Cuba Libre!

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Cuba, of all places. I was lucky enough to spend last week aboard a big boat on the north coast of Cuba, as a guest of one of the great benefactors of wild salmon and steelhead. It was a gathering of salmon people: a commercial fisherman from Scotland, a guy who’s building a sustainable dry-land salmon farm in Nova Scotia, a leader of Pacific Northwest salmon conservation, and a handful of others, including my buddy Yvon, new friend Mauro, and…me. This was going to be interesting.

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After a redeye from Seattle to Miami, a quick hop to Nassau, and another flight to Cayo Cruz, Cuba, we set out on a five-hour bus ride to the boat. We arrived at dusk, with warm tropical air washing away the jet lag, and great expectations for salmon talk, and the task at hand, fishing the flats. As darkness settled in, we took small skiffs out to meet the boat we would be living on for the next week.

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In the morning, we were greeted with bright skies and water that vibrated with shades of blue and green I’d never even imagined. Paradise. For a coldwater, high-latitude fisherman from Puget Sound, it was overwhelming. And bright. Even with dark glasses, I couldn’t stop squinting from the sun, or smiling from the colors. The stoke was on. That’s Yvon below, as the hunt began. Stay tuned for more Cuba…

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