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 . . ."
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 . . ."
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 . . ."
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
The doctor shook his head. He adamantly advised against these
"The choice is yours, of course. I can't stop you."
"I understand. I better do it soon."
He began planning . . ."
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
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!'"
Screw the Duke of Roxborough and other Norwegian stories
"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
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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