For the third species on my Bucket List I have to say Salminus Brasiliensis, the Golden Dorado, anywhere in South America. Due to the vast geological area of this continent, I still need to do a good amount of research on exactly where to hunt these river beasts. Golden Dorado, like Tarpon and Mako, are insane when they feel the hook. Its meat eater mentality makes this freshwater river dweller a veritable pitbull when it comes to the fight, the sharp teeth, strong jaw and of course a great ability when it comes to the high jump. I think of the species as a huge toothy goldfish that is as aggressive, if not more, than our native Steelhead, that requires a steel leader for you to have a chance of landing them. I can only imagine the feeling… chucking a streamer through a piece of deep, relatively fast-moving, warm water and getting a tug from a golden boy who could potentially get up into the 60 pound range. I’ve heard they are delicious, but it would be very hard for me to kill something so incredible. That’s what Salmon and hatchery Steelhead are for, right?
There are so many places to catch amazing Steelhead, but the one that always comes to my mind is definitely Canada. I know it would be hard to pick one place in this world to catch Steel but, Canada in my opinion is the true home of NW chrome. Some of the largest summer run fish come out of the lower Dean River in British Columbia, 20 miles from the salt – and these are hot fish! I will have to go again for a winter run when the true brutes are in from the ocean and as wild as they can possibly get. If you draw a line 30 miles inland from the coast of BC from AK to WA you will understand what I mean. The opportunities are endless when it comes to picking a waterway to stand in (while freezing line rips through the guides of a two hander) for a few days. The hundred casts it takes for that tug on the swing are absolutely life changing. Casting a two hand rod itself is a very peaceful zen-like feeling, and once you get into this zone and rhythm for an hour or two, all of the sudden absolute chaos comes crashing through the tension on your line and its go time!
The final place and pair of species is going to be a little uninhabited peninsula called Kamchatka. This place is in the far east of Russia, and harbors some of the most un-tread upon rivers that exist to this day. To adequately describe what lies in this magically fishy and ultimately wild place would take a few hundred pages of text. For that, I highly recommend the film Eastern Rises - this is probably the best and most visually stunning fishing film I have ever laid my eyes on… skating mouse patterns for huge aggressive rainbows in rivers that you can only really access via old-school war choppers. The second species in the duo is the sea run Kundzha (koon-ja), which is an amazing species in itself and would unquestionably have to be a part of this trip.
Until next time, my friends, Fish On!