Author: Andrew Cremata

FISH THIS!: The winds are blowing

By ANDREW CREMATA The withered wooden structure seemed to take form amidst the quivering aspen leaves and the twisting branches that formed them.  It was an old wooden tramway pylon; one in a series leading up the mountainside, all connected by a coiled-steel cable glazed with burgundy rust.  A few steps away, a tattered mining car still clung to a limp section of the thick metal wire, slowly being swallowed by purple lupines and wild yellow daisies.  A crowned sparrow landed on the cable and trilled in my direction. A little more than a hundred years ago, this Yukon...

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FISH THIS: Crossing Lines

By ANDREW CREMATA Not too far north of Skagway is a line – a place where our tenuous stake in human civilization gives way to the pulsing energy of a great upheaval. Thousands of years ago, ice covered this landscape from lakebed to mountain peak, and the ground is still flexing in the aftermath, like a sponge expanding after being wrung with a clenched fist. There are other remnants of this age, like the rocks that litter the shores of endless glacial lakes. They are jagged, not yet having been smoothed by wind and rain. They are loose, and...

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FISH THIS: Bait & Tackle

By ANDREW CREMATA Opening the front door caused a bell to jingle in the back room. A strand of heavy monofilament ran from the doorframe along a series of metal loops attached to the ceiling, disappearing behind the wall of an unblocked entryway. A tiny black and white TV was partially visible through the opening, and its sound filled the store with the din of car chases, cheering crowds, or canned laughter. Larry would quickly appear through the vacant doorway, maneuvering his wheelchair within the narrow space behind the counter toward the bait well, where live shrimp waited for...

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Pausing for Patience

By ANDREW CREMATA A silver torpedo. It appeared from the depths as I retrieved my spoon over a rocky ledge that yielded to the depths of the lake. This strangely colored laker followed close behind the lure, ready to strike, but I was running out of room. There was enough ripple on the surface of the water to conceal the exact size of the trout, but there was little doubt it would take some effort to land it – if I could get it to bite. I did the only thing I could do – I stopped reeling. The...

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A gathering of friends who also fish

By ANDREW CREMATA Even at a considerable distance, I could see the heaving surf turn into white foam when it rolled against the rocky shoreline of a distant island. As the boat drew closer, more detail came into focus – mint green ferns cascading over the edge of a high, sheer cliff face, against which large black and white seabirds dived and rolled in the stiff morning breeze. Minutes later that island was nothing more than a memory, as the boat continued west into the depths of the vast ocean. I was guest among old friends, visiting Sitka from...

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