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Fishing Passion

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Snippets from the Book

From The Great Kishkutena Adventure chapter.

" . . .There we were, Bob Feldtman and I, clad only in our underpants and boots, fiercely backpaddling our canoe against the current so that we wouldn't run smack into that huge, ornery moose standing in the middle of the stream huffing and puffing and blocking our course. We were tired, hungry, cold, wet, dejected and too concerned to worry about the swarms of blood-sucking mosquitoes that feasted ravenously on us. The moose looked at us with those baleful eyes, lowering his head to make sure we were aware of his massive antlers and warning us with snorts and grunts . . . It was showdown time, and we weren't going to be the first to blink . . ."

From Fishing with the greats-Stu Apte.

" . . .I thought Stu Apte was the biggest B.S.er in fishing. Back in the 1950s, I read about this cat who claimed that he was landing big sails-over 100 pounds-in Panama on 16-pound, plug-casting tackle. 16-pound line, mind you! Heck, we Midwestern anglers were breaking 20-pound lines on muskies that weighed 20 pounds or less. Then he landed a 95-pound sail on four-pound test line. What was he doing? Tranquilizing these fish with some kind of a dart?

[But later in the chapter, Chapralis writes]

" . . . If I were to pick one person as the world's best all-round angler in the history of fishing it would be Stu Apte in his prime. That's quite a statement, I know, but remember, I said all-round. There are many superb anglers in the world today, but my balance swings toward Apte . . ."

From First Customer chapter.

" . . .While I was preparing camp on shore, he fell off the boat head first into the muck. Good thing I happened to return to the boat and saw his legs flopping in the water. I was able to pull him out but he nearly drowned. Then I took him on land, and told him to sit down and relax under the shade of a tree while I attended to cleaning fish and preparing lunch, but he saw a big snake and was so alarmed that he took off and got lost. Good thing I was able to follow his footsteps . . ."

From A life for a Salmon chapter.

"Doc, I have two ambitions: I want to fish in Alaska and catch a silver salmon, and I want to take the train across Canada before I die. I'm going to do that, no matter what the consequences are."

The doctor shook his head. He adamantly advised against these goals.

"The choice is yours, of course. I can't stop you."

"I understand. I better do it soon."

He began planning . . ."

From Colombian Episodes chapter.

" . . .I sat on the floor as the '[witch] doctor' felt the swelling of the ankle and foot. He thought for a moment and then he dug into a bag and pulled out a jar of some repugnant black and grey salve. Before applying the ointment, he opened the bag again and removed a few feathers which he proceeded to scatter around the floor in a circle around my foot. I think there were nine feathers.

He then set fire to the feathers on the floor and mumbled something in a dialect; it was definitely not Spanish. Then he started to chant as he also rubbed or shook some sort of a small gourd. Very mystic. Then he applied that vile salve on my foot and ankle and placed one hand on the heel of my foot and the other in front of the foot and pulled like hell, apparently trying to force the bones back in place. I let out a heckuva cry as I've never felt such pain before . . ."

Also from Colombian Episodes chapter.

" . . .The prisoner and his guard sat in the back while George sat next to the pilot. About halfway there, while George and the guard had dozed off, the prisoner evidently decided to hijack the plane. He reached for the guard's gun, which woke up the guard. There was a struggle. BANG!!! The gun discharged. Or more accurately, the guard shot the prisoner in the heart. Blood gushed out from his chest like a water fountain at first but then only in spurts, and finally only in dribbles. The prisoner was dead. There was blood all over the back of the plane.
And the guard went back to sleep.
When they arrived at the airstrip, the Orinoco Ark representative was there to meet the plane.

'How was your flight?' he asked, as George prepared to unsqueeze himself from the tight confines of the Cessna. Then the rep noticed the blood and the dead prisoner in the back. He recovered nicely: 'Oh well, the fishing is terrific at the Ark!'"

From Screw the Duke of Roxborough and other Norwegian stories chapter.

"Every midnight lunch was the same. Two hot dogs, a can of sardines and one apple. At exactly midnight, the guides would row to a shorelunch spot, prepare a fire, and hand you a couple of sticks for the weenie roast. Having fished in Canada dozens of times, I'm a shorelunch person. I look forward to them. But not on the Alta. Hot dogs? Every lunch? The menu never changed!

"Visualize this: You are sitting on a rock, holding a stick and a hot dog over the campfire. A ghillie sits on each side of you, jabbering in Norwegian. Invariably, one ghillie tells what apparently is a helluva funny Norwegian joke. The other guide breaks out in a crescendo of guffaws and laughter. Both are shaking uproariously, their bellies wiggling, their eyes tearing from laughter, and there you are, poker-faced, holding a wiener on a stick over a fire. Laughter is quite contagious, so eventually you laugh, and they laugh harder until they realize you couldn't possibly understand the joke, so they stop laughing and look at you strangely. Serious conversation resumes for a while, but minutes later, the second ghillie thinks of a joke, and the whole episode repeats itself."

From The shocking adventure of a camp owner chapter.

"When I got back to the plane, the soldiers were waiting. I was quickly surrounded and taken into the big house, seven machine guns casually pointing my way. Inside, they told me to stand, while they sat in a circle around me. They were all very young, and seemed uncertain as to what to do with me . . . My papers were demanded.. . The boy who had asked for them couldn't read, and had to ask his friends if any of them could. Two could, but it took them several minutes, lips moving with each word, to read a half-page letter. When the letter had been discussed, they handed it back to me and said, 'This is no good.' My stomach felt like I had swallowed hot lead.

'We will have to decide what to do with you," I was told by the boy facing me.'"

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