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The River of Grass

The Everglades were decidedly not a safe place for two inexperienced Canucks.This truth had been quickly established during the drive through the park when we stopped off to prospect for bass in one of the many ponds along the Tamiani trail. In shorts, wading out towards the ledge of the limestone shelf and casting towards the deeper water that seemed to hold such promise, the subtle shapes that slid off the island and cruised towards my location went largely unnoticed until a sudden feeling of paranoia overcame me with the realization that the trail of bubbles honing in on me belonged to alligators looking for an easy meal. I hightailed it out of the water as fast as I could and stood at a safe distance from the shoreline while one of them surfaced a few feet away and inspected me like a piece of meat at the butcher’s counter at the Winn-Dixie supermarket. Read More »

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Fortune and Glory

IT WAS SOMEWHERE AROUND LAKE HURON that we decided to drive south towards hogtown and spend our last day fishing with Greg Amiel’s Fishing4Tails charter service for steelhead and king salmon before heading back down the final leg of the highway towards home. After one month of fishing everyday, we needed a little fishing to break the trip up and it was the perfect opportunity to finally fish with Greg. We had initially become acquainted  through a variety of internet fishing social networks but this marked our first occasion to meet in person and fish together. Despite the sketchy last-minute arrangements, mostly exchanged through text messages as we worked our way across Northern Ontario, he was incredibly generous with his time and created a hole for us in his busy schedule. Read More »

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The Unatrouter

This is neither a cautionary tale nor a work of fiction. Rather, it is a factual account of the activities that took place a week ago last Friday, as all official records will indicate, during my latest trout adventure. Little did I know that the roles were to be reversed and that it was the fisherman was to be the catch of the day.

For one almost fateful morning my person was the subject of a joint manhunt co-ordinated by agencies of both the United States of America, land of the not so free anymore since the passage of The Patriot Act, and Canada, land of the timid politicians who do not want to ruffle the feathers of the bald eagle. And then there was little old me, middle-aged, fish-addicted, and somewhat still suffering from two months of cabin fever who needed to feel the tug of a fish the way a junkie needs a fix. I was a trout junkie. A trout terrorist…..the Una-Trouter!

The day started quite inocuously, the sun was shining, birds were chirping in the treetops, squirrels played and life was finally returning after a long winter. Then it began to turn into a hellish nightmare which had nothing to do with the fishing. You see, I was fishing border waters and had parked my suspicious black truck at the end of a dead-end country road in the middle of nowhere, not fifty feet from a snowbank and large obelisk shaped stone with U.S.A. painted in red across it that demarcated the borderline between Canada and the US. This border is the longest unprotected border in the civilized world and many parts of it, like this one, are basically patrolled by squirrels and crows. Read More »

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