fishing in the right company

We left early, just past 3am. All throughout the 3 hour ride, I went into zen mode to keep from vomiting the vodka that I'd been drinking till two with Soboro. One of our kind friend unpacked the breakfast & drinks he prepared for us, so we ate that during the early morning drive. Stepping out of the rest stop with coffee in hands, we saw the day break.

We paired in twos, me with mrlee & Joon with Insup. For the first hour or more, I just kind of followed mrlee as he fished up the creek, still trying to sober up. Perhaps due to the high level of alcohol in my blood, watching mrlee's super long casts seemed like I was watching a movie. However, instead of one single long video, things appeared in frames ... the line gliding gracefully through thick cover of trees, the fly turning gently on the water... and mrlee missing several strikes. By the next few cast, mrlee had figured out that cherries took the fly and turned a little slower than rainbows. He also figured out that with cherry trout, you generally get one shot at each pool.

The fishing was slow in the morning and the fresh footsteps ahead of us suggested that there might be fishermen in front of us. As mrlee and I made our way towards the road to get to the lunch house, we ran into a group of local vacationers sitting at the waterside, barbecuing some pork ribs and taking shots of their homemade liquor... we soon found ourselves taking shot after shot with them, and we felt the buzz as we stood up. We had country chicken for lunch, and this one was big enough to feed all four of us. We sat around drinking beer and casting some fine rods in the lawn. I sort of volunteered myself to fish with Joon's nice Kineya bamboo rod in the afternoon. Lee agreed but said he would blame me if the thing broke.

We fished the lower section in the afternoon and by this time mrlee had the fish & creek figured out. There were several moments where I would say to him, "I bet you can't cast into that shit", and mrlee replied "watch and learn". The bamboo was casting nice, fish were taking flies, and the conversation was getting more honest. Joon caught his prize fish this day, a cherry over 30cm and mrlee matched it with a nice cherry trout of his own. It was nice fishing next to mrlee, learning about fishing and about mrlee's colorful history. Just as I passed out on the drive home, I found myself thinking ... a measure of a successful fishing life is probably measured in days like this one, fishing in the right company of friends.

Joon - thank you for driving us all day and for letting us use the bamboo rod.

우리가 나중에 생각해보면, 좋은 낚시인생을 살았다는 증거는, 얼마나 큰 고기를 잡았거나, 얼마나 좋은곳에서 낚시를 했느냐가 아니라, 얼마나 좋은 친구들과 낚시를 했느냐일것 같습니다. 함께 조행해서 너무 즐거웠습니다.


  1. Your story brings tears to my eyes. Love the scenery!!!

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  3. wonderful place and good fish,
    Best of all, cool guys,I had a wonderful time.

    thanks you guys....ㅎㅎ

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  5. Joon, Insup, and GF,

    I want to thank you three sooo much for showing me what can only be described as warm Korean hospitality. It is hard for me to get in and out of Seoul and this expedition has left a serious smile on my face. Casting Joon's incredible cane rod and catching a native cherry on it was one of the highlights of my fishing career. I hope to fish with you gentlemen again and see someone catch that huge lenok under the bridge. Until then.....

  6. mrlee, I am glad that you finally had a big smile.