HOME RANGE: Notes on Literature, Nature, Working Dogs, History, Other Obsessions and Sundry Annoyances by Henry Chappell

Lean Pickings

July 24, 2017

Tags: Bass fishing, Cade, Fannin County



Cade and I fished one of our favorite ponds from late afternoon until dark. Caught lots of little farts. This rascal ate my #4 deer hair bug just before sunset. Not a hog, but I was sure glad to see him.

Cade and the Cottonmouth

June 28, 2017

Tags: Cade, Cottonmouth, fishing

Fish often in the South and you'll meet one of these. Despite their abundance and reputation for aggressiveness, water moccasins rarely bite humans.

My grandson Cade, who's staying with J. and me this summer, surfs in water frequented by great white sharks, but the first time we fished a small North Texas lake, he worried about cottonmouth water moccasins. Of course he forgot about snakes as soon as he started catching fish. Before long, he was finning his float tube into the snakiest looking backwater he could find, working his fly over lily pads and around brush and stumps.

I told him that when he meets a cottonmouth, he should just back up while keeping an eye on it. Likely, it will hold its ground or try to chase him out of the area. Don't be stupid. It doesn't want to bite you; it wants you to leave.

Sure enough, just before sundown last night we were fishing the upper end of a small lake, when Cade said, "Grandpap, there's a cottonmouth." A nice, big one actually, about thirty feet away, but swimming toward him. I suspect the splat of the popping bug brought the snake out to investigate. I told Cade to back up. He did. The snake stopped. Cade kept backing up.

Thus ended the lesson. Nobody hurt. We fished until dark. The snake encounter didn't even come up on the drive home. Another southern fly fisherman has learned to take cottonmouth water moccasins in stride.

Budding Bass Bum

May 19, 2017

Tags: Cade, fishing, Wise County, bass bum

Hog Hunter

My grandson Cade and I fished a pretty little pond in Wise County a few days back. He has become quite the fly fisherman. We caught lots of small bass and some huge bluegills.






These kids today. Cade plays and lands the fish while recording and narrating the action with his iPhone. If the event doesn't appear on social media it didn't happen, no matter how many first-hand witnesses.

What could be better ...

January 6, 2016

Tags: Cade, Cate, Squirrel Hunting

Cade (right) and Cate, after a nice bit of work by dog and hunter. Obviously I need to think a little harder about dog names.



... than a grandson, squirrel dog, and New Years Day in the woods of northeast Texas?

The Old Man and the Boy Young Man

November 26, 2015

Tags: Cade, Camping, Hunting


His voice is as deep as mine, but he's still a member of the selfie generation. Here, he caught The Old Man, his grandpap, unaware.

Boy, Small Stream, Little Trout

July 16, 2013

Tags: trout, fly fishing, Cade

Cade with his first brook trout
Just got home from a weeklong trip to Northern Idaho with Jane and the grandkids. I took a six-weight rod thinking we'd try some of the bigger streams, but Cade much preferred the small, fast streams and high country lakes, which we had almost entirely to ourselves.

Having learned to fly fish by catching (more…)

Selected Work

Novels
"I regard Silent We Stood as being among the finest Civil War novels I have ever read"
  • David Madden, Civil War Book Review
  • "Blood Kin is historical fiction at its best."
  • Bruce Winders, Historian and Curator, The Alamo
  • "The finest book on buffalo hunting and the resulting conflict with the Comanches that I have ever read."
  • Doris R. Meredith, Roundup
  • Non-fiction Books
    "Sharp and colorful also describe the economical prose of sports and wildlife writer Henry Chappell"
  • Elaine Wolff, San Antonio Current
  • Magazine Work
    Articles and Reviews
    Feature Articles
    Columns and Feature Articles