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New Year Bucket Lists by Mark Usyk

Posted by Mark Usyk on

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.


Winter Reading for the Angler by Mark Usyk

Posted by Mark Usyk on

There’s never enough time for fishing lately. But even though time on the water is more valuable than gold this time of year you can always find something to connect you to the waters and the fish once the work day is done and dinner has been eaten, once the kids have gone to bed, and for me, once the wife has turned on that godforsaken Hallmark Channel where every movie seems to have the same plot and the same two female lead actors. I know when she flips to that channel without even being in the room. I can only describe it as a disturbance in the force. It’s as if a million voices suddenly cry out in terror and are then suddenly silenced. But like I said, even though it’s dark before dinner and icicles hang from the eaves outside the windows there’s always a way to stay true to the cause. For one thing there’s fly tying, and for another there’s a never ending list of books filled with fishing stories.