Yes, fellow Troutnuts, after a 3-year period of unemployed misery, I am finally working again and will in fact be doing some aquatic entomology! At last, a chance to dust off the old Masters degree for some professional scientific work!!!!
It's been tough, that's for sure, hiding in the basement of my (late 70's) parents pounding away on posts to troutnut.com, but fly fishing has been a HUUUUUUGE part of why I survived so long without being a truly productive member of society (other than maybe a full month out of every year). Let me tell you, this sport will lift you up and rejuvinate you in a way nothing else can, at least that's how I feel about it. Life can really, REALLY SUCK and yet, tie a fly on the end of your tippet, fling it out there upon the waters, and be it a trout, sunfish, crappie, bass, or anything else that will take it and, behold, life is GOOD again. All those troubles just seem to melt away when something is pulling hard and making that long rod bend over, then a beautiful aquatic creature comes to hand, is carefully liberated to swim away and fight another day, and soon the whole process is repeating itself, over and over and over. All of the rest of the BULLSH*T that life throws at you somehow seems less important and significant, because this is what is REALLY important, connecting with the natural world and its wonders, even in the local lake next to the golf course that 50 years ago was just a gravel pit. The brilliant brookie, the battling bass, the sparkling spawning pumpkinseed, the spotted crappie, the slimy toothy pike all tell you that your troubles aren't worth a damn, this is what you SHOULD be doing, this will renew your soul and freshen your resolve to keep on keepin' on (thanks for those words, Robert Zimmerman!) and scale those obstacles so that, well, you can do more FISHING when you're on the other side of them.
Now a whole WORLD of fishing in northern Michigan opens up to me, quite possibly even in my backyard as it once did before up there in the magnificent pines and spruces and firs and white-cedars and aspens and birches. I will be looking for a nice little 2-bedroom cabin back in the woods on some lake, where I can fish off my own dock or launch my kayak for a paddle over to the weedbeds, or take a short drive to one of any number of rivers or creeks FULL of trout, or hit Tawas Bay on Lake Huron for the big boys, you know, the ones with TEETH that will take you into your backing. And when I arrive at work in the morning, it will be to sit behind a nice shiny new microscope to sort though and identify benthic macroinvertebrate samples, or head out to some swamp or marsh for a wetland delineation, or search through the Huron National Forest for some rare wildflower or snake or butterfly, or maybe even go fish collecting for some lake association. All of these wonderful tasks I have done before and will be doing again, getting to use my education and experience in a way not all that many people get to do for a living.
So, fellow Troutnuts, expect to see an address and phone number for some little shack in the woods with Jonathon's name on it, so you all can pay me a visit should you find yourselves in the northern half of Michigan's Lower Penninsula. People, I will put you on some fish, I guarantee it!!!!!!!
THANKS TO ALL for your words of encouragement through this most difficult time of my life!!!
Jonathon M. DeNike
Enviromental Consultant/Field Biologist (once again)
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...