March 27, 2010

Gran Roque island, Los Roques, Venezuela

Los Roques. (Image via Wikipedia)

There’s another article in the NYT on fly-fishing, this time in Los Roques, Venezuela, a place that I seriously considered going to over the winter before ultimately opting for Belize. A small taste:

Mornings brought deep water and shots at mudding fish on pancake flats. There were midday barracuda and fighting jacks, and afternoons spent on the falling tide, the sun angling low against the sea. We waded untouched shorelines and marked fish tailing above sand and marl, grinding on minnows, on little shrimp and crabs, matching flies to these, throwing hooks toward mouths.

Some anglers come to Los Roques simply to walk the beaches of Gran Roque and cast to the resident bonefish that cruise the shoreline amid skiffs and workboats, growing fat on baitfish. It is rare to end a day without the sight of a sunburned Argentine or adventure-tanned Dutchman double-hauling a fly rod from the town dock at dusk, a can of Solera beer at his feet and a pelican flapping before him.

The author, Sam Sifton, is the chief NYT restaurant critic, but has also managed to fire off a few dispatches from some of the world’s more interesting fisheries. Some are far-flung ( The Bahamas) and others closer to home ( New York Harbor) but I love reading them when they crop up not only because Sifton is a good writer, but also because I really like it when fly-fishing makes it into The Grey Lady. For all of the numerous blogs, magazines, and whatnot that are devoted to this sport and which seem hell-bent on outdoing each other by making it more “extreme” (This month’s feature: How I Caught A 1400 Pound Shark On A Toothbrush Rigged With Dental Floss!) it’s really nice just to read a good, solid piece on fly-fishing aimed at a more general audience, and which really captures one of the sport’s great places.

I’m hope he keeps them coming.


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