Author: Andrew Cremata

Fish This! The joys of fly-fishing

BY ANDREW CREMATA FOR THE SKAGWAY NEWS After scoping out a promising area on Google Earth where a freshwater stream emptied into a shallow saltwater inlet, I drove to the nearest public parking area and began assembling my gear. My target zone was still a quarter-mile to the north. Getting there required wading through waist-deep tidal water during the final hour of a rising tide. I hoped to encounter silvers, so I carried along a lightweight rig equipped with eight-pound line, and a small assortment of neon-colored spinners. I entered the water along the shore of a well-manicured public park. It was impossible to see the bottom in the tea-colored water, so the going was slow. After working my way around a rocky jetty, the shoreline changed to verdant meadows of thick, partially submerged grass. Across the inlet, a black bear emerged from a dense alder thicket and sat down by the water’s edge. He looked in my direction and scratched his ear with his back paw, before picking himself up and sauntering back in the direction he came. Nearing the stream, I noticed a swirl in deeper water to my right. I was poised to cast, and instinctively flipped the spinner within inches of the target. As I began to reel, I felt a pin prick on my forehead. I brushed at it with my shoulder and saw...

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Fish This!: Passing it Along

BY ANDREW CREMATA I watched my grandmother’s small, wrinkled fingers reach into the bait bucket. They emerged with a live shrimp grasped firmly, just behind the head. She carefully pushed a hook through the top of the tail and then back through the other direction before handing me my small fishing rod. Smiling down at me with a broad grin, she baited another shrimp for herself and dropped it over the rail using nothing more than a hook tied to a hand line. As a four-year-old boy, everything about fishing was a mystery. Sometimes my grandmother’s face would get...

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Fish This!: The value of a secret

BY ANDREW CREMATA I know a charter fisherman named Captain Johnny that protects his secret fishing spots with a tenacity that borders on psychosis. He lingers at the harbor in the morning, often feigning some problem with his engine while the rest of the fleet races to the fishing grounds. “Look at them go,” he says. And as the last boat disappears around the breakwater, the captain waves at no one and sings “bye bye!” With a maniacal eye, Johnny scans the remaining boats in the harbor, doing his best to make sure nobody is watching his next move....

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