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August 28th, 2015
Dear Bertha,
I just left Santa Cruz, Bolivia. It’s a beautiful, prosperous, but all-too-large city,
and was my jumping off point for one of the most amazing and enjoyable weeks of fishing I’ve ever had.
I know, I said the same thing a couple of weeks ago after two fabulous trips to Columbia, and again last fall when I returned, exhausted from catching giant peacock bass in Brazil. Either I’m fickle, every trip is actually getting better or, at nearly 70 years old, I can’t remember the other “greatest” trips I’ve had. Maybe nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.
In any event, don’t get jealous, but I’ve fallen in love with all the wonders of fly fishing in the tropics. I guess you could say that the experience is totally addictive and I’m now a jungle junkie.
It is hard to remember that I once defined myself as a crazed, nutzoid steelhead fisherman. I even went so far as to choose the college I set off for after high school by its proximity to good river fishing. But I’m now a born again jungle fly rod- der, and I’m sure it’s not just another one of those phases like I went through for half of the last century with trout, steelhead, bonefish, tarpon, and permit. It’s not like that puppy love I had with the Rockies, Belize, Canada, Cuba, Alaska, Chile, Mexico, Argentina, New Zealand and Kamchatka. No doubt about it, this is the real thing this time.
I actually dream about the jungle stuff. Good dreams about wet wading in and sight fishing along exotic, crystal clear rivers, spotting big, gold fish the size of king salmon that are as mean as my first wife. Once in a while I’ll wake from a deep sleep, fright- ened by the image of a big, brightly-colored peacock bass exploding like a tenth-story toilet flushing under my fly. My nightmares are now full of events that involve broken rods, line cuts in my stripping finger, sunburn, bad knots, and chapped lips. The good part is even the bad dreams are fun.
I’ll be home from the airport late Monday night. Please schedule an appointment for an EKG before I go to the Rio Marié in October, and a visit to my dermatologist as soon as possible.
Your loving husband, Mike

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