Author: Andrew Cremata

A place in time

By ANDREW CREMATA “Nature is complete because it does not serve itself.” – Lao Tzu During mid-July in Skagway I frequently feel a strong urge to run away. This feeling is accompanied by this simple question… “What is the point?” I had this feeling many years ago when I was beating my head against a wall in Florida. I would go to work so that I could afford a car to drive to work. I sat in traffic, semi-dazed in the rippling heat that floated above the highway like angry apparitions. Sometimes my lane would come to an end,...

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The Birth of a Spot

By ANDREW CREMATA It’s easy to get into a routine. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, but following a rigid pattern doesn’t lend itself to much adventure or surprise. While some are content knowing what each day will bring, others may feel trapped within this framework and seek out ways to push against it. There is a certain appeal to a place like Skagway, if you’re the type of person that likes to break free from the middle and discover what hides among the extremes. From gold-seekers to modern entrepreneurs, people that could master the art of living outside of the norm have found a way to make it in the far north. This is a rare and special breed of human being, and their audacious spirit can lead to great discoveries. Fishing is no different. Finding success requires the effort of exploration to find the places where fish hang out and can be caught. When you find a place that consistently yields fish, you call this one of your “spots.” If you happen to find a spot that nobody else knows about, this is called one of your “secret spots.” Fortunately for us, we live in a place where it’s possible to have a large number of spots, because we are surrounded by vast regions of virtually uninhabited terrain filled with lakes, rivers, and oceans teeming...

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First trout

By ANDREW CREMATA Spring is a time of mixed emotions. Ice is replaced by water. Winter’s rigid brown branches turn green and flutter in the wind. Quiet gives way to noise, and streets that were empty are suddenly filled with strangers. Is this seasonal change anywhere more dramatic than Skagway? May’s first breath of warm air gives life to chaos, and it seems to seethe beneath some veneer of normalcy, like the Victorian false fronts that adorn the modern businesses on Broadway. It wasn’t too long ago I strolled along the boardwalk on a precious sunny day in late...

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First impressions

By ANDREW CREMATA I crossed the Alaskan border bathed in a sea of white. It was early May and the mountains of the pass were fully covered with snow. Fourteen miles away was Skagway, Alaska, and I began to wonder if I’d packed enough warm clothes. Thankfully, the rest of the trip was downhill, because my car was running on fumes and I didn’t have enough money for another tank of gas. “At least I can coast the rest of the way,” I thought to myself, as I passed the “Welcome to Alaska” sign. Everything changed as I coasted into Skagway. The white of winter gave way to a verdant landscape speckled with freshly planted flowers, all nestled beneath a resplendent blue sky. The air was an earthy-sweet perfume, something I would later find out were blossoming cottonwood buds. I made it to Alaska – a dream of my youth fulfilled. The 4,709 mile drive from Tampa, Florida traversed a continent. There were moments along the way I was unsure whether I’d make it. Just a few days before my arrival, I was about 40 miles from Hythe, Alberta in the middle of nowhere. It was 11 p.m. and the temperature outside was in the single digits. There was still a hint of light to the west when the car began to shudder violently. I pulled over knowing that...

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