Garmare #5: Our Unimaginable

There are those images…  You know. The ones just off the tip of your cranial view screen. The ones creeping into your subterranean consciousness. Filtering through the closed neural pathways like shadows of things, too feared to bring to form.  Our own personal Beowulf.

Yet despite the barriers and guards, they peer out from the dark corners of your imagination .. leering at you. Taunting you. Daring you to … look.

These are the fringes of Nightmare.  The suggestive monsters of anxiety. The evil of helplessness. The dark waters where we cannot see the bottom.  So much of life is lived in fear that most of us wage greater battles fought in hiding the shadows, than we do hiding in the shadows; and we find ourselves THERE, a lot.

When in fact we should be leaving the shadows and enjoying the light.

Yes, we know this… BUT, we ignore it, too.

We know there are no monsters with big teeth waiting to bite our toes off in our favorite fishing spot.  Don’t we?

Yes. We do innately. But there is an internal layer of doubt that gnaws at the myelin sheath of our courage. Sapping us of the necessary strength to rise above.


Garmare, eLITHOGRAPH, illustration for GrafX Novel Series, “Tales from the Trauma Trap”… a series of 25 short-stories dealing with the greatest Traumas facing those who venture outdoors. Size: 20″ x 17”

This is the realm of the: “Garmare”. Wrapped inside the neural corded message wires; responsible for sending and receiving the very core of our human information cycle.  But the Garmare interrupts those messages – especially the ones which inform us of the ludicrousness of the idea that anything like, the “Garmare” could possibly exist.

The result is, off in the distant recesses of our grey matter, lies the realm of the land of the unknown.

Just out of our reach.  And it will stay there as long as the Garmare exists.

It will also leave as soon as we put the Arrow of Truth through it’s bony skull.

The choice NOW – is yours.   Freedom to live life without Fear – or Slavery to the likes of the Garmare?

Which will it be.. ?

The answer tolls for thee.

Well that’s what I thought, too.  BEFORE I met.. Garmare..!

Yes. Garmare.  It’s real. It’s not a fictional monster.  It lives and breathes and looks for flesh to rend.

But, hey! I’m just crazy enough to take a chance on turning the tables… right?

Of course I am.  But it will NOT be that simple. It just cannot be.

No real Trauma ever is.  But it can be defeated.

Here’s how… Right?

Altered State: a smallmouth eyemare!

From the moment the big ‘PLAWWWOP’! ripped a demolition hole into the otherwise calm surface of the eddy water, just upstream and bank-facing, of the old sycamore log, the smallmouth bass; resident Boss-Bass; of this pool; had his eye on this newly arrived bounty.

Altered State: Smallie Eyemare, eLITHOGRAPH, 24"x24", oil output ; ©2015 Les Booth

Altered State: a Smallie Eyemare, eLITHOGRAPH, 24″x24″, oil output ; ©2015 Les Booth

He saw it coming before it even made its nuclear landing.  He had not budged an inch.  He didn’t even miss a fin-flap.  Afraid?  Not him!  He was the meanest thing for 1,000 yards up and down the stream. He let everything know it, too. If he didn’t eat it, he chased it away.  Fish, reptile, amphibian, insect  … it didn’t matter.

He took on an interloping muskrat, just a two-light-cycles earlier.  That rat may have been too big to eat, but it wasn’t too big for Boss-Bass to gnaw off some rat-skin.  It’s a sure bet, that rat, won’t be wiggling his nasty tail in the Boss’s water any time soon.

So when the Boss saw this  big white wiggly thing  falling from the air, he knew one thing for sure: he was gonna eat well!

Boss watched that funny-looking white thing. He saw it appear in the land-above, hovering over his domain.  It was there- above in that place above his watery home- then it was gone.  There it was again.  Then gone.  He could not figure out what it was, be he just knew it was going to be good-eats … if it landed in his area.

Immediately following the big noise and crashing water, Boss Bass positioned himself to make good the capture.  But first, he had to determine the size of this thing.  He was mean and cantankerous, but he wasn’t stupid! If this ‘thing’ was too big to eat or to dangerous to mess with… Boss would have to defend himself and his domain.  So he was prepared for battle.  But, if it was ripe-for-the-pickings, he was ready for that, too!   Seriously. He really only thought of eating well. Either way, the next couple of seconds would tell.

The big white wiggly thing, was a white bundle of deer hair and rabbit fur:  known as the Pat Cohen Rabbit Strip Diver… or, ‘RSD’.  This RSD thing was slowly being dragged out of the eddy by the current, inching away at the fly-line, to  which it was tethered, via the leader and tippet.  All human terms, unknown to Boss, but he didn’t care. All he saw was the RSD and it was food to him.

The fisherman, was doing her best to keep the line in a proper mend, but time was running out. The RSD would soon be popped-out of the quiet eddy and thrust alongside the sycamore log to run the gauntlet of riffle, wave and flotsam. Going the distance of the log, in faster current, to end up in the catch-eddy at the end.

This wasn’t this lady-fly-fisher’s first cast to this sycamore.  No. She knew instinctively, there was a big bass here.  She also knew she had maybe 15 seconds before the RSD would hop-the-coop of the protected eddy, and she would have to be on the alert for an unexpected ambush, by the resident bass, as the RSD swam the gauntlet.

Boss saw the big white wiggly thing just laying there – on the water.  No diving. No kicking.  Nothing.  Just setting there. All vulnerable and still, just SCREAMING, “Eat me!!!!”  Boss was just getting ready to oblige, when suddenly the RSD began to move.  Slowly, then suddenly, ‘ZIPP… ” it was gone.  But Boss wasn’t fooled. Nope.  He knew just where to go.

As  the RSD fly, rounded the downstream edge of that old sycamore log, Boss came roaring up. From along the bottom, over one rock – two – inside the shadow of the sycamore log and up through the water column.  Launching his entire, 28″, 6lbs. 8oz. body, out of the tail-water’s swirling surface, like a Poseidon Trident missile.   He hit that RSD hard enough to knock its tail off .. if it had one.  But instead, the RSD had a surprise waiting for the Boss.  Instead of the Boss grabbing some skin and fur from the distressed RSD, the RSD gave the Boss, a serious taste of ‘Rabbit Fever’, courtesy of a Partridge Predator X hook in size 2/0.

Boss Bass was not sure what to do when that big white wiggly thing grabbed hold of him and bit down.  He dove to the stream bottom;  trying to rake the big white wiggly thing and its bite off of him.  This did not work.  So, Boss swam for the root bundle at the shore, under the remnant of the old sycamore.  But, the lady fly-fisher was already ahead of him.  She started applying the bent sweetgrass rod’s persuasive sweet-strength.  The energy in the rod’s bent limbs brought Boss Bass’s surge to the root ball to a screeching halt and nearly rocketed him back to the middle of the stream.

Then the Boss hit the fuel and thrust himself toward the land beyond his water-home.  As he broke free of the water-air interface, he was flapping his mouth trying to break free of the big white wiggly thing‘s hold on him.  But again he just could not shake it.  Swimming wildly: upstream; downstream; across; around rocks; into log-jams.  None of them worked. Finally too exhausted to try again – Boss Bass – surrendered and just waited for the strange ‘big white wiggly thing creature’ to eat him.

Suddenly and without warning – Boss Bass was still.  He sensed the ‘bite’ of the big white wiggly thing was gone.  He could feel himself getting stronger.  But he was confused.  The big white wiggly thing was not eating him.  Why?  While he was awash in confusion he felt himself being moved.  Two large gripping things clamped him so that the could not move.  He tried to swim away. But he was helpless to so.  He relaxed; more out of exhaustion than anything.   He was so confused.

Then there were some loud noises; all around Boss.  Some bright flashes of light. Then… he was back in the water, being dragged – by his tail – back-and-forth, through the water.  This frightened him at first.  But then began feeling stronger.  He waited.  Then suddenly, he was free.  No ‘gripping things’.  No big white wiggly thing.  No loud noises.  No exploding surface.  Just the familiar and missed, quiet of is regular Boss Bass Domain.  He just remained there for a moment – catching his breath; gathering his thoughts; and looking.  Yes! LOOKING!!  Looking around him to see where the creature was: big white wiggly thing, with ‘a bite’ and ‘grippers’.   But he saw nothing out of his normal surroundings.

In a flash of his big tail, Boss Bass  was again under the shadow of the sycamore log and hidden deep.  Safe. Safe at last!!  But he was not taking any chances.  He kept watching the place above his area.  Watching to see if there was another big white wiggly thing in that space. He did not see any. Not that day, or for many days.  But, he saw the big white wiggly thing one time during each of the next 4 cycles.  Then it was time for the long-cold-rest.

During the long-cold-rest time – Bass Boss would startle awake from his long ‘cold rest sleeping’ to a strange vision – the memory of the big white wiggly thing,  the bite and the strange ‘grippers’.  He still did not know what to make of the regained freedom.  Though he was no longer fearful of the big white wiggly thing… he continued to be see the same image in his eye. His memory of the big white wiggly thing.  He could not understand what he saw – only that he knew for certain what to avoid.  No more would he ever try to eat anything that come to rest on the water, unless he already knew it was safe!  Nothing that even remotely resembled the big white wiggly thing.

But, he was not free.  For Bass Boss continued seeing this strange image.  It bothered him. He did not know what to do about it.  He just knew he would be very particular about what he would chase, in the water.

Altered State: a smallie eyemare is an eLITHOGRAPH digitally created image, influenced by a photograph of the work-area – where such creations as the Rabbit Strip Diver are created, much to the consternation and worry of all members of the Micropterus dolomieu and Micropterus salmoides and assorted other game fish, by the infamous Cobelskill, New York fly-fishing fly designer/tier and wildly known tattoo artist, Pat Cohen.   Altered State measures, a full 26″x26″ edge-to-edge. If printed on paper it would appear as an acrylic painting.  Altered State is created by Les Booth and ©2015.


OOAK Digital Gallery eLITHOGRAPH™ graces the ‘Art Leader’ section of Vlieg Visser’s SUMMER 2015 magazine!
In early March of this year, Ad Swier, art editor for the Dutch magazine VliegVisser (Fly Fisherman) contacted me asking if I would be interested in having my art work featured in the magazine. I told him I would be honored and delighted. I did the appropriate gathering of what I felt were images, representative of my fly-fishing genre art.  I placed the hi-res images in my DropBox account and sent Ad the link; as well my story write-up for the piece, so Ad could do the translation.  Since I do not speak Dutch, and Google translator is good, but not as good as native tongue, I am much abliged for his native efforts.

061615_vliegvisser_art_publishedKudos as well to Hyppo Wanders, Vlieg Visser’s art director for his composition and layout. Very nicely done. I and my work were treated quite well!  And I must say, the Vlieg Visser is a most attractively designed publication.  As stated, I do not speak Dutch, but familiarity with the Romantic and Germanic languages, allowed me to easily ‘get the idea’.  And after all, it’s fly-fishing we’re talking here.  So, translation is really not needed. 😉

This is only the 2nd time my work has been seen in print.  Not because I have not wanted to, but I have never really promoted my art work, except here on Facebook and a few other places online.  I have my OOAK Digital Gallery, Akilogos and a ‘few’ Flickr accounts, RedBubble, other WordPress and Blogger sites. As well as Twitter, Instagram and … well!  Yes, I do promote… ONLINE.  (TIC TIC 😛 😛 )  Yes, I do promote as in ‘letting people know’ about my work, but I have not actively tried to sell my work.

That I certainly hope to alter, very soon.

Thank you very much Ad for the invitation and the opportunity.  It is always nice to see one’s efforts in the realm of ‘ink and paper’.  No matter how much I love -and I do LOVE!- the digital world, the analog world of ‘ink and paper’ are still an important link in validation of one’s efforts.

Now, to get some text-copy into print!! .. and get paid for it!  Yes! 😉


I would also like to acknowledge two other Facebook Friends who also shared this Dutch Ride (Oh yes.. all puns are intended!!) .

The fly-fishing gent of the Blackfoot watershed and Lincoln, MT, James Savstrom, provided the inspiration photo that culminated in the eLITHOGRAPH™, Moonlit Undercut Brune (pg 51, top-right). One of my personal favorites.  I really do look forward to another collaboration with Sir James of Savstrom. Thank you, Sir!

The other image sharing a ride is the eLITHOGRAPH™, Azure Reflections (pg 51, bottom).  The initial inspiration for this image, came from a photo of a beautiful, blue tinted operculum, of an Appalachian stream brown trout, captured by, Jessica Callihan.

WOW, Jessica!  What can we say about YOU? 

Well, let’s see:

  • Freshly minted graduate of Maryville College w/Veteran Honors,
  • US Navy Veteran,
  • Up-n-coming Artist (pick your media, she’s trying them all!),
  • Married to a very cool fly-fishing gent, Josh Calliahan …
  • and as of the last couple of weeks, and an Official Member of an auspicious court of Lady Flyfishers, ‘The Abel Women‘.

So, it is ME, who is greatly honored to have an image, with your inspiration make it into this article.  Many thanks to you Jess!

And a BIG THANKS to all of you, who push the ‘LIKE’ buttons, leave the encouraging comments and take the time to SHARE my efforts with others.  I truly do appreciate your support and friendship.  It means a LOT!   “THANK YOU!!!”