© 2014 Grace Baldwin

We wish you a Fishy Christmas

Over the years Christmas has slowly begun to lose it’s luster. When I was a child and first realized that Santa was in fact not real, the holiday’s magical spirit slightly diminished. As I have gotten older material goods have become less and less important and spending time with my family all of whom now live in four different states is what I most look forward to.

However, this year I was pleasantly surprised that my parents’ big gifts for me were a variety of fly fishing gear and literature!

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My first gift was a book titled “Trout of the World” by James Prosek. Prosek is from the town next to mine in Connecticut, and in middle school I read a book he published titled “Joe and Me: An Education in Fishing and Friendship.” After receiving his undergraduate from Yale, Prosek began on a quest to discover and document rare trout species throughout the world. I read the introduction to his book where he speaks of the “Tigris Trout” that legend says was in the Garden of Eden (picture below).

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The book includes marvelous illustrations of trout around the world that Prosek painted himself! I was excited to see the trout from Japan and I found the Russian trout to be particularly amazing. Additionally the book comes with a poster of about 20 incredible trout that he documents in the book. I am excited to frame the poster and put it up in my room at college!

The last section of the book talks about North American trout species. I was excited to see there were trout from California, Oregon (near Mt Hood where I used to train for skiing), New York State, and Maine. Maybe some time this summer I can travel to the river in New York and hopefully in the spring I can go to the river in Maine! (Trout pictured below).

Top Trout: Blueback Trout, Rainbow Lake, Maine

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Bottom Trout: Adirondack Brook Trout, St. Regis River, West Branch, New York State

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Top Trout: Golden Trout, Volcano Creek, California

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Additionally, my dad bought me some gear. First was a pair of Sims Gloves that are fingerless but then have a pullover mitten attachment. This will definitely come in handy fishing in Maine and I love that they are both mittens and gloves (pictured below).

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My dad also bought me a pair of Orvis Women’s Boots. The boots I have currently are 20 year old felt bottom boots; they work really well but sadly felt bottom is slowly becoming outlawed in more and more states due to their ability to carry over invasive species. In particular, Vermont has outlawed felt bottom boots; now that I have these stud-bottom boots (pictured below) I can go fly fishing in Vermont! Perhaps over Spring Break!

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Lastly, and most excitingly, my dad bought me a ton of flies!! He purchased them in St. Louis, Missouri at Feather-Craft Fly Fishing. My Dad bought an amazing variety of large fluffy streamers, tiny nymphs, dry flies, ants, worms, and grasshoppers! I will definitely need to research the name of all the flies and their specific purpose, hopefully I will make another post about all the flies and specify their name and usage (pictured below).

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Overall, I am extremely excited about all my new fishing gifts!! It fully motivates me to continue to improve my fishing knowledge and skills. I feel so blessed to have a family that supports me in all my crazy endeavors and hobbies, and it means a lot for them to take the time to find all these very meaningful fishing gifts!

Lastly, my family always spends Christmas in Vermont which is home to the Orvis Headquarters! Over break I am excited to go to Orvis and hopefully I will be able to talk to them about my new flies and my upcoming Belize Biology Trip where I am hoping (fingers crossed) to do some Bone Fishing!

Happy Holidays!