All posts by Nick Mills

Nick Mills

About Nick Mills

Full disclosure: I was not born in Maine, alas! I was born in Massachusetts, but the family moved to Maine when I was eleven, and I grew up in Thomaston. My dad was skipper of one of the draggers that sailed out of Rockland, in the days when it was a rough-tough working fishing port. When he came in from the sea his favorite activity was freshwater fishing with me and my brother, Peter. We learned together to flyfish for trout in the Alder Stream in Eustis. Once hooked on the sport, pun intended, I fished at every opportunity in every place I could -- in the rivers, streams and ponds of Maine; in the mountain ponds of Utah, where I was stationed for a year in the Army; in high Andean lakes in Colombia, where I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer; even in a lagoon that surrounded one of Saddam Hussein's palaces in Baghdad. I tried once to go trout fishing in northern Afghanistan, when the U.S.S.R. occupied that country; a landslide blocked my path, but that led to a more interesting adventure, which I will tell you about in a future post.

Flyfishing, Baseball, Ted Williams, and Me

(The Virtual Angler has been in hibernation but has been roused from his slumber by the distant sound of bat striking ball and the unmistakable scent of Spring in the air.) The day after the shock of Super Bowl LII plunged Patriot Nation into a darkness deeper than a CMP blackout, the sun rose at […]

Angling Questions, Fishy Answers

Anglers are forever being asked by non-anglers, “Why do you fish?” They ask it in the tone of voice they might use when picking up a dead mouse, as though it were some disfigurement or character flaw. We anglers have a hard time answering the question, because we cannot fathom how another homo sapiens could […]

A Brief History of Vise

When I first started doing it I did it every chance I got. My father saw me doing it and warned me that if I kept it up I’d go blind. We’re talking, of course, about tying flies. Fly-tyers have been around for a long, long time. Forget about the revered Isaak Walton, the 17th […]

Auld Lang Syne. Whatever.

What New Year’s Eve is really for is not so much to celebrate the arrival of a new year as to blow off the steam accumulated in your boiler under the terrible pressure of Christmas. Yeah, sure, Auld Lange Syne and all that, but the auld acquaintance we’re trying to put in the rear view […]

I Love Brook Trout. So Should You.

I’m in love with a fish. It’s no secret. I don’t try to hide it. This affair has been going on for some time, since I was, I guess, twelve years old and saw my first brook trout. That trout had just opened its mouth to dine on a live worm, until recently a contented […]