view from the turboprop over sub-arctic canada
Photo: Chris Hunt

Anticipation

Seeking pike in the remote, Canadian sub-Arctic

The charter terminal at the Winnipeg Airport is manic this morning. We’re part of a group of anglers awaiting the conclusion of a long journey—one more flight on a tough little turboprop, and we’re there.

Reindeer Lake.

The guys mill around the terminal, watching as the crew weighs and organizes a cargo hold burgeoning with fishing gear. One rod case is a good 12 feet long, spurring me to remark to my buddy Mike, “Who’s fishing with the pole vault?”

Brown Trout - Arkansas River
Brown trout are abundant in the Arkansas River including the stretch running through Browns Canyon National Monument.

Of browns and bugs

Fishing through Colorado’s new national monument

I’m in Browns Canyon National Monument. It’s Colorado’s corner of newly protected public land. The Arkansas River is its lifeline. I’m fishing that lifeline from a raft rowed by Colorado permit pioneer Bill Dvorak.

The river is running too low in my opinion, 300 cubic feet per second (CFS), but my opinion doesn’t count here. This isn’t my home water. It’s Dvorak’s.

Lanin Volcano - Malleo River - Patagonia, Argentina
The Lanin volcano, which seems ever-present on some sections of the Malleo, towers over the middle section of the river below (photo: Isaias Miciu).

The many faces of the Malleo

Patagonia's Rio Malleo offers some of the finest and most diverse fishing in all of Argentina

As we toss gear into the truck and finish morning coffees, Santos, our guide from Patagonia River Guides, informs me that our planned day on the Malleo will be spent on the lower section of the river and I immediately start to pepper him with questions. Why the lower section? Why not the upper? Or the middle? On my previous visits, I'd spent most of my time on sections of the Malleo other than the lower, and spent it enjoying fantastic fishing amongst some of the most beautiful vistas I'd seen in all of Patagonia.

Road to Big Brook Bog
Photo: Matthew Reilly

Serendipity

The quest for wild places

Early in my life, my father instilled in me the habit of exploration, of wandering hand-in-hand with chance, and reveling in the results. So it comes as no surprise that we are both habitual fly fishermen infatuated with wild places.

fishing rv
Photo: Chris Hunt

That guy

Because toilets and showers are all they're cracked up to be

We’ve all been there. It’s summer. We’re headed somewhere fishy and the sooner we get there, the sooner we can assemble the 4-weight and hit the water. We’ve squeezed a weekend’s worth of beer and grub into the back of the SUV, and we’re ready to stand knee-deep in a trout stream and wash away all that’s wrong with the world. We’re on some two-lane highway in the middle of nowhere, and the speed limit is merely a strong suggestion.

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