Recently, Pepperdine Magazine featured several university professors and their passion for other areas of interest. Prof. Parkening was interviewed, and his portion of the article appeared this week. The full article may be viewed here.
STRING KING: Christopher Parkening, Distinguished Professor of Music, Chair of the Guitar Department
When he’s not strumming guitar strings, Christopher Parkening can often be found holding another string instrument, the fishing pole. Parkening is a world class, champion fly-fisherman, and a former winner of the International Gold Cup Tarpon Tournament in the Florida Keys. “Like music, fly fishing takes discipline and hard work to perform well,” Parkening explains.
Parkening has been fishing since age six when his father taught him in the High Sierras. He continues to fish there with his own son. “The beauty of God’s creation is a special part of the enjoyment I feel when I am fly fishing,” Parkening enthuses. “I also love the challenge.”
When fishing for tarpon, Parkening uses a stiff rod with over 500 yards of line. “When you hook a big tarpon, it’s like being attached to a freight train,” Parkening says. “It is extremely challenging.”
The largest fish Parkening ever caught was a 6’5, 182 pound tarpon; the biggest salmon he ever snagged was a 40 pound Chinook caught on the Elk River, in Oregon.