Monday, March 14, 2011

Harry Lemire Or April Vokey: Looking For Signs

Click on photos for full size image.
This is a great time of year for many reasons. One of those is that it's the time to be making those plans for future megatrips. My brother John and I have been kicking around some ideas.

We have some family connections in New Mexico that make a trip there attractive. Neither of us have ever fished that country, and we'd have a staging area in Las Cruces, a piece of land near Chama to camp on, and a plethora of water to explore, including the San Juan.

There's always the Henry's Fork to consider, and the Grande Ronde. We have some golden memories of those rivers, and their call is strong.

Then there's the Olympic Peninsula. I've never been there--not yet--and neither has John, but he has some history on the Skagit. Back in the day, when he was with the Atlantic Salmon Federation, he fished the Skagit with a select group that included the fly fishing legend Harry Lemire. He wrote in an email, "That was the day I was chastised by Harry Lemire for fishing too slowly through a drift, thus wasting valuable time. So much for the 'contemplative sport.' I was the redtail that day and he wanted harrier."

Hah! That makes me laugh because when we fish together John always moves faster than I do. He's the one that came up with the redtail/harrier comparison to describe our different fishing styles.

Just goes to show...that I'd better not ever fish with Harry, I guess.

So all of those options are hanging out there, each with much to recommend themselves.

But then there's this: here I am, as I write this, sitting twenty miles from the border of British Columbia, right next to the highway that would take us in a few short hours to the fabled Skeena watershed. That fishery is famous for many reasons, not the least of which is that it's April Vokey country.

I couldn't resist. (And, let's see...think I'll make April's image extra large, and John's large. Yeah. Perfect.)  

So I've been researching a possible trip to that area. There's no shortage of information about that fishery, and it's all, well, as tantalizing as April herself.

In the course of my research I found a photo that makes me think Brother John has been holding out on me. Here he is:

And here he is on the Skeena with a 45 inch wild Steelhead! Why didn't he tell me?

OK, no, that isn't him. But what a resemblance. As I emailed John, it's a sign, man.

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