If you’ve read enough Gierach then you know about Mike Clark and South Creek Ltd. I’m sure Gierach’s portrayal is a bit skewed for literary purposes but nevertheless I’ve always pictured a grumpy quiet salty dog who hates nymphing and anything heavier than a 4wt, or maybe was that was A.K. Best I’m thinking of? I can’t remember. At any rate, If you want to learn a little bit more about Mike Clark and South Creek Ltd. there is a pretty good story about him at the boulderreporter.com. You will have to stomach a little melodrama thrown in for good measure. My favorite quote from the article is below.
…Mike Clark came from out the tumult of the Sixties where rescuing the all but lost crafts of an older and simpler time could be a thumb in the eye of the managers of a sickening war and all the social ills and resentments that for so long had been accumulating on the late-American experience. I believe that we cannot otherwise understand the amazing renaissance of fine crafts that we find everywhere today.
Mike seems almost as much a curator of a collection of valuable angling artifacts and memorabilia as he does a builder and merchant of rods. Yes, it’s like a tiny museum, a stepping out of time, out of the hurly-burly of contemporary fly fishing mania into a place where the great tradition as once we knew it is quietly nourished and protected, even insisted upon. And yet, Mike remains something of a mystery to me, something deeply private about him. I leave his studio wishing I had spoken better and asked better questions. I leave uneasy, wondering what he must be thinking of me. In his retiring way, Mike is running the show.