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What is it that pulls at us?

I think my soul knows, but my conscious mind only has hints of what it really is.

I say it’s the adrenaline of the moment, it’s the environment, it’s the ambiance or the camaraderie… but that isn’t what I SEE when I look at an image of the sport in action.

The image speaks to me on so many levels. It nearly brings tears to my eyes before I want to laugh at the joy I know is behind that unintentional and seemingly cocky fisherman’s smirk.

I know this man’s pride of showing the catch and the growing remorse, helpless to delay the fleeting unity, squeezing every drop of pleasure from this climactic moment, and the eye’s fading memory of the escaping creature returned to the waters is like the shadow of the sun through a closed eyelid.

In that funny hat is this fisherman’s indifference to fashion and preference for function.

In those sturdy stiffening fingers is resilience and measured tenderness.

I see shoulders that bore a life of trials bolstered by faith and rationed with conformity. A tough stubborn jaw that is resolute and held the foundations firm.

I realize the common thread in the images of fishing I enjoy isn’t the fish caught or the fisherman’s posture extending a prize before the envious, but rather it is the water. Its form and color. Its depth and breadth. It too has limitations, but never ceases to crash against the rocks that restrict its freedom. It holds treasures within and always calls to those that have a least one of the five scenes.

I fish because the water calls me and because I have been one with it, and will so again. I hope.

A human life, as beautiful as it is, must be lived isolated and with division from everything around it, in a constant effort to connect; to be one with something, anything, everything, and just be.. for a moment. To stay in that moment, until unity flees to the depths at its first opportunity.

For me and for many, Fishing is a path to the cipher of life’s mystery, giving us only pieces of the code each time we cast our lines to discover… what the waters hold.

Bear Lake Cutthroat

The turquoise waters of Bear Lake, bisected by the state lines of northern Utah and southern Idaho, are home to a beautifully hued cutthroat trout, known locally as a “bluenose trout”. The snout and back of this fish can be deep azure; its flanks are silvery blue and green with black spots; and its pectoral, pelvic and anal fins are tinted orange.

Bear Lake is surrounded by high chaparral desert and situated at 6,000 feet (1,829) above sea level. The days are hot and clear, the evenings are cool, and the water is deep and clean. In late winter and springtime, and again in autumn, anglers flock to the 20-mile-long (32 km) lake to catch large cutthroat and lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush). Bear Lake cutthroat trout have been known to reach well over 20 pounds (9 kg), but anglers can generally expect to catch fish from 22 to 24 inches (56-61 cm) and 3 to 4 pounds (1.4-2.3 kg). Lake trout are stocked heavily and commonly grow to be 10 to 15 pounds (4.5-6.8 kg).

When trout in Bear Lake reach a certain size they become piscivorous (fish-eating) and grow large on a diet of the lake’s endemic forage fishes, such as the Bonneville cisco (Prosopium gemmifer), the Bonneville whitefish (P. spilonotus), the Bear Lake whitefish (P. abyssicola), and the Bear Lake sculpin (Cottus extensus).

Joseph R. Tomelleri has traveled more than 135,000 miles to collect fish for his extraordinary drawings. More than one hundred of his illustrations appear in Trout and Salmon of North America (The Free Press), which Nick Lyons calls "a long overdue-and remarkable-book! [A] crowning achievement."

I have the pleasure of owning the “Trout of North America 2012 Calendar” and enjoying Joseph’s illustrations, habitat and natural history details for each month’s featured fish. I hope you enjoy them too and seek out these fish in the natural environment.

Amazon

Amazon.

The word speaks for itself. Just reading the word gives me goosebumps. You don’t even need a picture here. Just close your eyes and say it. Amazon

Then I remember how pressed for time I am and I start feeling nervous. Why did I wait to do everything at the last minute?

I guess I was side tracked with other stuff, but in preparing for an upcoming trip in November to Manaus, I realized I couldn’t get the Brazilian visa.

Well… I can get it, but there was one other obstacle to resolve first. My passport has every page full of stamps. If that doesn’t sound like a lot of travel, consider that I’d already added pages previously. Now I need to add more pages before I can submit the passport to the Brazilian Consulate.

So I’ve got my fingers crossed, I’ve done everything I can and it’s just a matter of waiting… and repeating that word. Amazon

Mmm. There they are again. The goosebumps.

Tacunarè.

Do you know that one? It’s pronounced pretty much like you might expect. TAK-U-NA-RAY (roll the R a little and you’ll sound like a native)

I always preferred to say Peacock Bass, but now that I’m going deep into the… Amazon… I like saying Tacunarè. It sort of compliments the goosebumps. Makes me feel a little like Joseph Conrad and Marlow, and tales of a river into the ‘heart of darkeness’.

I know pictures are supposed to accompany blog posts. They say its better for the reader; keeps ‘em coming back. But sometimes the imagination is the best window into a new adventure, especially during the anticipation. Isn’t that when the trip really starts anyway?

I’ll reward my readers with pictures when I get back. I hope that will create some anticipation on their part... on your part.

In the meantime, close your eyes and whisper the word…

Deep Sea – Panama

Michael Q shared a video with me from a recent trip to Coiba Island, Panama, which is a regular trip for his crew… they’ve been doing this for a few years now.

The group’s guide was Coiba Sport Fishing’s Tom “Tarzan” Yust.

The video looks best in 720p resolution.

Enjoy!!

Happiness

If you wish to be happy for one hour, get drunk.
If you wish to be happy for three days, get married.
If you wish to be happy for a month, kill your pig and eat it.
If you wish to be happy forever, learn to fish.
– Chinese Proverb

As my first real post of 2011 I’m happy to share the new edition “Issuu 7″ of Baltic Pike Flies. Simon has a recognizable style that shows in every fly he ties, while never failing to amaze…

Baltic Pike Flies

Issuu 7

Baltic Pike Flies: Issuu 7
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