StoneFly Vineyards and the Orvis-endorsed Ketchum On The Fly recently contributed and poured wines grapesfrontat this year’s Sun Valley Center for the Arts Wine Auction , rated by The Wine Spectator as one of the top 10 charity events in the US.

Wine lovers from around the world flock to this event to help raise funds for the Sun Valley arts community and enjoy some of  the finest wines on the planet.

Fortunately our wines were very well recieved. Here is a short interview two new fans who wanted to share their thoughts.


The Sipping Trout has migrated into Loveland, Colorado where theLovelandConclavePinWeb 2009 Federation of  Fly Fishers Conclave is well  underway.  StoneFly Vineyards is the Federation’s Official Winery.  We actually have their logo (which we call the Reel of Approval) on our wine label. Our partnership is focused on identifying ways for StoneFly Vineyards to serve the fly fishing and conservation community. Stay tuned for more blog posts as this multi-day event progresses. Some of the world’s most famous fly fishers, fly tyers, conservationists and fly-fishing-fly-tying-conservationist-wine-enthusiasts have descended upon this wonderful town to celebrate the community of fly fishing.

Over and out and cheers to the Federation of Fly Fishers

StoneFly Nick

Dear Friends:

Today on the Sipping Trout we are excited and honored to announce The StoneFly Prize in partnership with the Orvis Company.The StoneFly Prize We hope you will take a moment to learn about this program and let your friends know.

Pairing the enjoyment of fine wines with the tradition of fly fishing is our passion. And as you are well aware, a key thread uniting these traditions is stewardship of the land, the watersheds and the communities in which we work and live. Without healthy ecosystems there can be no sustainable agricultural base to support world-class winemaking. Nor will there be healthy and vibrant fisheries for generations of fly fishers to enjoy.

 At StoneFly Vineyards we strive to incorporate stewardship into our winery and business at every level. This includes developing innovative, high-impact programs to support organizations and projects which are enhancing the health of our watersheds and fly fisheries. Starting today, in partnership with The Orvis Company, we are excited and pleased to announce the first annual recipient of The StoneFly Prize.

Please visit our website to learn more

Since yesterday’s blog post www.tinyurl.com/henrydavid we have recieved some good responses as well as “expert testimony” which prove that Henry David Thoreau was not the originator of the following famous fishing quote:

 “Many Men Go Fishing Their Entire Lives Without Knowing It Is Not Fish They Are After.” 

Drop this quote or one of it’s many variants into Google and you’ll get over 2 million hits.  Many that we’ve read attribute this wonderful passage to Henry David Thoreau, one of the most important naturalists and writers in our history. 

Well, while this quote is beautiful and evokes the meaning and depth of what it means to be a fisher, it looks like Henry was not the originator. Over the years it seems that we as fishers have collectively Thoreau’n ourselves a curveball. We have transferred our ability to tell massive, truth stretching fish stories to the world of quotes and literature.

 The first reader to reach this conclusion was Greg Harris aka “The Idaho Caddis”.  Greg is is the 2nd Vice President of the Fly Fishers of Idaho. He sent us this link to the Thoreau Institute’s page of HDT Misquotations . Thanks Greg!

We had also put an inquiry into the Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods. The Institute’s webpage is www.walden.org . Their curator of collections and Thoreau scholar Jeffrey Cramer was kind enough to email StoneFly Vineyards with his position on this matter.  Pasted below is the fascinating series of emails, pasted into this post with the permission of Jeffrey and the Thoreau Institute

Dear StoneFly Nick,

I just wanted to follow up on our conversation about the quotation, “Many men fish all their lives without ever realizing that it is not the fish they are after.” (Variant: “Many go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.”)

Although it has been attributed to Thoreau in many places, particularly on the Internet, it was definitely not written by him. It is probably based on the following passage from his Journal of 26 September 1853:

It is remarkable that many men will go with eagerness to Walden Pond in the winter to fish for pickerel and yet not seem to care for the landscape. Of course it cannot be merely for the pickerel they may catch; there is some adventure in it; but any love of nature which they may feel is certainly very slight and indefinite. They call it going a-fishing, and so indeed it is, though perchance, their natures know better. Now I go a-fishing and a-hunting every day, but omit the fish and the game, which are the least important part. I have learned to do without them. They were indispensable only as long as I was a boy. I am encouraged when I see a dozen villagers drawn to Walden Pond to spend a day in fishing through the ice, and suspect that I have more fellows than I knew, but I am disappointed and surprised to find that they lay so much stress on the fish which they catch or fail to catch, and on nothing else, as if there were nothing else to be caught.

The closest parallel in a non-Thoreau text is from E.T. Brown’s Not Without Prejudice: Essays on Assorted Subjects (Melbourne: Cheshire, 1955) p. 142: “When they go fishing, it is not really fish they are after. It is a philosophic meditation.” There may be other non-Thoreau variants but I haven’t found them yet.

Being immersed in Thoreau’s life and works on a daily basis here at the Thoreau Institute, having read him for a lifetime and published several works on Thoreau, I can without hesitation say that there is no doubt that the quotation is not Thoreau’s.

Here’s a little information on the Institute: The Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods Library is a  non-for-profit research center that collects research materials relating to Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), his historical context, and his contemporary relevance to environmental and human-rights issues. It provides the most comprehensive body of Thoreau-related material available in one place, consisting of 8,000 books and over 60,000 items, including manuscripts, clippings, articles, correspondence of Thoreau scholars, photographs, maps and surveys, personal histories, slides, scrapbooks, ephemera, and realia. The Institute is owned and managed by the Walden Woods Project, which preserves the land, literature and legacy of Henry David Thoreau by fostering an ethic of environmental stewardship and social responsibility.  The Project accomplishes this mission through the integration of conservation, education, and research. Our website is: www.walden.org.

And then the follow-up email:

Dear StoneFly Nick

 Nick, I’ve tracked the misquotation to a writer named Michael Baughman, who wrote in A River Seen Right (Lyons Press, 1995), probably mis-remembering the journal passage:  “I think it was in Walden where he wrote that a lot of men fish all their lives without ever realizing that fish isn’t really what they’re after.” I’m fairly confident that this is where it all started.

Thanks to Jeff and to Greg for helping to clear up the truth on this matter. And given that we at StoneFly Vineyards winery were about to use this quote in one of our booklets and attribute to Thoreau we have learned a good lesson in doing our research before incorporating common quotes and passages into our materials.

StoneFly Nick

We have a project for you wine, fishing and literature lovers. StoneFly Vineyards needs your help and expertise in identifying the source of the following quote or one of it’s related variants.  

 “Many Men Go Fishing Their Entire Lives Without Knowing It Is Not Fish They Are After.” 

Is this from Henry David Thoreau? Well, if you get digital and ask Dr. Google you would mostly read “yes”. It seems to be commonly accepted by novice and expert fly fishers alike that the source of this beautiful passage or a very close variant was Henry David Thoreau.

Yet we’ve never been able to find the exact page in the exact book that proves this to us. And on a recent writing project this issue became excruciatingly problematic. We wanted to use the quote as it perfectly encapsulates our perspective on fishing and fly fishing.  But who were we to cite as the author?

From fishing lodges to fly fishing magazines this passage seems to be as frequent as the trusted words “Lefty Kreh” or “Orvis” or “Elk Hair Caddis”. We even found ourselves mired in a friendly argument on this subject in a Bozeman, Montana bar (Fortunately we made it out safely)!

The fact is we have never seen or read the proof that good old Henry D. Thoreau wrote or muttered these words…EVER. So can one of you who’ve read more Thoreau than us help by providing verifiable evidence?

Email nickp [at] stoneflyvineyards.com with a scanned image of the original quote in it’s original context. Or you can send us the copy of the text you own and we’ll send it back to you promptly.

Whoever is the first to prove that Henry David Thoreau was the originator of this stunningly beautful quote will soon be enjoying wine from StoneFly Vineyards.

Fly fishers…The one of a kind, remarkable film “The River Runs Through It” will be re-released on Blue Ray disc in early July.

Check out the press release at Mid-Current: http://www.midcurrent.com/news/2009/05/the-movie-remastered-rerelease.html

The new release, as described in Mid-Current, will feature:
Never Before-Released Deleted Scenes
All-New Featurette: Casting a Line: The Beginner’s Guide to Fly Fishing
Hosted by master fly fisherman Brandon Boedecker, this segment takes us step by step through the process of fly fishing.
All-New Featurette: The Blackfoot Challenge: Rescuing a River
The compelling true story of the destruction of Montana’s Blackfoot River, and how a committed group of volunteers (assisted by Robert Redford and the film crew) helped generate enough money to restore this natural treasure.
All-New Featurette: Deep Currents: Making a River Runs Through It
In an in-depth exploration of the movie’s creation, Redford talks about his long and challenging journey to turn Norman Maclean’s evocative book into a transcendent piece of cinema.
BD Exclusive: On The Blackfoot River Hi-Def Looping Screen Savers

Grand Slam Fly Fishing’s Rob Provo is passionate about his business of “planning and hosting fly fishing adventures on some of the most picturesque and world renowned bodies of water in the world.” 

In speaking with Rob today I am particularly impressed by one of his offerings tailored to organizations and companies who are needing some time away from the office to relax, fish and strengthen their ties as a team.

Grand Slam Fly Fishing Destinations, LLC can match your corporate outing goals with the perfect fly-fishing destination to create a memorable annual event for your top employees and clients.


Additionally Rob and his much better half have spent their careers serving in the armed forces (USAF in this case). We thank them for their service.