11
Jun 19

Getting to Cuba Just Got Harder

The Trump Administration recently announced some expanded travel restrictions for Cuba, because, ya know… they are super, super, super duper a threat to our way of life and, also, he’d like to keep Florida red in 2020.

Cuba

I talked with Kristen Tripp, Program Director for Cuba at Yellow Dog Fly Fishing Adventures and I asked her what the impact of this latest news would be on their program.

First, Kristen expressed her frustration and sorrow for the people of Cuba who have been through a lot, make due with very little and are certainly being hurt by some of these very backward looking policies. There’s a shortage of just about everything in Cuba, including chickens, and people really are being put through unnecessary harm.

Awesome shot by Jim Klug in Cuba, 2012.

Second, Kristen explained that things have changes since I went to Cuba back in 2012. The whole operation has worked hard to make their trips legal (read, not just sneaking in from Mexico). This new policy makes that harder, but not impossible and they’ll be trying very hard to maintain above-board Cuban trips this year and into the future. Trips are still being booked to Cuba and any already on the books are grandfathered in. Still, there will be changes and the exact fall-out is a bit still to be worked out.

Cuba was a fantastic experience for me… one of the best trips I’ve ever been on. It was pretty obvious how bad the Cuban people were hurting back then and it hasn’t gotten better since. It is all a travesty and I hope some intelligence seeps into our Cuban policy that doesn’t revolve around Presidential politics.

Photo by Matt Hansen… me, seconds after losing a really, really nice fish.

For the latest developments, there are few people better suited to answer your questions than the folks at Yellow Dog and Kristen in particular.

I’m not the only one who thinks this is a bad idea. So does Foreign Policy (that liberal rag). The Guardian thinks sanctions don’t work. Fortune seems to think it is a bad idea.

It is bad policy… a failed policy that didn’t work for 50 years. Let’s get past this.


02
Jun 19

Costa Rica Tarpon

I don’t think I want to go for a swim in here, but the tarpon look FUN.

I really need to get into another tarpon.

I’m just going to say this… there is usually no point to just casting your fly back and forth more than, oh, twice. I call that “casterbating” while you may use another term. Whatever it is, it isn’t shadow casting from a river runs through it, which isn’t a thing anyway.

In that video the angler is doing two things I’d change. First… cast closer to the shore. If you are as short as he is, so frequently, that’s not doing you any favors. Put the fly in front of the fish. Second… get that fly out of the air and into the water.

Costa Rica… yeah… on the list, but the list is too long.


29
May 19

The Story of Oliver White

Few figures in fly fishing right now are as compelling as Oliver White. Owner of Abaco Lodge (and I think Bair’s Lodge) and co-founder of IndiFly, Oliver is the kind of guy you’d want to spend a day on the water with.

Here’s a well done video (the Felt Soul guys) with some of his story.

(Looks like they took this video down… not sure what is going on there, but it is no longer on the Felt Soul site)


02
Apr 19

Aloha Spring Break

If you’ve been here for a while, you know that for the last few years Spring Break has meant a trip with my daughter. She’s 12 now and maybe won’t want to do this sort of trip much in the future… I mean… how fun is it to hang with your mid-40’s dad?

Last couple years we went to Belize, which was a good time. This year, we are instead headed West to the Garden Island, Kauai.

Not a bad place to get skunked.

Now… Kauai and I have a complicated relationship. It was the island I honeymooned on for my first marriage. It is the place where I saw my first bonefish. My folks brought us out there for their 40th anniversary. I went to this very same spot just after my divorce to try to catch one of those bonefish. The last time I fished here, for 4 days, I had exactly three very marginal shots.

It’s beautiful there… and rainy… and lush. I’m looking forward to it and, at this point, the girl is too. We’ll be camping for three nights and I hope the roosters let the girl sleep enough to keep her in good spirits.

Maybe there will be fish… maybe not. We’ll see.

This was the bonefish I caught in Kauai.

21
Mar 19

Sudan?

When I think of Sudan I don’t think of fly fishing… but… maybe I should. This video looks super intriguing and I have a newfound appreciation for triggers after fishing Christmas Island.

I mean… there is this from the US State Department…

” Reconsider travel to Sudan due to terrorism and civil unrest. Some areas have increased risk.”

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/sudan-travel-advisory.html

I doubt Sudan is going to be really high on my list, but I’m sure that’s just part my ignorance of what’s happening there.

Do love the triggers though.


01
Mar 19

The McCloud River via Orvis

I love this river. I tried to name my daughter Ahdina (there’s a spot called Ah Di Na just upstream from where these guys were). The Conservancy property, Ash Camp, Fowlers… it is one of the most beautiful rivers I’ve ever set foot in. I didn’t fish it last year, but this has made my mind up to make a trip up there this year for sure.

Not bonefishing. Not triggers or tarpon, but a special place. Hope you enjoy.


27
Dec 18

Well Wishes

Second Christmas is coming… about a month out. Some gear still left to acquire and about 100 flies left to tie.


11
Jan 18

Cliche

The Cliche of Gin

The water, most days, in most of the places I love being is gin clear.

It is as clear as water, but you just can’t say that, right? It’s like you aren’t even trying.

It is as clear as stale 7-Up.

It is as clear as simple arithmetic.

It is as clear as a bag of IV solution

which is usually saline, which makes sense.

It is as clear as the nose on my face.

It is at clear as the rumbling, booming Dolby hi-def deafening audio at the movie theatre.

It is as clear as a clear day.

It is as clear as a dive in the box.

It is clear as clear.

That’s how the water is in the places I love on a good day when the wind isn’t up too much and there’s no churn from a cold front.

It is only the part in the middle that is clear.

The surface has ripples and currents and is seldom still.

The bottom is a jumble of refracted light and swaying grasses which confuse and trick the eye.

But the medium in the middle, the domain of the fish, it is clear as gin.

That is a picture to put a smile on your face, isn’t it? (photo by Peter Viau, originally from this post about South Andros). 


02
Nov 17

Irma, the Keys, This is Fly and Dr. Adams

Here’s something for you to check out if you want to know what Irma did to the Keys.

A story by Dr. Aaron Adams in This is Fly about what impact Irma has on the Keys, which should give you a pretty good idea of the shape of things.

Now that is purdy

 


09
Mar 17

Fine words from Yvon

I like Yvon Chouinard. The business he founded, Patagonia, has an ethic I dig and gear I cherish (I better cherish because it is damn expensive, but you get what you pay for).

Here’s a link to his op-ed in the LA Times about the challenges facing our public lands.

Pirates Casting