JP added me to a string of e-mails recently between him and a customer who lives on a tropical island. You know, one of those islands surrounded by thousands of miles of ocean…and my ideas of what fishing was like on one of those islands was all but destroyed. It’s not like I talk to fly fishermen every day who live on an island in the middle of an ocean, so most of my notions are actually nothing more than assumptions. Come to think about it, if you asked me what kind of fish you’d catch in a small fresh water stream on a tropical island five thousand miles from home, I wouldn’t have the first clue. So the only assumption I really made was thinking I might have an idea in the first place.
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I’ve got a bucket list for fishing like most anyone else does. And of course it’s not very realistic. What’s the point of having a list of fish you want to catch before you die if they’re completely normal and easy to find and catch? Goliath tiger fish in hippo infested waters. Taimen in Mongolian rivers that take months of planning and days of traveling just to get to. Brook trout in Labrador that weigh more than your children when they were born. Pike in remote Canadian lakes that feed on everything and anything because they can. Tarpon. Golden dorado. Arapaima. I’ll quit. You get the idea. It’s a list probably very similar to a lot of other angler’s lists. Only I’m about to get real. There’s a ninety-five percent chance that I’ll never fish for ninety-nine percent of these. It’s fun to have a bucket list full of crazy and exotic fish in faraway places, but to me that’s all it is. A fun list. It’s not realistic in the least. Unless National Geographic or some publisher knocks on my door and asks me to go on these adventures for them, which is even less realistic than the list itself, it’ll always just be a list in my head. Nothing more.
It’s time to get realistic. Come up with an angling bucket list that I have a chance of completing. Something I can see and touch in the world I live in.