing in the Gulf Stream
Pamphlet, Miami Angler's Club, Miami

1922 - The Bonefish Brigade
Zane Grey, Pasadena

1924 - Tales of Southern Rivers:
Harper & Brothers, NY.

1925 -Tales of Fishing Virgin Seas:
Harper & Brothers, NY.

1926 - Tales of the Angler's Eldorado, New Zealand:
Harper & Brothers

1927 - Tales of Swordfish and Tuna:
Harper & Brothers, NY.

1928 - Tales of Fresh-water Fishing:
Harper & Brothers, NY.

1931 - Tales of Tahitian Waters:
1931. Harper & Brothers, NY.

1936 - Fly Fishing
Pamphlet, Ibbotson Horrocks, New York.

1937 - An American Angler in Australia:
Harper & Brothers, NY.

02-12-2008, 05:19 PM
I challenge anyone here to go read the whole story at the link I posted above and then not want to go read more of his fishing stories. Remember these stories where written in the early to mid 1900's, so the wording is a little dated, but that is part of the charm of the stories and wouldn't be as good otherwise. Zane was an awesome writer. Without question some of the best descriptions ever of how a real angler feels about fishing.