31 May 2012


This article originally appeared as the Faces Outdoors column in the May 2012 issue of Faces Fredericton, a local lifestyle & entertainment magazine that features those who partake in the city’s nightlife, dining, shopping and entertainment events in and about Fredericton.
Saint John River smallmouth, caught in Fredericton
Click to visit Faces Fredericton
Something that seems to regularly surprise people I speak with about fly fishing is when I tell them where my favourite spot in New Brunswick to chase fish is: Fredericton

The reactions are varied, ranging from mild shock (“Fredericton?!?”) to receiving a look one might get if they had just sprouted a second head from their neck. Once I explain myself, however, they’re usually asking me to take them fishing.

Sadly, it seems some people here in Fredericton view the Saint John River only as an obstacle to get across during rush hour, but unbeknownst to many residents of our fair city, the waters of the Saint John River hold big fish. Trophy fish, such as four-pound smallmouth bass, muskie over a meter long, and the powerful striped bass, some weighing over forty pounds.

Of these three piscatorial local residents, my favourite is the smallmouth. While the number of people chasing ‘smallies’ or ‘bronzebacks’ on a fly rod here might be on the small side; throughout North America, smallmouth fly fishing fans number in the tens of thousands. Kirk Deeter, an editor at Field & Stream magazine, called them “the ultimate fly rod fish” in an online article in June, 2011.

Smallmouth had big fans way back in the day, too: “Inch for inch, pound for pound, (they are) the gamest fish that swims,” wrote Dr. James Henshaw. Back in the day in this case means 1881, that is.

I can say not much has changed in how much fun can be had chasing smallies on the fly rod. And I must not be alone, for even super-high-end rod manufacturer Sage makes a $550 rod for them...and it’s on its second, updated version!

Smallmouth bass are native to the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence River and the upper Mississippi River, but due to stocking programs in the late 1800s, they are found in all ten provinces and every state except Alaska & Florida in the USA.

New Brunswick was first stocked with smallmouth in about 1870, and they have since thrived here. In fact, prolific smallmouth angler, guide and author Tim Holschlag consistently puts the Saint John River in his list of top 100 smallmouth locations in North America, and we’re regularly featured in Outdoor Canada’s annual list of top fishing spots in Canada.

If you’re a new to fly fishing, or attempting to help someone get started in fly fishing, smallmouth bass are the answer, for two main reasons:
1. they are (usually) very willing to eat.
2. they fight like green demons once they’re hooked, with multiple jumps and rod-bending runs for cover.

Besides, if you only have 4 hours to fish after dinner, do you really want to spend two of those hours driving to & from Boiestown or Doaktown?

Save the gas money & give fly fishing for smallmouth in Fredericton a chance; once you’re hooked up with a couple pounds of bronze fury, you won’t regret it.

Birth of a Tournament Angler

Moments before the starting horn.
Downtown Fredericton in background
This past Saturday I participated in my second-ever bass tournament.

In last year's tournament I mostly used spinning gear until we caught our limit. I had fun, and I managed to catch my first bass on the fly late into the day.

Fast forward 13 months: a lot has changed since that first smallie on the fly, with the one of the biggest changes being smallmouth usurping trout as my favourite local fly rod species.

I had been pretty excited about the tournament for the past few months. But it had nothing to do with money, nor did I expect to win it; if anything, I just wanted to prove an angler could compete in a tournament using fly gear (without embarrassing himself, of course).

The event was being held by the Fredericton Anglers Club, a local group that holds five for-fun tournaments per year. 'For-fun' means exactly that: it costs $10 per person for an annual membership, and $10 per boat for each of the tournament.

The lead-up to tournament day wasn't without hiccups, however: my truck had fallen ill and was unable to tow my boat to get a spring tune-up. And my partner Pat had his boat trailer's axle snap while towing the boat a few days prior to the tournament.

Then there was the weather. A cold front was scheduled to move through, with wind gusts shooting up to 45km/h throughout the day. Not necessarily the best conditions to be flinging a fly line back & forth.

But Pat's trailer axle was fixed in time, and I rigged up a spinning rod as a worse-case solution to deal with high wind speeds. We were good to go.

The morning of, I woke up a few minutes before the alarm on my phone went off. It's funny how anticipation causes that to happen as often as it does. After getting the dog fed & out for a quick stroll, I grabbed my pre-rigged rods and backpack and was off.

When I pulled into Carleton Park, I was a little surprised at the number of boats, either in the water already or lined up for the launch.

The boats (and sometimes, matching trucks) always amaze me, especially when you compare them to the love-hate relationship I have with the Magnificent Basstard. I have less than $5000 tied up in the aluminum bastard, including purchase price, registration, accessories and boater safety course. Some of these guys have 8-10 times that amount tied up into their boats & gear...that blows my mind!

Looking around the parking lot and boat launch, I started to hope I could meet the goal of not embarrassing myself. It's about setting the bar high, folks...

Pat & I decided to have a more relaxed start to our competition: we weren't even in the water for the starting horn. We could barely hear ourselves think with the roar of some of the boats taking off; some guys were not letting the price of gas get in the way of a quick launch.

Meanwhile, back on terra firma, coffee was sipped while we loaded our gear on his boat. Ten minutes after the starting horn howled, we shoved off at a leisurely pace, bound for fishing fun & glory.

It was a good day.

And at no point did I feel embarrassed. By any stretch of the word.

I look forward to the next tournament.

Stats for the Day:
  • Winners' total length: 90.5"
  • Winning lunker: 19"
  • Total prize: $170
  • Our boat total: 67"
  • Biggest of the boat: 16.5" (shown at left)
  • Top fly: #4 Clouser, all-white (3 bass, including one 15" scrapper)
  • Lunker fly: Barr's Meat Whistle (16.5" bass)
  • Redington Predator 7'10", 6wt, with Redington Rise 5/6 reel & Rio Smallmouth line.
  • Cabela's CGR 7'6", 7/8wt, with Hardy Ultralite 7000DD reel & Sage Performance Bluegill line

25 May 2012

FFF - Federation of Fantastic Fridays

A distinct lack of interwebz in my new apartment has hindered any & all attempts at posting since last week's Friday Post of Randomness.

Add in moving, fishing, unpacking, etc., and all of a sudden, sitting down for an hour results more in symptoms of narcolepsy than words on paper...or screen.

So this routine should seem a little familiar: go grab a coffee, sit back and relax. It is Friday, after all; it's not like you're actually working.

FredRock 2012 Lineup

My good friends at BabZees Entertainment have announced the lineup for FredRock 2012, being held again in August at the Loyalist Rugby Club. I don't need to say how awesome it is that we're into year four of FredRock, with all but the first festival held at the rugby club.

The lineup for this year's show, being held over two nights, features a lot of talent, with a few of my favourites in there.

Matthew Good headlines Friday night, and Steve Earle...yes, that Steve Earle...headline Saturday night.

Supporting acts include frequent 411#3 embedded youtube talent Matt Mays & el Torpedo, as well as The Trews, AWOLnation, The Sheepdogs, Walk Off The Earth, Elliott Brood and Poor Young Things.

I think this is one helluva lineup for FredRock this year. Congrats to the guys at BabZees for pulling together such an event for the city of Fredericton (and at the Loyalist Rugby Club, too).

Musical Interlude

Here are a couple tunes from two of the acts on the FredRock 2012 lineup.

One of the Coolest Things Ever!

A few weeks ago I wrote about Robert Cunningham's book, Chasing Records; I had downloaded it to keep me warm & fishy while working in Nunavut.

A few days after I posted it, the man himself emailed me to thank me for reading and reviewing the book. Since I'm not bold enough to assume Mr. Cunningham is a regular reader, that's pretty cool in itself.

What's really cool is what showed up in my mailbox this week: a signed hardcopy of his book.

I appreciated just receiving an email from him. I really appreciated this.

Thank you, Mr. Cunningham.

(Note: I still remain envious of his boat & seaplane. I told him so in my email response. He still sent me the book. Honesty, people. Honesty. It pays off.)

The Birth of a Tournament Angler...

...takes place tomorrow morning. Though it almost wasn't going to happen; as I mentioned last week, my truck is awaiting new parts which prevents the towing of the Magnificent Basstard.

No worries, as my tournament partner Pat (he of the City Limits Muskie last year) also has a boat...which suffered from a broken trailer axle a few days ago. Fortunately he has it fixed up & running, so we should be good to go for tomorrow!

The rod quiver tomorrow includes:
  • Cabela's CGR 7'6" 7/8wt, matched with Hardy Ultralite reel and Sage's Performance Bluegille Taper fly line;
  • Redington's Predator 7'10" 6wt, matched with Redington's Rise reel & Rio's Smallmouth Taper fly line;
  • Quantum's most inexpensive spinning rod & reel in existence, in case it gets dirty, stinking windy out.
The Long Stick Renegade, as Cameron over at The Fiberglass Manifesto tweeted to me a few days back. I like the sound of that. Stay tuned for a post-tournament report, and perhaps I will live-tweet the tournament action (@mattrevors).

Upcoming Stuff
  • The cool folks over at Redington have sent me a pair of their Sonic-Pro Wading Pants to use & abuse. I had them on yesterday for the first time, and will be taking them to Alaska to test out.
  • I'm heading to Alaska! For three weeks! But it's for work, and it's on this coming Tuesday, which is way to soon, considering I only got back from the Arctic last Tuesday.
  • Word on the street is I'll have some grayling and possibly pike & salmon available in Alaska. I'm still in the decision stage of what gear to bring, but it looks like it's been narrowed down to my 5wt, 7wt and possibly my 10wt.
  • The cool folks over at Rio have sent me one of their specialty pike taper fly lines for the 10wt rod to  demo (hopefully) on our local muskie population. Seeing that there are pike in Alaska, and I do have a score to settle (and asterisk to remove) with pike, I'm leaning towards the 10wt setup coming on the trip....just in case...
  • Fly tying has taken a backseat due to the move & such, but I'm hoping to get back on my tarpon, smallie & muskie tying kick real soon.
  • I'm currently reading Captain John Kumiski's Redfish on the Fly: A Comprehensive Guide. Read into that statement as much as you like, knowing what you know about my impulsive travel habits. And expect a book review at some point.
More Music...

...from FredRock 2012 performer Matt Mays & el Torpedo.

That's all for now

Have a great weekend, everyone; may all your fish be epic in fun...not size.

18 May 2012

Friday Post of Randomness

This one's covering a lot of topics, so grab a coffee, sit back and relax.

I'll do y'all a favour & put the music first, so you can click that on to enhance to your reading pleasure.

Without further ado...

The Dirtiest, Greasiest Blues I've Heard in a Long Time Award goes to...

...A band called Crooked Saws.

It was love at first listen for me, as you can see below:

I came across them in Field & Stream's Hook Shots video blog (which happened to be on fly fishing for redfish in Louisiana...double-win for me).

You can go to Crooked Saws's Bandcamp site to listen their album...and buy it for $5, which I did, because it's awesome.

Here's a track off their album:

You can follow along with the band on Facebook here.

The 'Roommate in the Desert' Update

Since I introduced my roommate to the blogosphere earlier this week ("My roommate is tougher than you"), he's been what we call "givin' 'er shit" in the Jordanian desert.

The first day & a bit were pretty rough, with his teammates having difficulty acclimatizing to the heat and all three of them having jet-lag issues.

Unfortunately, both of his teammates withdrew from the race on day 2, early in the stage, leaving the roommate to compete alone.

And compete he has. He's moved up approximately 50 positions in the race over the past few days and just completed the 89-kilometre-long fifth stage. All that remains is Stage 6, which is a relatively minor 10-kilometre hike to the ancient city of Petra.

Congrats, Capital O. You've done well, and the city of Fredericton is really proud of you...well, maybe it's just a dozen or so of us, but either way...good job!

I know your success is due to my recommendation to get a Katy Perry song stuck in your head, over & over again.

The Unofficial Blog of the Aluminum Bastard

Three trailer tires: $204.51

Having a truck awaiting parts & repairs, resulting in not being able to tow the aluminum bastard: priceless.

(*writer sticks face into crook of elbow and swears repeatedly*)


Though I often mention my desire for living simply and all that other shit, fly fishing gear provides you with a solid nut-shot of reality to counter those claims.

Sure, I can move all my clothes & books & most worldly possessions in one load of my '03 Sport Trac. And I am able to pull off day-to-day life with a pair of 'casual' Carhartts, a pair of newer/cleaner 'dress' Carhartts and my awesome Prana shortpants (don't judge me...).

But when you're looking at 11 fly rods & their reels (and spools), waders, boots, jackets, accessories & several milk crates full of tying material, a half-dozen or so fly boxes, stripping baskets...the word hypocrite comes to mind.

Then again, we're am moving to a small downtown apartment that will:
a) allow my lovely girlfriend & I to walk for groceries, coffee, restaurants, etc.
b) require all of one candle to heat comfortably in the wintertime.
c) allow us to pay off student loans & save some money for future adventures due to lower rent.
d) allow me to bike 10 minutes to go fishing.
e) put me at the boat ramp in 6 minutes...if I'm ever able to put the Magnificent Basstard in the water.

At least I'm doing better than the McMansion crowd.


Yes, this is a fly fishing blog, but you wouldn't really know it of late. That's because I was stuck within a degree of latitude of the Arctic Circle for four weeks and came back to boats & trucks requiring maintenance and an apartment that need moving into.

I'm hoping to remedy this lack-of-fishing situation tonight.

(*writer clasps hands, looks at the ceiling and mumbles something about needing to go fishing interspersed with a lot of swearing*)

More music

If you made it all the way through this dribble, you deserve some more music.

It's Friday, after all. Enjoy your long weekend, Canada!

16 May 2012

The Aluminum Bastard

"Boats are holes in the water, into which one pours money." - Anon.

The Magnificent Basstard
Within a few days, I'll be moving into the space where boat ownership is actually fun.

The day I decided to buy it was pretty fun. And the day I brought it home to reside in the driveway was fun, too. Even the 2 hours I took it out for a spin with my buddy Andrew (the previous owner) on a cold-as-f**k day in November was alright as well.

For the most part, it's been an expensive pain in my asshole.

Boat covers, miscellaneous safety accessories, online boater safety courses, tools, registration transfers, trailer tires, towing packages & trailer hitches & wiring, spring tune-ups, so on & so forth.

And then there's bailing gallons of rainwater off the damn cover that I'm too lazy to tie down properly.

What started as a simple text message conversation back in early October has turned into a seventeen-foot, money-sucking aluminum bastard in my yard.

And I love it!

I want to get it into the water. I want to catch fish with it. I want it to stop sucking money from my pockets every time I look at it.

Two outta three ain't bad...

13 May 2012

Elements of Style: Fly Fishing Writers' Edition

Photo not by Tosh Brown
Considering becoming a published fly fishing writer?

It might seem to hard to break into the scene, but after spending significant time reading various fly fishing magazines & books, I think I've developed a sure-fire formula for success.

It goes a little something like this:

1. Opening (choose one):
  • a) Fishing was epic, with grins/laughs/high-fives after every fish (which are released unharmed, of course).
  • b) The fish were elusive, with long, tense moments of self-reflection obviously required to ensure fishing success.
2. Setting (choose one):
  • a) Well-known location, using new techniques (e.g., Henry's Fork, using the new Swedish-Croatian nymph rig from a paddle board while casting between your legs).
  • b) Top-secret location in own backyard. Props for it being in or near a major urban centre. Extra style points if it's New York City, Denver or Miami.
  • c) DIY trip, with only a loincloth-wearing native guide emotionlessly leading you on into the unknown in pursuit of legendary fish.
  • d) Exclusive trip with semi-famous ______ (insert one or more of: angler / writer / artist / conservationist / guide / business tycoon / actor) to a very remote and expensive luxury lodge.
3. Background (choose one or more, where appropriate):
  • a) Brought back from brink of extinction (e.g. blackened redfish, striped bass collapse of 80's, etc)
  • b) New species for the fly rod, made popular by one or more anglers who couldn't afford ______ (insert one of: gas / airfare / guide fees / spending winter bored / rent)
  • c) Stu Apte
  • d) Ted Williams (baseball player)
  • e) Lefty Kreh
  • f) Lani Waller
  • g) Thomas McGuane
  • h) Billy Pate
  • i) Izaak Walton
  • j) Homer Rhodes
4. Use a Latin name once:
Examples may include: Salmo salar (Atlantic salmon), Morone saxatilis (striped bass), Megalops atlanticus (tarpon), Hexagenia limbata (the 'Hex Hatch') and Baetis (BWOs, mayflies, whatever).

5. Consider using colloquialisms (a.k.a. good ol' boy speak) for fish, where appropriate:
Examples may include: bull-reds, poons, 'bows, smallies, bucket-mouths, hawgs, cows, stripahs, etc.

6. Name-drop some of the equipment used:
Examples may include: a high-end rod/reel company, a boutique bamboo rod builder, and/or the creator and name of a hot fly pattern.

7. Food:
Always mention the _______ (insert one of: curiosity /  flavour explosion / extravagance) of experiencing the locally-prepared dish for the _____ (insert one of: first time / nightly meal / fiftieth time).

8. Conclusion (choose one):
If using Opening a):
  • i) More grins/laughs/high-fives in the satisfaction of having continued epic fishing throughout the day.
  • ii) Contentedness as the sun sets, enjoying the conversation & companionship of anglers after a great day of fishing over _____ (include one of: great food, cold beer, scotch & cigar, tropical cocktails).
If using Opening b):
  • i) After long-periods of ______ (insert one of: self-reflection, patience, dealing with adversity), a fish is landed, and the angler-writer is all the wiser for the time spent not catching fish.
  • ii) Contentedness* as the sun sets, enjoying the conversation & companionship of anglers after a tough day of fishing over _____ (include one of: great food, cold beer, scotch & cigar, tropical cocktails), and the angler-writer is all the wiser for the time spent not catching fish
* - This contentedness is not real but the angler-writer must portray contentedness in his/her writing. Feel free to swear, drink & smash things over getting skunked in private settings.

9. Photography (choose one of the following options. No substitutions permitted*):
  • a) Brian O'Keefe
  • b) Tosh Brown
  • c) Barry & Cathy Beck
* - Exception: Art by Bob White may be considered

10) Submit to (choose one or all):
  • a) Mainstream fly fishing magazine.
  • b) Mainstream hunting/fishing magazine.
  • c) Independent publishing house.
  • d) Independent-looking/acting division of a major publishing house.
Following the preceding steps seemingly ensures long-running success in the fly fishing literary world.

You can thank me later.
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My roommate is tougher than you

A bold statement in the title, yes, but I can say it confidently with regards to probably the majority of people reading this (no offence intended).

He's been playing at a high-level of rugby for 16 years. Sixteen years. He shows no sign of slowing down, and he remains one of the best in the province, no matter what position he's been slotted into.

After a heartbreaking loss in the Maritime Championship in 2010, he proceeded to acquire commercial-grade gym equipment for the basement to "take things up a notch" for the 2011 season.

I should note the 2011 season took place at age 35 for him.

This past offseason, he took up a challenge that is 180° from bone-crushing tackles on (& occasionally from) his opponents on the rugby field: adventure racing.

Starting line, Race The Planet Jordan 2012
(click the image to go to the race's homepage)
He's currently in the Jordanian Desert, just finished day one of a 250km self-supported race.

After this, he switches gears to prep for the 2012 rugby season.

He does all this while working 50 hours per week as an engineer for a local firm (and managing my affairs while I'm off galavanting around the planet in search of fish and/or paycheques).

So yeah.

My roommate is tougher than you.

And I wish him & his teammates the best of luck in this challenge.

(Edit: I should note he's tougher than me, too...)

You can follow Team Fredericton Loyalists' progress by clicking the image below.

12 May 2012

Random Nunavut post, S01E02

NOTE: I'm trying out a new layout on this, via Blogger's Dynamic Views. I'd really appreciate your input on how it looks/acts/feels/etc. 

Some of you who follow along on my Instagram & Twitter feeds (both '@mattrevors') or tumblr page (or even the dreaded Facebook) may have seen these pics already, but I thought I'd post a few here.

As I frequently make public, I'm an ardent anti-winter person. Hate cold, hate ice, wish to live in Florida with white pants pulled up to my armpits & fish all the time, and so on & so forth.

Needless to say, I was completely horrified a little apprehensive about coming within a degree or so of the Arctic Circle in mid-April.

Surprisingly, the project location wasn't all that nightmarish. I missed home (as usual) and its mild weather (as expected), but food was good, accommodations ok, and people onsite were extremely pleasant & friendly...unlike other jobs I've been on (*cough* Saskatchewan *cough*).

I'm hoping to get back in the summer at some point, with fly rods in tow. I fly through Yellowknife, which is situated on a decent-sized lake and apparently has some pike that need introducing to my Redington 10wt. And there are grayling, trout & char present in the vicinity of this project site.

Hopefully the company I'm contracted to doesn't mind me being seconded to the client as official fishing guide/gear-lender for VIP tours of the property. Conveniently, one of the helicopter pilots has just started fly fishing & tying, too. A few flies and casting & tying lessons might be bartered for flight time.

Here are some pics...
This thing is almost cool enough to make winter enjoyable

Ample fly tying materials available, should I run low

C-130 Hercules on landing strip if lake ice, unloading bulldozers at sunrise

Any fans of the show 'Ice Pilots' will recognize this bird

Feel free to check out lots more travel & fishing pics on The Angler's Android and look me up on twitter.

You can also subscribe to this feed via the Feedburner subscription box on the pop-out sidebar on the right.

07 May 2012

Fishing, writing, and writing about fishing

Time/Date: 1330, 07-May-12
Location: Latitude 67°, Nunavut

I don't know how exactly to put this without looking like I'm bragging, but here goes: my first article in print has just been published.

No, it's not in The Drake, The Flyfish Journal or Fly Rod & Reel...yet.

It's in our local monthly entertainment magazine called Faces Fredericton. It's published by my very good friends, and when they asked me to write a column on fishing in and around Fredericton, I gladly accepted. 

I just hope the arts & entertainment crowd of the Fredericton scene welcome the column as much as the regular readers I get visiting here seemingly approve of my usual fly fishing dribble.

As most people know, I do like writing and I consider myself somewhat competent at it. This is more due to my background writing technical reports in my past life more than any natural ability at writing. 

And that's the thing: as much as I enjoy writing, I'm fairly reluctant to venture outside my typical comfort zones of writing about fly fishing, travel, gear reviews, or fishing-related issues. In fact, I still catch myself proofreading (and re-reading again & again) every post to make sure I don't sound 'too technical' in my writing, like some nameless drone in a cubicle, spewing out tech reports.

Back in 2010, when I conceived this whole thing, I figured my writing topics be split evenly between fishing & travel tales, stories & drink recipes from my time behind the bar at Lava Vodka Lounge and the music shows I attend & artists I listen to. And let's not forget the forays into photography, too.

(There was also that whole minimalism phase; while I still practice & preach simple living in order to do the things you love, it's not brought up very much here on this site. You want minimalism stuff? Go visit Leo at Zen Habits.)

So let's review where this has gone since that fateful evening in Ouagadougou when I first hit 'publish:'
  • While I still maintain Lava was the most fun I've ever had on a "project," I haven't bartended regularly since early January of 2011, so the drink recipes have dropped off the map.
  • I gave up the photography and gave my D-SLR to my dad after seeing too much of Brian O'Keefe & Bryan Gregson. I just focus on Instagram on my iPod/Android, now (you can see that stuff here).
  • With withdrawing from the bar scene, my visits to music venues has dropped considerably, too; though I still frequently post what I'm listening to in the form of youtube vids.
  • Most of my travel is work-related, so while I might snap quite a few pics (or grumble about -33°C temps in May or brag about +35°C temps in February), I really don't think my readers would enjoy me writing about the fascinating world of geotechnical drilling programs and Intact Rock Strength.
  • My pursuit of trout on a 3wt has given way to smallmouth bass and saltwater pursuits, but my current home address in New Brunswick leaves me with the better part of six months as fish-less during the winter.
  • I have started fly tying and I do like sharing the products of the new fishing side-hobby. But I am currently an amateur and I'm occasionally reluctant to share the monstrosities that leave my vise. 
I someday wish to explore new challenges for both fishing and writing, but I find myself more willing to take on the new fishing challenges and translate them into words. That seems to be my 'winning' formula, but does it get stale?

The kicker is, if I try new writing directions, will the current readers stick around? Will new readers show up?

One thing for sure: I plan on fishing A LOT in 2012 in multiple locales for numerous species, and I will continue to write about that here. That format seems to work well enough for everybody.

I think right now the most important question is this:

Will Fredericton's arts & entertainment community skewer my ode to smallmouth bass on the fly rod?

Thanks for reading.


You can click the image below to view the digital version of Faces Fredericton. My column is on page 10.

05 May 2012

Book Review - Chasing Records

Chasing Records - An Angler's Quest by Robert Cunningham

I was browsing through the website of Florida Sportsman last week to get a little mid-workday fishing fix and came across a little blurb about this book.

Always on the lookout for some reading material for the Kobo e-reader my lovely girlfriend gave me for my birthday, I downloaded it & gave it a read.

To be totally honest, I have mixed feelings about people targeting fish for IGFA records; on one hand, it's kinda cool to have the wherewithal and the ability to pursue trophy fish on light tackle.

On the other hand, it seems slightly selfish to fight a fish for 7 hours and kill it for the sole purpose of getting your name on a certificate from the IGFA. It's that type of behaviour that gets the hardcore angry lefties' panties in a bunch. As in the types that are way more angry and left than me.

It should be noted, however, the IGFA is starting to recognize its place in the current world, and has started accepting submissions for all-tackle length records, enabling the fish to be released. Just be prepared to swallow the $50 for the IGFA-approved length measuring device...

Is there any other industry that charges $50 for a damn ruler?
Back to the book, however... It is a good & entertaining read, and provided an adequate amount of fishiness on these cold & fishless Nunavut nights. The fact Cunningham started chasing his records on redfish & wrote pretty extensively about them won me over, too.

In fact, he won me over sufficiently that I didn't even start to hate him when he described going out and buying his own sea-plane and getting a custom-designed boat built...just so he could chase IGFA records.

(Meanwhile, back in the land of realistic finances, I hope my rustic $3800 aluminum-hull fishing boat doesn't get seized by Revenue Canada before I can go fishing with it...)