The controversial practice of farm raising Atlantic Salmon in net pens in Washington State is facing a permanent ban. The August, 2017, escape of more than 300,000 adult pen reared salmon from Cooke Aquaculture’s Cyprus Island facility in the Strait of Juan De Fuca, has hastened the call to shut down all salmon farming statewide. Two bills have been introduced in the state legislature to transform the current moratorium, imposed by Governor Jay Inslee, into a permanent ban. My latest article published in Northwest Fly Fishing Magazine details what caused the escape and what we can expect in the weeks and maybe months ahead. I will publish follow up articles as the story evolves toward a final conclusion.
Living in Seattle, Washington, I never imagined just how close Russia is to the Pacific Northwest. Fly to Anchorage, Alaska and overnight. On the following morning, catch Japanese owned Yakutia Air Company’s 4 and ½ hour weekly flight from Anchorage across the Bering Sea to the Russian port city of Petropavlovsk Kamchastky. Return flights to the US are scheduled the following week. Today, Kamchatka is one of the most exciting ecotourism destinations worldwide. Hiking, trekking, climbing, wildlife photography, world class fly fishing and more are just a few of the activities that make Kamchatka a jewel in the crown of East Russia. I hope to return to this land of active and dormant volcanoes that soar above the clouds in 2016. Please enjoy a taste of my last adventure to this land of “fire and ice.”
This year I published an essay in Triple A’s Journey Magazine. Response was overwhelming. Why did people call and write the magazine? Nostalgia, plain and simple. The longing to rekindle a sentimental moment shared with a loved one burned as bright today as when it occurred long past. Often happy and melancholy memories are triggered by associations, such as a song on Pandora, or a photo online or in print; and, fortunately in this paradoxical era “where instant communication isn’t fast enough”, the written word that can still evoke heartfelt emotions that helped shaped who we are today. Thanks to all who still believe that nature is the gateway to a life full of hidden treasures.
It’s always Christmas, 24-7.
The Bonefish Missionaries
For over two hundred years, English, Australian and American missionaries have cast their secular nets over a small isolated outpost in the Line Islands of the North Pacific. Their prized catches were the hearts and minds of the Gilbertese, Polynesian descendants named after the British Sea Captain and explorer, Thomas Gilbert, who inhabit the planet’s largest coral atoll of Christmas Island.
Today a new kind of disciple preaches to devoted followers. Often shoeless and quick to smile, meet the “Bonefish Missionaries”, a handful of highly skilled native fishing guides that patiently teach a steady stream of converts who come to Christmas Island weekly to pursue Bonefish, a.k.a., the silver streak of the flats.
Guides, like Tanaka, who learned to swim before he could walk. Born to become a fisherman, his knowledge of the flats and his uncanny ability to see “through the water”, provide an exciting narrative for the thousands of fly anglers that have made the pilgrimage to this Bonefish Mecca.