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mystical metolius

The Drake Magazine, Winter ‘19

Whether or not there are 400 fish per mile along Oregon’s Metolius River isn’t really the point. Nor is access, which is so candy-sweet that you’re bound to stumble into the ethical waters of proper distance when leap-frogging a fellow angler. And there is surely no questioning the majesty of the place.

The point is that I’ve had days on the Met where I’ve caught more bats than trout, yet it remains a contender for my favorite watershed on the planet. A temple of beguiling blues, the Metolius flows nearly 30 miles from its spring-fed source—a geological sleight of hand just north of Black Butte—through the sleepy outpost of Camp Sherman en route to Lake Billy Chinook in Central Oregon’s high desert. 

Along the way it’s a slideshow of postcard images. The river’s many pronounced ledges and channels produce a broad range of depths, currents, and riffs on water color—from brooding midnight blue to coral so bright it seems plugged in. Standing watch are countless brick-red Ponderosa Pines, with their puzzle-piece-shaped bark and enough rings to prove they were here long before the fishing became tricky.

Since they stopped stocking the river in 1995, the conversations have changed. Talk of 30-fish days transitioned to neurotic recollections of what nearly cracked the code: A size 18 Rusty Spinner tied to a 12-foot leader, caught in a little whirlpool on an overcast Tuesday; a BWO fished wet just after a rain; a Little Yellow Sally trimmed to look like it’s injured, preferably on the first 80-degree day of the year.


Know Your Music Rights

SevenFifty Daily, June '18

In this digital age, we’re rich with torrents of content, as long as we’re within a wi-fi signal or carrying downloads. Much of this content is property, though, which is an immensely overlooked fact, especially where music is concerned. For the thousands of wineries, breweries, and bars treating their clientele to custom playlists, playing their favorite Spotify station in tasting rooms, taprooms, and other on-premise venues, or providing live music, there are strings attached—and they can be costly ones.

An increasing number of on-premise venues are being approached by performance rights organizations (PROs) like BMI, ASCAP, and SESAC for hosting live music or playing recorded music without legal permission. “This area has always been ripe, but the [music] industry really only started to enforce it in the last few years,” says Sheila Fox Morrison of Davis Wright Tremaine, a law firm based in Portland, Oregon, that employs approximately 500 lawyers in offices throughout the U.S. and China. “Restaurants went through a similar discovery period about 10 years ago.”

Morrison believes the biggest misconception involves streaming. “The copyright act provided for some carve-outs, or safety areas, when it was written, but that was back in the 1970s,” she says. In other words, there’s an exemption for radio broadcasting, but the music you might be playing via iTunes or Spotify needs to be licensed appropriately if played in a public space. “The risk is real,” she says. “It may be difficult to prove infringement, but with fines up to $35,000 per work infringed, and you’re playing many songs during a day—well, you do the math.”

Many streaming services, such as Pandora, offer business accounts that keep users compliant by means of subscription fees. Others, like Spotify or your iTunes library, technically demand special licensing if they’re played in a public space.




Spice it up

Oregon Wine Press, February '19

The ratio of wine consumption between India and France is estimated at a staggering one to 8,000. That means for every glass poured in Mumbai, Paris downs around 130 cases. Call it a tale of moderates versus lushes.

Obviously, wine’s footing in India is relatively insignificant. Expensive bottles are woven into its unsavory imperialistic history, enjoyed by and associated with the old colonial powers. Wine, at least symbolically, stains the tweed of every suit worn by British rulers for close to a century. Of course, most Indians prefer their masala chai and kosna. 

The planet has shrunk and the global wine scene has evolved, translating to more vineyards and imports on and to the subcontinent. Almost 80 labels call India home with more than half the production occurring in Nashik, an ancient holy city, set in the verdant northwest region of the country. Dubbed the “wine capital of India,” it has its own geographical indication for wine, where high-elevation estates benefit from significant diurnal shifts.

Finding Indian wine stateside isn’t easy, but that will likely change as producers continue to increase and the growing middle class views opportunity in export. Sula Vineyards ranks as the largest and most well-known. Established in 1998, the winery introduced the nation to varieties like Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel.

There’s plenty of romance, too, albeit an exotic variety compared with stereotypical wine perspectives. Indian wine folklore stretches from vines planted on old mango groves exhibiting pronounced tropical fruit notes to tiger sightings, the ultimate vineyard pest. The lush, waterfall-filled topography of Nashik embodies the stuff of fairytales, compelling enough to secure that faraway trip you’ve repeatedly discussed.

Sometimes, the food is so spectacular it can do the traveling for you. Faraway-inspired dishes can change perspectives on dining, broaden palates and introduce you to something new or unfamiliar. Much the same can be said about wine.