Steve Kyle reports from Sri Lanka

My best fishing correspondent and fishing buddy, Steve Kyle, and his wife, Holly, have been in India and Sri Lanka the last few weeks, from which Steve has generously forwarded pithy commentary about the people, food and sights.

Here are few select excerpts from those reports:

“Greetings from Sri Lanka. If you are asking yourself, “Sri what?” just look at a map of the globe, find India and then look down towards the bottom right of India and just a few miles off shore, you will see what looks like a little blob of something and that’s Sri Lanka and where Holly and I been for the past few weeks.

“While inhabited for thousands of years with a thriving culture of mostly happy people, it didn’t really catch our attention until sometime around 1600, when Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama wandered in to a small bay in his sailing vessel.

“After exploring like mad, it wasn’t long before they filled their boat with spices, fruit, precious gems, hardwoods and headed home.”

“… The Dutch saw something they liked and so it wasn’t long before they had pushed the Portuguese out and built a huge fort in Galle. So for the next 120 years, the Dutch did pretty much what the Portuguese had done before by shipping home boat loads of spices, hardwoods, exotic animals and precious gems from the mines the opened in the country.”

Steve interrupted his history lesson to describe some of the walks and tours he and Holly experienced and then got into a description of the cuisine.

“No Subzero freezers, Wolf ranges or copper-bottomed pans for these people. All they need are clay pots for cooking, banana leaves for plates, an abiding affection for the curries and spices that abound in these parts and they will have taken you to heaven, one bite at a time.”

After his commentary about his expanding waistline, I asked him about the fishing. He sent me a couple of photos plus the following comments:

“While our favorite coastal steelhead rivers in California are running high, muddy, here in sunny Sri Lanka, the water is warm, the currents are languid and the critters are weird.

“Take for instance my little brown buddy, the stately and scaly, water monitor. It’s easy to see how he reminds me in so many ways of those fly fishermen pals we’ve shared so many grand adventures with on the Rogue and other fun rivers. Immense, latent physical prowess hidden under a svelte athletic body and keen eyes, all combined to allow a powerful casting stroke while always looking for the next bite.”

While Steve is off fishing in the Indian Ocean, most of us here in Sonoma have found ourselves surrounded by lots of water this week, but not the fishing kind. Which is why I’m heading for the annual Fly Fishing Show at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton this weekend.

In a little more than an hour and 15 minute drive I will be strolling through aisle after aisle listening to fascinating fish tales, watching videos, and generally talking about my favorite pastime with like-minded folks.

The Fly-fishing Show is only about fly-fishing. There are fly-casting demonstrations, fly-casting lessons, fly-tying lessons, and a fly-fishing theater with hour after hour of fantastic videos hosted by fishing lodges and outfitters.

There are hundreds of exhibitors showing off their wares, rods, reels, waders, etc. You can spend hours going from booth to booth, discovering new fishing places to add to your bucket list.

Tickets are $15 a day. The show opens today, Friday, at 10 a.m. Saturday hours are 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.