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Author Archives: Ari Vineberg

The last musky


It was the middle of December and while the possibility of the lake being frozen over occupied our thoughts, the subject was not openly discussed during the long drive , fearful lest its spoken acknowledgment became a prophesized reality. It was late in the season, winter had already laid a firm grip on the landscape and the days were getting shorter and colder and we both instinctively knew that it would be the last day of the year to catch a musky. As the truck neared the boat ramp it became evident that that we were already a day or so too late, as a thin layer of ice had already formed and stretched out for miles in all directions.  Read More »

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There was once a world before this and in it lived people who were not of our tribe. But the pillars of the earth collapsed, and all were destroyed. And the world was emptiness. Then two men grew up from a hummock of earth. They were born and fully grown all at once. And they wished to have children. A magic song changed one of them into a woman, and they had children. These were our earliest forefathers, and from them all the lands were peopled.
— Tuglik, Igloolik area, 1922

IT WAS HENRY DAVID THOREAU that remarked that most men fish all their lives without realizing that it was not always fish they were trying to catch. From my own vantage point the act of fishing has always been a combination of several constituent parts, least of all sometimes the fish. The fish are always a big part of it but it has always been more about the journey than the destination, the means and not the end, the places and people, not only the number or size of fish. There are some places and people that we meet along our journey that leave such a deep impression on our souls that they become part of who we are and never far away from our thoughts, despite the great distances of both time and space that often separate us. One such place that has forever imprinted its mark on me is a place called Nunavik – the Inuktituk word for a place to live. Read More »

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This was certainly one of the craziest fishing stories of all time and Sal was dead serious about the entire matter. His steel blue eyes, as deep and as impenetrable as the cold waters of Lake Baikal in his native homeland of Russia, had the faraway look of someone who had stared into the abyss of insanity and returned to tell the tale. Their cold matter-of-factness seemed to confirm the veracity behind the strange and incredible tale he had just related about how, both literally and figuratively, he had fed his best friend Harry to a giant yellow fin tuna. Read More »

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Coarse fish

There was once a time in the history of our sport when most considered that angling for anything other than trout or salmon on a fly was simply indecent and reprehensible. All other species of fish were considered “coarse”, and this can be probably be traced to the earliest traditions of fly-fishing in England. Historically, there were three types of fishing: coarse, sea, and trout or salmon and these three classes of fishing had their participating social and economic counterparts. The lower classes fished for coarse fish with bait, the middle classes angled with hardware by the sea, and the aristocratic class fly fished for both trout and salmon in the Highlands. Read More »

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A day in Buzios

Although the city of Buzios in Brazil was originally founded by fisherman who named it in reference to a type of shellfish that was prolific in this part of the ocean, there was very little information in the travel guides that made any reference at all to the fishing. One fact that stood out in my mind was that it was a resort village on the northern coast of Brazil that had been discovered by the French actress Brigitte Bardot in the sixties and that somewhere on the island was a bronze statue of her likeness staring thoughtfully out to sea. Read More »

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Stoned Fish?

It seems that all the trout in my neighbourhood are really stoned – at least according to the findings in a recent study of the St-Lawrence River near Montreal, where a team of researchers have discovered large quantities of anti-depressants in the local trout populations.

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Humbling experiences

Fishing can often be a humbling experience. We were recently on a shoot in Niagara Falls for browns and steelhead in late Autumn and had allowed ourselves a day and a half for shooting in the Gorge section below the Falls where we would we doing most of our fishing. The fishing had been good in the days prior to our arrival and water levels had remained normal despite the heavy rainfall on Lake Erie. A few days before one of our friends had landed a mind-blowing eighty-six browns in a single day! Read More »

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The River

The snow is crisp and hard, crackling under my waders like shards of glass, sending tiny ice crystals flying up in the air behind me with every footstep. I have made this walk alone a thousand times over yet each time I get closer to its banks my heart starts palpitating anxiously in anticipation of our re-union. The air is cold and redolent with the smell of pine and fir; all the other trees have long lost their foliage and stand like naked and forlorn sentries against the grey and foreboding sky. My breath hangs in the air, a fog that slowly dissipates behind me and rises above the trail like a cloud formation. Winters has laid its hand to rest and all, save for the river, is seemingly at a standstill. It is as though the world had taken a deep breath and forgot to exhale. Read More »

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Early Childhood

Ever since my early childhood I have been inexplicably drawn to water and to the creatures that inhabit their dark depths. Unlike the terrestrial world, there were still unknown mysteries in the deep dark waters that were never quick to reveal their inner machinations which, even in this age of empirical science where most things are known, still remain the subject of much conjecture and speculation. Even the fish, the beautifully spotted browns and brook trout caught in the creeks of my youth, had a life that seemed so mysterious and strange, and it was always a privilege just to be connected to their world and to feel their life energy merge with my own, even if only for a brief period of time. Read More »
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