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Scott Sadil and the Reader

Fly fishing at Black's Beach, in Baja, hunting in Solana Beach, Gary Keating gives up on surfing, our garden on Fire Mountain Rd., raising cats, chickens

Scot found a quiet spot on a knoll overlooking the southern edge of San Elijo Lagoon, and he stood there and thought about why he was hunting without Petey. - Image by David Diaz
Scot found a quiet spot on a knoll overlooking the southern edge of San Elijo Lagoon, and he stood there and thought about why he was hunting without Petey.

Sadil, who wrote for the Reader from 1985 through 1990, moved to Oregon, where he has taught in public high school and written books. Sadil’s Fly Tales: Lessons in Fly Fishing Like the Real Guys, was published by Barclay Creek Press in August, 2010. A collection of his fiction, Lost in Wyoming, was published in July, 2009, also by Barclay Creek Press. Lost in Wyoming was selected as a finalist for the 2011 Ken Kesey Oregon Book Award in Fiction.

Stories Sadil wrote for the Reader:

  • A cast of one

  • Is surf fishing the domain of the little man? Let’s nip this one in the bud. Surf fishing breeds intimacy with fish, the sea, and freedom. The spirt of the game is its refined simplicity. (December 5, 1985)
The following evening I hiked down to Black’s Beach, spotfin croaker on my mind.
  • A hunter at heart

  • The problem with dogs, don’t you know, is we usually end up having to bury them. Petey died in May. The way Scot Harrison tells it, his dog was having a hell of a time getting around anymore, and the day before he had Petey put to sleep, he’d found his dog crying at the foot of the stairs leading down to Table Tops Reef in Solana Beach. That’s close to 300 stairs, and by the looks of Petey, he’d tumbled down most of them. (July 24, 1986)
Sometime during the night, Gary Keating had given up on surfing and on everything else besides.
  • A model trout habitat in Baja

  • Two years ago, when I first began my search for Salmo nelsoni, the Baja rainbow trout, I contacted Don Albright, a longtime Baja aficionado who regularly leads friends and members of the San Diego Natural History Museum on field expeditions into the San Pedro Mártir National Park. (Feb. 26, 1987)
I made my way south in the spring, nursing my old Ford down Baja 1 to the Meling Ranch turn-off near the mouth of the Rio San Telmo. Four hours and sixty miles later, with the Ford’s temperature gauge flirting with H, the dirt road leveled off among pines.
  • Our new garden up on Fire Mountain looked like hell

  • I grew up in Southern California suburbia and hated gardening. It was called yard work, which pretty much explains why any kid would feel about it as I did. The brunt of the work was in the form of mowing the lawn, edging the lawn, trimming around trees in the lawn, and weeding. (June 11, 1987)
Author's garden. For those of a certain bent, a garden defines home in a way that nothing else can.
  • Where the heart is

  • My wife and I bought our house on Fire Mountain in Oceanside during the heat of the most recent real-estate frenzy. Today, some three years later, we couldn’t possibly afford the down payment, much less the mortgage. It’s a little house, set directly on dirt. Around 1100 square feet in all, with a big detached garage. It was once a farm shed for an adjacent five-acre avocado grove. ( Feb. 15, 1990)
  • The deal with cats

  • From day one, as best as I remember it, I was led to believe I should despise cats. Both my father and grandfather had been bird hunters in Nebraska before emigrating to the coast, and like a lot of men, they shared the opinion that the only worthwhile pets were dogs because you could train them on the basis of their fundamental disposition to please, a virtue utterly lacking in the psychological makeup of cats. (May 3, 1990)
Spider was killed soon after we moved, as husband and wife, to a dreamy little place up on Fire Mountain in Oceanside.
  • The chicken or the ego?

  • It was one of the weekends when my wife announces, out of the blue, that she is miserable, and except for our son, our marriage, essentially, is a disaster. I was building a chicken coop. We had both agreed we needed a new one ever since giving some friends our last flock. (Sept. 20, 1990)
By law, one can keep up to two dozen chickens within the San Diego city limits, as long as they are no closer than 50 feet to any occupied dwelling.
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Scot found a quiet spot on a knoll overlooking the southern edge of San Elijo Lagoon, and he stood there and thought about why he was hunting without Petey. - Image by David Diaz
Scot found a quiet spot on a knoll overlooking the southern edge of San Elijo Lagoon, and he stood there and thought about why he was hunting without Petey.

Sadil, who wrote for the Reader from 1985 through 1990, moved to Oregon, where he has taught in public high school and written books. Sadil’s Fly Tales: Lessons in Fly Fishing Like the Real Guys, was published by Barclay Creek Press in August, 2010. A collection of his fiction, Lost in Wyoming, was published in July, 2009, also by Barclay Creek Press. Lost in Wyoming was selected as a finalist for the 2011 Ken Kesey Oregon Book Award in Fiction.

Stories Sadil wrote for the Reader:

  • A cast of one

  • Is surf fishing the domain of the little man? Let’s nip this one in the bud. Surf fishing breeds intimacy with fish, the sea, and freedom. The spirt of the game is its refined simplicity. (December 5, 1985)
The following evening I hiked down to Black’s Beach, spotfin croaker on my mind.
  • A hunter at heart

  • The problem with dogs, don’t you know, is we usually end up having to bury them. Petey died in May. The way Scot Harrison tells it, his dog was having a hell of a time getting around anymore, and the day before he had Petey put to sleep, he’d found his dog crying at the foot of the stairs leading down to Table Tops Reef in Solana Beach. That’s close to 300 stairs, and by the looks of Petey, he’d tumbled down most of them. (July 24, 1986)
Sometime during the night, Gary Keating had given up on surfing and on everything else besides.
  • A model trout habitat in Baja

  • Two years ago, when I first began my search for Salmo nelsoni, the Baja rainbow trout, I contacted Don Albright, a longtime Baja aficionado who regularly leads friends and members of the San Diego Natural History Museum on field expeditions into the San Pedro Mártir National Park. (Feb. 26, 1987)
I made my way south in the spring, nursing my old Ford down Baja 1 to the Meling Ranch turn-off near the mouth of the Rio San Telmo. Four hours and sixty miles later, with the Ford’s temperature gauge flirting with H, the dirt road leveled off among pines.
  • Our new garden up on Fire Mountain looked like hell

  • I grew up in Southern California suburbia and hated gardening. It was called yard work, which pretty much explains why any kid would feel about it as I did. The brunt of the work was in the form of mowing the lawn, edging the lawn, trimming around trees in the lawn, and weeding. (June 11, 1987)
Author's garden. For those of a certain bent, a garden defines home in a way that nothing else can.
  • Where the heart is

  • My wife and I bought our house on Fire Mountain in Oceanside during the heat of the most recent real-estate frenzy. Today, some three years later, we couldn’t possibly afford the down payment, much less the mortgage. It’s a little house, set directly on dirt. Around 1100 square feet in all, with a big detached garage. It was once a farm shed for an adjacent five-acre avocado grove. ( Feb. 15, 1990)
  • The deal with cats

  • From day one, as best as I remember it, I was led to believe I should despise cats. Both my father and grandfather had been bird hunters in Nebraska before emigrating to the coast, and like a lot of men, they shared the opinion that the only worthwhile pets were dogs because you could train them on the basis of their fundamental disposition to please, a virtue utterly lacking in the psychological makeup of cats. (May 3, 1990)
Spider was killed soon after we moved, as husband and wife, to a dreamy little place up on Fire Mountain in Oceanside.
  • The chicken or the ego?

  • It was one of the weekends when my wife announces, out of the blue, that she is miserable, and except for our son, our marriage, essentially, is a disaster. I was building a chicken coop. We had both agreed we needed a new one ever since giving some friends our last flock. (Sept. 20, 1990)
By law, one can keep up to two dozen chickens within the San Diego city limits, as long as they are no closer than 50 feet to any occupied dwelling.
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