Saturday, January 31, 2009

Of Taimen and the River

Fly Rod and Reel’s Adventure issue (March 2009) includes my feature on Mongolia with photos from that country’s first taimen sanctuary. The piece hasn’t been posted to the magazine’s website yet, so look for a copy on the newsstand. Here’s how it opens:

If you’ve seen the pictures, then you might already be lost. The angler kneeling in bewildered devotion, smiling with an awkward joy, behind a fish so impossibly large that two hands provide an insufficient cradle. Because as soon as you can imagine it, the dream begins. Your boots in that unfettered river, your eyes blinking in the boreal sun, your hands reaching into cool water, your arms bearing that implausible weight. It’s a wonderful dream, infused with just the right blend of beauty and impracticality, and alternately enhanced and encumbered by facts. Because like Paris in the spring, a taimen’s heart-rending strike exists in a specific time and a far-off place, a location so remote that the experience requires (for most people) a week’s leave and a month’s salary.

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