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Bush Pilot Angler by Lee Wulff

Bush Pilot Angler

by Lee Wulff

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0892724803, Hardcover)

There is a moment in Bush Pilot Angler, the late Lee Wulff's newly uncovered journal of his flying and fly-fishing off the coasts of Labrador and Newfoundland in the '40s and '50s, that should turn all who've ever cast a fly green with envy. Wulff--prophet of catch-and-release, passionate protector of the salmon, accomplished pilot, conservationist, filmmaker, and writer--was searching for an appropriate place to set down near the headwaters of a lake in the northern peninsula of Newfoundland when he spotted "a couple of long, dark rock ledges stretching out from the mouth of the river, and I made a mental note that they would probably be slippery if I waded out on them." He circled for a better look. "As the plane's shadow crossed the ledges, my heart came into my throat. The rock disintegrated into hundreds of fish that scattered in all directions. There were more Atlantic salmon than I had ever seen in one place." He landed, waded in, and caught fish after fish on a single White Wulff of his own creation, letting them off the hook to be hunted again some other time.

What a splendid discovery this journal is. Its pages document Wulff's hard work in establishing the remote Canadian salmon and trout fisheries he first saw from the air, his joys on the stream and in the air, his love for the pristine land and its bounty, his uphill battles with native Newfoundlers over concerns about overfishing, and his triumphs--and calamities--in search of memorable fish. These pages also evoke the immense spirit that attended the man who wrote it.

In one marvelous anecdote from World War II, Wulff takes both George Marshall and Hap Arnold, America's Army and Air Force chiefs of staff, fishing in the rain. The image of Marshall, "knee deep in the river, casting with an intentness that belied his having left a bloodstained Italy only hours before," is, writes Wulff, unforgettable. "I'll be forever grateful that I was with these men that morning on the river in the rain." Wulff, too, was an unforgettable presence. His journal is something serious anglers everywhere should be grateful for, as well. --Jeff Silverman

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:04 -0400)

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