a flight across the Pacific, next to me in a window seat, a Californian
lawyer introduces himself. He is a fisherman, travels the world to cast
a fly on water. Earlier in the year he was in Patagonia, next Christmas
he is off to Iceland and the sea-trout. For now he is returning home from
Taupo. Not the broad lake or the stream mouths crowded with picket-line
anglers. His sport is back-country fishing, where the real
trout - smart, muscular - patrol the swift river beds. Where you need to
fish the surface and beneath the swirling current, overhanging banks and
submerged trees. Bugs, dry flies, muti-coloured lures - changing flies
eight, maybe ten times in an hour. And monofilament line so light that
half of those that strike are lost before they reach the bank. He laughs
when I ask about the taste of fresh trout, cooked over a fire. His philosophy,
his fisherman's code is catch and release ... it is the contest.
poetry and art, smart, muscular and not for the frying pan.