2012-11-09 and 2012-11-10 Floating Villages of Cambodia

15 11 2012

We visited two floating villages while in Cambodia.  Kampong Pluk and Prek Toal.  The villages are located way out in the flooded plains of Tonle Sap Lake.  In the dry season, it’s not so far out, but now, at the end of the wet season – it’s a LONG way to land.  These villages are, for the most part, simply a conglomeration of houseboats with a few permanent structures such as the Buddhist temple.

Things work differently in a floating village.  The store comes to you.  There was a general store boat

and also boats that specialized in different foods. 

You don’t just run over to your friend’s house, you get in your boat and paddle over, you take the boat to school, and you basically live life in boats

When you live in a floating village, your main industry is, unsurprisingly, fishing.

Most importantly, if you don’t like your neighbours in your floating village, you just pull up anchor and move – HOUSE and all.

If you’d like to see more from these two floating villages, please visit the flickr sets at:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dragonspeed/sets/72157632005287691/
and
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dragonspeed/sets/72157632017826116/

Thanks for taking time to visit!





Hatheume Lake is NOT a day trip from Vancouver!

2 07 2008

Yesterday, Canada Day, Myself and 3 friends decided to fish Hatheume Lake between Kelowna and Merrit.

We left Vancouver at 0330 after 2 hours sleep and didn’t get back until 2200.

I definitely think you need to classify that lake in the "weekend trip" category.

That being said, the lake was beautiful and the fishing was good for some people. (Not me).  Definitely on the re-visit list.  There are HUGE fish in this lake, and they are loving Chironomids right now.

Fishing restrictions:

HATHEUME LAKE  – No fishing Dec 1-Apr 30 Rainbow trout daily quota = 1; artificial fly only, bait ban, single barbless hook

I’m still wiped out after the trip.

Tight lines!

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North Vancouver First Nation – Giving up Sockeye for the year

17 08 2007

The Tsleil-Waututh First Nation in North Vancouver has said “Enough is enough”.  Chief Leah George-Wilson of this Coast Salish First nation with a population of 450 has stated that they will not be taking their allotment of sockeye from the Fraser river this year in order to help the dismal run have some chance of success. 

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

While we continue to hear about some Native groups continuing to net the decimated sockeye stocks, these people have taken a public stand to “Do the Right Thing” and say “No”.

While admittedly they weren’t exactly entitled to 20,000 fish or anything near that, EVERY single fish that makes it to the spawning grounds will make a difference.  Other Native bands have harvested over 35,000 sockeye from the river already.

You can read more about it in the Vancouver Sun, where I first came across the article:

http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=5a2bdae0-70d4-4824-926c-6db43bff9385

Oh, did I mention…. Thank You!

For those wishing to express their thanks directly, you can email the chief and the band council at:  reception AT twnation.ca





Letter to the Editor – Chilliwack Progress

11 08 2007

The Chilliwack Progress, a small local newspaper in Chilliwack BC, published a story titled “Anglers Take on Ethics“.

The story is sorely lacking in true fact finding, or in depth coverage that is the hallmark of good journalism.  I sent a letter to the editor of the paper, as well as its author, Jennifer Feinberg, expressing my dismay with the tabloid style of poor journalism expressed in the article.  I  would have appreciated an acknowledgement at the least.  Well, even though THEY didn’t publish my letter to the editor, the nice thing about the modern media is that it isn’t concentrated in the power of the few.  Blogs allow us all to be our own editors and publishers and as such here is my letter to the editor of the Chilliwack Progress and Ms. Feinberg:

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

I have just recently read your article “Anglers take on Ethics, August 7, 2007”
 
I’m not going to address your entire article, but I’d like to start by clearing up a few misconceptions:
 
“Concern in the local angling community…”
 
Should read “Concern among some in the local angling community” as a large number or local anglers are NOT concerned.
 
“…fishing practice known as flossing, snagging, or bottom bouncing.”
 
Should read “…fishing practice known as ‘flossing’ which is a variation on a technique called  ‘bottom bouncing’ and is often referred to by some as ‘snagging’
“…it’s considered unethical and unsportsmanlike…”
 
Should read “… the concerned groups considers it unethical or unsportsmanlike…” as, once again, many do not consider it to be unethical or unsportsmanlike.

I hope you can see where I’m going with this (and that I won’t need to continue any further).  There is a vocal portion of the fishing community that feel that this is wrong, even though FOC has not issued any violation orders in this regard during the numerous times that they have been at the sites of this “floss fishery”.  Ethics, of course, is an individual and communal issue, but fishing regulations, as posted are enforced by FOC for salmon and Provincial CO’s for other freshwater fish.  It is important that people are able to debate the merits of differing fishing techniques. There is a LONG running debate between the flyfishing community and the “gear” fishing community about ethics, as there is between the barbed and barbless hook users. It’s human nature.

 

The rules clearly say that any fish willfully or accidentally snagged must be released immediately. 

“Quite a few people know they’re snagging the fish. The regulations that say it’s against the law to snag or foul hook the fish, or attempt to do so, but (to enforce it) a fisheries officer would have to catch them in the act of killing the fish.”

The rules actually state:

http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/recfish/Law/restrictions_e.htm

It is illegal to: 

  • fish for finfish and/or shellfish without a licence.
  • catch and retain salmon if your licence does not have a valid salmon
    conservation stamp attached to it.
  • wilfully foul hook or attempt to foul hook any fish other than herring,
    northern anchovy, Pacific sand lance and squid.

So, we need a definition of “foul hook”.  Pleasantly the freshwater fishing regulations, put out by the province have that definition:

http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/fw/fish/docs/fish-synopsis_2007-08_general.pdf

snagging (foul hooking)? hooking a fish in any other part of its body than the mouth. Attempting to snag fish of any species is prohibited. Any fish willfully or accidently snagged must be released immediately.
(emphasis mine)
 
The group within the recreational sector, of which you have chose to interview one individual, feels that even though 1) the rules ALLOW it, and  2) there is no action taken against individuals fishing in this manner while in the presence of FOC officers, that this style of fishing is illegal as quoted by you.  I don’t know if you gathered more information, but it certainly seems that were simply taking this one individual’s statement as fact – an incorrect fact.
 
This debate has torn many members of the fishing community apart and publishing a one sided opinion piece without gathering more evidence than talking to one fisherman is irresponsible journalism at best, helping to divide the recreational fishing sector (notice I didn’t use “sportfishing”) even further, and serving no purpose other than filling space in a newspaper.  On the positive side, at least now you’ll be able to go out some time and gather the REST of the opinions from a wider population of fishermen and fill more of that newspaper.
 
While I am not in your normal reader catchment (located in the Lower Mainland not the valley) I hope that you will take my concerns seriously and not lower to the standards of supermarket tabloids in an attempt to be shocking and gain attention.
 
p.s. while we’re at it – Would you please refrain from calling it “Sportfishing”, since the government classifies it as “Recreational fishing”.  If there’s a sport between a human and a fish (implying competion on an even ground), then we’re really lowering humans 😉
 
Sincerly,
 
Brian P. Hampson
 




Football, Fish and a Wedding – Busy weekend

9 07 2007

On Friday I went to the home opener of the BC Lions.  I have season tickets thanks to the good folks at the Team 1040 radio station.  We whooped Edmonton’s butts 29-9.  It was a fun time.  My friend let me park in his visitor parking while we were at the game, and when we returned to get our vehicle, there was lots of water, firemen and a fire alarm…  we drove out quickly.  Dunno what happened, but my friend said apparently it wasn’t anything that he needed to deal with.  Odd.

Saturday morning I got up bright and early (0630) to head out to Richmond.  It was “Fish for the Future” Day!  I met up with the organizer at about 0750 and we loaded my truck and another full of all the canopies and equipment for the day.

Once down at London Landing (end of Number 2 road) in Steveston more volunteers had arrived, so we all started unpacking and setting up.  We transformed a pretty quiet little pier into a bustling area of display booths and activity stations.  There was a family of swans with their little cygnets floating around the dock area.  They stuck around long enough to allow me to get a few good pictures.  By the start time of 1000 we had the fishing rods set up, the flytying and fly casting station ready, the Freshwater Fisheries society. BC Hydro, Seymour salmonid society and O.W.L all in action.  I moved down to my usual location – down on the floating dock with my buckets and worms.  We were ready.

The wind was light and the sun was strong.  I was glad I had my SPF45 sunblock on.  Kids started streaming down the gangplank to the dock and we were crazy busy getting worms on hooks and helping them get their lines in the water.  Worm after worm, line tangle after line tangle, we eventually had a constant rotation of approximately 25 kids fishing at any given time.  It wasn’t too long before our first fish of the day; a peamouth chub.  The tide was high, and on a slow ebb so the fishing wasn’t exactly fast and furious, but we did bring in some bullheads, peamouth chub, whitefish, northern pikeminnows and a big large scaled sucker!  We kept an aquarium up on the pier where people could see the fish and learn more about them.

I made a small break for myself this time, as I was determined not to miss the opportunity to photograph the birds of prey that they had on display (I had missed this the past 2 years – too busy).  I ended up with what I consider to be one of my best bird shots to date:


Barn Owl – Original Size Here (great detail)

You can see the little western screech owl they had also at: http://www.fotothing.com/DragonSpeed/photo/fabf0931d3fa753d8cdf6e9c797428db/ 
They were very beautiful birds.

We finished fishing and displaying at 1500, and then after unloading all the stuff back at the organizer’s home I headed back to my place and barely managed to make it without falling asleep. I was exhausted.  I walked in the door and slept until 2230!

With the weekend only half over there was still a Sunday of activity to go.  We woke up a bit late on Sunday morning, but we made up for that by having a quick brunch at home and then it was go-go-go!   One of Mrs D’s cousins’ daughter was being married and we were invited for the reception.  Since the dry cleaner had lost my shirt back in December I now had a dress shirt count of “0”.  We had to head out to the Bay to find a shirt.  After that, it was over to a friend who moved out of our complex and was having his housewarming party.  We had a great visit, and had a chance to see some of his pictures from his trip to Antarctica that he had taken.  Great stuff!  After visting and chatting until 1545 we headed home and caught the end of a couple of open houses.  Always a good opportunity to look around and get some design ideas.

Our neighbor dropped by and we chatted for a while. Always nice to get caught up, as we all seem to live such busy lives.

We left home at 1745 to get to Richmond for the wedding reception and made it nicely for 1830.  By a funny coincidence, one of the couples sitting at the table with us was at the “Fish for the Future” event on Saturday.  Small world 🙂  It was a great reception and the bride looked lovely in a cream coloured gown.  We ate the usual chinese multicourse meal and felt like you could roll us home when we were all done.  Finally we got home on Sunday night at around 2330, and it was time to pass out and get ready for work on Monday.  Crazy, but fun weekend.





Fish for the Future – This Saturday!

6 07 2007

It’s coming… Tomorrow.

Have you wanted to teach your kids how to fish but don’t necessarily know how to fish yourself?  Want your children to lose that “XBox flab”?

I’ve been volunteering for the past few years at this event.  It’s great!

Fish for the Future 2007 from 10:00am to 3:00pm on Saturday July 7th.
 
The festival will take place at the No. 2 Road Pier (London’s Landing) in Steveston. This will be the fifth annual event and there are some exciting new additions that all can look forward to.

With the support of the BC Family Fishing Weekend and National Fishing Week, this is a community event hosted in Steveston. A variety of activities usually take place during the event. The event is FREE, kids who do not have a fishing rod can borrow one during the event. The whole purpose of the event is to promote family fishing, as well as bringing awareness of various environment issues to the general public.

Please note that parking is limited so it is best to car-pool or cycle to the event. Juvenile tidal fishing licenses will be available to those who are under the age of 16 and they are free. For adult tidal license, please visit Berry’s Bait and Tackle. Limited amount of bait will also be supplied. Food is not available on site. The closest place is a cafe on No. 2 Road just north of the pier. Drinks (pop and water) will be available on site.

This year’s exhibitors will include:

BC Hydro PowerSmart – “Turn it off!”
Burns Bog Conservation Society – Bog and Game Booth
Chilliwack/Vedder River Cleanup Coalition
Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC – Mini Fishing Lessons
Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society – Birds of Prey
Seymour Salmonid Society – Salmon Education

Ongoing activities during the event will include:

Arts and crafts
Fish species station
Fishing for Tidal Fraser River fish
Fly tying workshops
Flycasting clinics
River fishing clinics

 
In a nutshell:  A GREAT time for kids and their parents.  We’ve even had “older” adults ask about how to get into fishing.  We help people learn the basics of river resource stewardship, starting with the simple act of handling fish carefully after catching them.  Lots of demonstrations.  The birds of prey are cool!
 




Annual Fishing Trip to MooseCamp

5 06 2007

Last weekend it was time for the annual “First Weekend in June trip to MooseCamp Resort” on Rioux lake.

The weather was hot (over 30C!) and the fishing was good. We left Vancouver at 0100 on Thursday night and didn’t get home until 2000 on Sunday.

During the time we were there, we caught literally hundreds of fish between the 9 of us, and kept a few nice silvery 14″+ rainbow trout. The evening surface fly fishing was great on Saturday.

We were entertained by Loons, Eagles and Osprey. We heard a moose nearby and we saw black bears when we were on the road to and from the resort. It was an awesome time. I’ve posted up some pictures of the trip over at my photo gallery.





Sockeye wrapping up for 2006

4 09 2006

FOC opened the Fraser river to recreational fishermen from The August long weekend until the end of Labour Day weekend this year. Just a bit over 1 month of available sockeye fishing.    The weather was great.  Almost every day was hot and sunny, and for the most part the fish were there when I fished.  The commercial boats had two openings and the natives had various openings all throughout.   You could definitely feel the effects of the commercial nets (they are like a wall across the river).  The native nets had some effects as well, but because they were pretty constant, it just lowered the overall flow of fish ALL the time.  Many fish came with net marks and/or seal bites.  Once the fish hit a net, it often gives a seal the opportunity to go for a quick bite.  These fish some times get free and we (the rec fishermen) get to catch a half eaten fish – yeach, although for the most part, when the commercial nets weren’t having an effect, many bright chrome fish came in.

Fraser sockeye fishing isn’t “traditional” fishing.   These fish are harvested by running a long leader with hook through the fish’s mouth, and hooking it “in the mouth”.  These fish don’t get a chance to actively attack your “presentation”.  They are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time (as far as the fish is concerned).  Your goal as the fisherman is to find the channel in the river in which the fish are swimming, and make sure your hook is there.  The number of people that come out for this fishery make it more of a social event than a fishing event.  Sometimes you get guys that aren’t good at the social aspect, so you get small verbal fights break out over lines crossing etc.  It’s quite humorous at times 🙂  All in all, the people I have fished near have been polite, clean and well mannered.  We’ve had a good time, and enjoyed each other’s company.  You’ve just got to have the right attitude going in!

One thing that concerns me though, is to see this time of “fishing” being applied to rivers that are quite clear, where the fish will attack a well presented bait or wool.  This “harvest” mentality is spilling over into the Coho fishery of the Vedder and Chehalis rivers, as well as their Steelhead fisheries.  If you are taking a friend sockeye fishing, or you are a tackle shop, it really is your moral obligation to explain to your friend what type of fishing this is, and to explain how to do some “real” fishing on the other rivers, with the various associated reasons.

I’ve had a fun summer, and have landed 17 sockeye and 1 spring (c.a. 15lbs), and it really makes you appreciate what we have here in BC. (Thanks, God, for the bountiful fish this year!)  Now it’s time to change my set up, and get ready for float fishing the Vedder for those beautiful chrome bullet Cohos.

Here’s a small photo gallery from the past month on the Fraser.  Enjoy:

http://www.slacker.ca/brian/webpics/showpix.aspx?2006Sockeye





Sockeye Fishing in the Fraser River

11 08 2006

I was just looking at last year’s post.  In 2005 they didn’t even open the recreational fishery until September 1.  This year I’ve already had 5 days on the river.

Sure the fish aren’t exactly pounding up the river yet, but it’s nice to get an earlier opening to help reduce the daily fishing pressure on the river.   The coming weeks will likely keep getting better!

Tight Lines!





Grizzly Cam!

20 07 2006

Check out the Grizzly Cam

Operated by the Pratt Museum, it shows grizzlies up at McNeil River falls Alaska.  It runs during Daylight hours.  Very Cool.  Watch the Grizz fishing and hanging out.





Blackwater Lake – May 21-22, 2006

23 05 2006

What a beautiful lake! There is lots of wildlife around. We saw a yearling black bear about .5km from the site, and 3 deer along the road in. Very nice. (made a mental note about the bear and fishing…)

There are only about 4 spaces at the forest service site, but upon our arrival at 1030 on Sunday we were able to scoop one. Since we were sleeping in the truck, there wasn’t exactly a huge need for space, and it was just a good fit for us. We got the new FishHunter out, and inflated its myriad of valves, and had 12 feet of inflated luxury ready to launch.

We walked the boat over to the little floating dock, and proceeded to an area approximately 30 ft off the shoreline where the water went from about 10 ft to 30 feet. Perfect. We dropped anchor, and started casting. Red Docs and Carey specials to start. This was Mrs D’s second time out flycasting, so for about the first hour we dealt with the basics again, and hence probably didn’t have the fly in the water as often as I would have liked. We could see 14-16″ fish jumping about 1′ out of the water. I kid you not. These suckers were like little orcas! Variously there would be sploosh! (Not splash, like a little fish makes, but “SPLOOSH!”) We were having no real success there, so we decided to troll. We dragged the Carey Special and the Doc Spratley (red) around on the VI and III lines in a nice circular pattern around the lake, looking like a weird caravan with the other 3 boats and U tubes on the water.

Nobody was having any luck. We all changed various flies, and sink tip/float cast/troll. Nothing. Around 1400 we decided to anchor, and took advantage of the warm day with light breeze to catch a few z’s (having woken up at 0530 to get here). What a great way to sleep. 30 odd feet off the shore, the sound of loons calling, and a light breeze and warm sun. We woke up after a refreshing 30 minute nap, and kept at it until about 1630. Nada. At least we weren’t the only ones skunked. Misery loves company 🙂

We landed the boat and went back to the truck. We set up the sleeping bags, and hung out a bit away from the mosquitos. Dinner was a nice Lipton pasta, alas without the fresh rainbow trout for a compliment, so we had to live with canned mushrooms. After dinner we went for a walk down the main road to have a look around and to show Mrs D where the Scout Cabin is which is nearby. We walked over to the cabin and to our surprise one of my scouting colleagues and his family were staying there for the weekend for a family outing. Great place to stay! We hung out and had some “grape juice” and generally were happy to get away from the bugs by being inside 🙂 2030 came quickly and we had to get off to sleep so we could get out on the lake in the morning to hit it again. We were tucked in to sleep around 2115 and sleep came quickly after a long day of fresh air and activity.

There had been some ligth rain over night, but everything was pretty dry when the alarm beeped at 0530. It was tough getting up, but we after a short wrestle with the idea of sleeping the day away, we were up and having breakfast of eggs and tuna fish. We headed out to launch bright and early. We were on the lake by 0645. There was a light mist rising from the lake, and a pair of loons was around. The male was out fishing, and the female appeared to be sitting on a nest. She let us get up to around 15 feet away. We got a few good pictures, and then left her to the eggs. We flogged the lake for about 4 hours that morning, but were only rewarded by the views of mountains, osprey, woodpeckers, and jumping fish. Nothing on the line for us.

 

We packed up, and headed out at 1130. We talked to someone who had come down from Birkenhead lake, and they had seen someone with a 5lb ‘bow out of the lake. Wow! Nice that SOMEBODY caught fish 🙂 It was a bit of a wagon train heading out from the lake, since all the Birkenhead campers were also leaving. The 7km took longer than it should have. Once we started down the winding scenic part of “99” things looked up, and we even got a glimpse of a mother bear and her cub hightailing it across the road. Nature! (Which also reminds me. We saw a red headed woodpecker that must have been about 1kg…the thing was huge, and sounded like a raven when flying. My best observation from the ‘Net appears to be “pileated” )

We stopped at the good ole Pemberton hotel for some down home hospitality (one poor waitress and about 30 odd guests waiting for service). We were happy to get our food, and get moving. The last time I ate there I remembered the burgers to be very good. Not so much anymore. With the deterioration in food quality and the slower service it wasn’t so memorable. In our haste to get moving it appears that Mrs D left her fleece jacket there. Bummer. (We called them later…they are going to send it down! Brownie points for the Pemberton Hotel!)

Thanks to the road improvements, the drive down to Vancouver was fast, and smooth, being able to pass large campers through the 4 lane sections. It will be nice to see the road when it’s completed, despite the fact that it will bring more and more hoardes to the previously untrampled wilderness areas. Gas in Squamish was “Cheap”. $1.14/L at the pump. About $0.03 cheaper than home, so the Tundra happily drank it up. These trips aren’t exactly cheap 😦 From Squamish home it poured on us, and we realised how lucky we were to have had the good weather we did when we were up on the lake.

Funny thing about the fishless trips. They make you want to go right back and try again. I’m looking forward to my next chance to try and capture one of those Blackwater ‘bows.





Hong Kong Day 8 (January 1, 2006)

3 01 2006

Happy New Year!

Today was to be a big travel day, so we headed off around 0900 to get a jump on the day.  We took the bus down to Central,and then the Peak Tram up to the top of Victoria Peak.  This peak tram goes up 500m in about 10 minutes.  At one point, you are sitting at a 45 degree angle to the buildings outside.  Very weird. Up at the peak, there are a variety of shops, and the everpresent McDonalds (I think they are more frequent here, than they are in Vancouver!)  We wandered up to the 3rd level observation area and had a nice view over the back of the peak, and one of the reservoirs that HK uses for their fresh water supply.  We considered having breakfast up there, but after looking at the prices of the restaurants (other than McD’s – which I’m not going to stoop to, while here in Hong Kong) we decided we could wait.  We found the Lions Pavilion lookout, and took various pictures of the Downtown core and environs. The also everpresent haze was annoying.  It reduced the sharpness of some of my pictures, but we did end up with some superb shots.  I also got a great picture of a black kite flying overhead, since overhead wasn’t so far up from here 🙂

Central from Victoria Peak:

We took the doubledecker bus down from the peak, and I tried to shoot a few more pictures as we descended.  Amusement park rides have NOTHING on this.  Twists, turns, lurches!  Yeeehhaaa!!!  I got a great picture of the 10th tallest residential building in the world “HighCliff”  At 77 stories, it’s a LONG way to go down if elevator breaks down!

Having descended safely from the peak, it was time to head out to Cheung Chau (長洲/长洲), Mrs D’s father’s ancestral home.  We walked from the bus stop, past the IFC (88 story business complex – highest in Hong Kong),

and went over to catch the ferry to Cheung Chau.  The Ferry is a catamaran system, and you sit inside, and have small windows for your outside viewing pleasure.  This meant that it was easy to feel queasy from the roll of the ocean.  As the vessel got up to speed,it must have a hydroplane, as things smoothed out somewhat.  The Mrs and I took advantage of the 30-40 minute trip to catch up on missing sleep.

When we got to Cheung Chau,it was lunch time, so we found our way to a little noodle restaurant which was no more than a bunch of tables and stool seats under a series of tarps, and had some fish balls in soup with noodles.  (I swear this city LIVES on fish balls).  With something in our bellies, we proceeded to wander the streets and alleys of Cheung Chau.  There are no cars on the island, so there were many bicycles to make up for it.  You had to be careful to make sure you didn’t wipe some poor cyclist out when you decide to look at the stall on your left instead of right.  The stalls were full of locals selling various touristy goods, as well as fruits and vegetables, and dried fish.  Lots of different types of dried seafood. 

We visited a Buddhist Temple, and photographed some of the interesting art on the outside (they wouldn’t let us shoot inside for some reason).  After the temple, it was across the narrow part of the island over to a sandy beach.  We were close to where Mrs D’s dad grew up, and she explained a lot of the local aspects of the island.  Apparently many Hong Kong people come over to the island and rent a room for the weekend, and enjoy the beach. 

On this “cold” 18C day, the beach was empty.  Not the case in the summer time apparently.  Mrs D’s dad’s family actually has a small shrine here on the island, so we stopped by, snapped some pics, and Mrs D burned some incense.  Very interesting.  Her family obviously has a LONG tradition on this island.

Fishing boats tied up at Cheung Chau:

1430 came along, and it was time to go off to see the giant bronze Buddha on Lantau island.  Onto another ferry (this one much smaller), and chug across the straight to Lantau island.  Once there we took a coach style bus up to the Bronze Buddha at Ngong Ping. (http://www.geocities.com/asiaglobe/gallery/hk-buddha.htm ) The Po Lin Monastery and Buddha are located at the top of the mountains.  The bus ride up passes by a very large reservoir, and the one lane road often has cows wandering on it, and other busses coming down!  Yowch!  (I’m glad I don’t drive here!)  We got to the base of the stairs to the Buddha by about 1630.  I looked up the stairs – they seemed to go forever.  Were we going to be able to make it up there before the 1730 closing time?  Well… Up we went. and up, and up.  Stopping to take a picture or two along the way, we kept hoping that the next steps would give better views, and lighting than the one previous. 

The Bhudda is 220 tonnes, and is about 26m high!  It took 10 years to build – being unveiled in 1993.

We got to the top, and were dwarfed by the enormity of this bronze statue.  You could really feel the size.  We took a number of interesting photos, and headed back down.  Once we were down, we went over to the monastery, where the Shaolin monks had been giving Kung Fu demonstrations in the morning, and one of them was doing some exquisite painting at the time.  Very detailed.  Excellent work.  The temple area, which is open to the public had some beautiful gold leafed Buddhas and they allowed photography, so we got some memorable pictures of the temple.  When all was said and done, it was almost 1800, and we had to hurry, as we were late for dinner back at Hat Ka Hut, down in Causeway bay. 

We met up with Uncle number 4, Simon, Vicki, Christine, Barry, and Justin for dinner.  I think I prefer the Dim Sum to the regular dinner at this restaurant.  After dinner, it was back to the apartment, and an hour to get reorganized before heading out to Lan Kwai Fong.  Phew!  A great circle tour of the Hong Kong area, What a whirlwind!

Night came, and it was my turn to venture out by myself.  I was armed with my Octopus card, and a cell phone.  Mrs D let me have some HKD so that I could buy some drinks, and a taxi if needed.  I left the appartment, and caught my bus OK.  Then, I sat on the bus, watching everything closely as it passed by.  I didn’t want to miss my stop!  I made it to Central.  I found the MTR and called Baggy.  “I’m at exit J – where are you?”, I said.  He said, “D”.  Urrgh…more walking.  I finally hook up with Baggy, and it’s good to see a familiar face so far from home!  We headed up to Lan Kwai Fong, in search of some dancing and partying.

We got to Lan Kwai Fong, and walked up and down the “bar streets”  The bars appeared to mostly the sit and chat type of bars. Not the “Get your party on!” type of bars.  I had been cautioned before not to look for “Nightclubs” as they are “Gentlemen’s” bars, where one can get a little “company”.  We were ok for that, as there didn’t seem to be any around here.  For that matter it seemed to be mostly tourists, and for the most part everyone was simply sitting around drinking at 2200, not partying.  I suggested that I had seen some “clubs” down around TST east, so we hopped on the MTR and arrived.  Where? I dunno.  I was sure I knew the area.  Not so much now 😦  We wandered a bit this way, and a bit that way.  Then we decided to ask for some help.  Aha!  we were heading the wrong way.  Oops.

We got to the area that I knew, and we started finding “Nightclubs”, and wine bars…No partying.  Bummer.  We approached somebody on the street, and I think he thought we were going to mug him.  He had the “deer in the headlights” look.  Anyway he said “If you want the party action – Lan Kwai Fong!” Urrgh.  We wandered a bit more, and then decided to head BACK to Lan Kwai Fong.  Back on the MTR, and “Poof!” back to Lan Kwai Fong.  We decided to stop at one bar and at least have a drink.  It was midnight, and I was itching for a cold beer.  Pints of Carlsberg please.  They were cold and tall! Excellent. Oh, and the bar was closing in 30 minutes, so this was last call.  Great.  From this bar, we went back to a bar that had a live band playing.  It was 80’s tunes, and the stage area was packed with people pulsing to the rhythm. FINALLY!  at 0030 we FOUND some partying!  We stayed and sang along with the band to all the music, and grooved, and checked out all the good looking girls.  At 0200 we decided to call it a night, as I had no idea what Mrs D had planned for me the next morning.

Baggy ordered me a cab, and I think the cab took the longer way home.  Oh well,  it wasn’t too bad.  I really couldn’t hear much, as my ears had a very loud hissing ring going.  It had been REALLY loud in the club.  When I got home, I realized that I smelt like an ashtray. I miss BC’s non-smoking regulations.  Shower at 0230 in the morning, and pass out – not from drinking, but from the long, long day!





Orcas surpass Polar Bears as most polluted.

12 12 2005

Orcas have surpassed Polar bears in a category which they probably didn’t want the title – Most polluted animal 😦

WWF Article

C’mon world!  Let’s try and get SOMETHING right!





Fish Farming damage exposed on US network prime time televison!

12 10 2005


Pink salmon fry with sea lice attached.  This fish will die.

Did you see Boston Legal on October 11th?  They raised the issue of Pink salmon being killed by sea lice from Atlantic Salmon farms!  This is great..  American exposure to the problems caused by fish farms.  Lot’s of buzz in the Pacific fishing world about this episode.  Even some East Coast blogs are talking about  it!

Lots of information about the sea lice issue can be found.  The fish farms are fighting back, and things are heating up.  There’s no such thing as bad PR?  For the sake of the fish I hope this is NOT the case for the farms.

Even though the Boston Legal episode was a bit light hearted, it is a VERY serious issue, and one that Britain and Norway faced a long time ago, almost destroying their sea-run trout populations where fish farms existed.  This has GOT TO stop, or it’ll be Tofu with salmon flavoring in our future 😦





Recreational Sockeye open on the non-tidal Fraser River

2 09 2005

As of dawn yesterday (Sept 1) they opened the recreational fishery for sockeye.  It looks like it will be a 7 day opening at most.  If you’re looking for me this weekend, I’ll be on the river 😉





Grizzlies being poisoned by Salmon

5 08 2005

Boy – the Globe is on a role today:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20050805.wxbears05/BNStory/National/
From the article:
The coastal grizzlies, which eat spawning salmon almost exclusively from late summer through the fall, showed markedly higher levels of PCBs, organochlorine pesticides and a group of chemicals that are used as fire retardants in everything from foam cushions to building materials.
More “Man vs. Nature” 😦





My Thoughts on Natives and "Tradition"

5 08 2005

Someone recently said to me…You can’t really expect the natives to go out and use all the old traditional methods to harvest fish, with the jetboats whizzing by them…

It got me to thinking… Yes, I can expect that…

I’ve got to take issue with this statement.
It IS a clash, and THEY have to make a choice.   We all had to make a choice as we modernized.  (the US for example had to decide that keeping slaves was wrong, despite it being a traditional European value at the time.)  The FN have obviously made the choice to try to have their cake and eat it too. 
It was fine when they attempted to harvest fish in traditional vessels, and people died, and there were limits.  This meant that not everyone and his dog went out and harvested the river bare.  It was a natural control on the harvest.  Now, they have improved safety measures, and better boats with engines, and larger capacity, and it means that even someone’s grandmother could get out there and take a whack of fish.  This means that they are no longer naturally limited, and that the resource will be depleted AGAIN (Just like we did when we gained motorized boats etc – Someone’s got to learn!)
If you want the perks of modern society, you’re going to have to give up some “tradition”  This is the definition of a culture, not a stagnant definition that never evolves.  Non-evolving cultures DIED OUT, and continue to do so.
My $0.02





Fraser Cheam Native Band wants to keep all others off "Their" river

5 08 2005

The Cheam/Sto:Lo want all the sockeye for their “Food and Ceremonial Fishery“ without us recreational fishermen “getting in the way“

If this fishery is only for food and ceremonial purposes, why are there natives driving around offering Sockeye out of the cooler in a pickup for $10/fish????  This is ridiculous.  They are openly breaking the law, while catching, killing and selling a part of the sockeye run that is endangered (which is the reason why it’s closed to commercial and recreational)..Stewards of the Environment…Hah!

If people had cameras, then pictures would go a long way too!  We need to shove this in the faces of the top DFO/ministers and say “Look!  They’re SELLING the freakin’ fish – NOT eating them!!!!!!”

From the Globe and Mail:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20050804/BCFRASER04/TPNational/Canada

I’m going to reprint the entire article here because it’s important that as many people as possible read about it!

 

By MARK HUME

Thursday, August 4, 2005 Page S1

VANCOUVER — A native band has been handing shocked sports anglers on the Fraser River a statement of claim that names the fishermen as “John Doe and Jane Doe” in a court action that will attempt to ban thousands of recreational fishermen from the water.

“This is a serious matter. They want all non-aboriginal fishermen off the river. They want an exclusive fishery,” said Phil Eidsvik of the B.C. Fisheries Survival Coalition.

The Cheam is a small band with about 300 members who fish mainly on the Fraser near the Agassiz-Rosedale bridge, about 80 kilometres east of Vancouver. The band is going to the B.C. Supreme Court to seek an injunction against “John Doe and Jane Doe prohibiting them from carrying out the 2005 Sports Fishery . . . without the permission or consent of Cheam.”

The development is expected to exacerbate an already tense situation on the river that one native spokesman has described as “dangerous.”

On any given day during the summer, up to 1,500 sports anglers can be found fishing for salmon on the lower Fraser River as it winds through the Fraser Valley after emerging from the Coast Range near Hope. One of the most popular spots to fish is along gravel bars above and below the Agassiz-Rosedale bridge.

“In the past day or two, fishermen on the bars near the bridge have had native guys tell them to leave, and when they refused they have had these papers shoved in their hands,” said Frank Kwak, a member of the B.C. Federation of Drift Fishers.

“One fisherman was told, ‘From here on in you will be paying us to fish here’.”

Mr. Kwak said the development is disturbing. His group and the B.C. Fisheries Survival Coalition plan to fight the application when it goes to court. It is expected to be heard in Victoria this week.

In the past, sports anglers and aboriginal fishermen have clashed on the river bars near the bridge. There have been reports of fishermen hurling insults — and rocks — at one another, but this summer has been largely free of conflict due, in part, to a peacekeeping effort that has been under way for several weeks.

Bill Otway, a member of the Sport Fishing Defence Alliance, said chiefs from several bands and representatives of sports anglers have been holding meetings trying to develop a dialogue. But he said the threatened legal action of the Cheam is a blow to that process — and it threatens to spark more clashes between sports anglers and aboriginal fishermen.

“We are telling our guys to be cool and to be courteous because we think what the Cheam really want is to trigger conflict so they can say, ‘see, we need [sports anglers] banned.’ ”

Mr. Otway wasn’t aware of any conflict during the time natives were legally allowed to fish, but he said harsh words get exchanged when sports anglers witness natives fishing in closed periods.

“Nobody that I’m aware of has ever come into conflict with natives over legitimate fisheries,” he said. “If they are coming through with drift nets they usually just ask guys to move, and they will pull their lines and let the nets go through. It’s not a big deal usually.”

Mr. Otway said the Cheam, who are one of 19 Sto:lo bands on the Fraser River, have long sought control of the popular and productive waters in the Agassiz-Rosedale area.

“This is just the start,” said Mr. Otway, who warned that if the Cheam are granted an injunction, other bands could follow.

In the statement of claim, Chief Douglas says his band “exclusively occupied the islands, bars, beaches and banks on the Fraser River . . . and exercised exclusive control, in accordance with the customs, traditions and laws of the Central Coast Salish over the fisheries of the Fraser River in this area.”

He said the band has “the exclusive right to use and control access to the fisheries.”

A map filed with the statement of claim shows that the Cheam are claiming control of about 20 kilometres of the Fraser River, as well as parts of Harrison River and Harrison Lake.

Ernie Crey, a fisheries consultant with the Sto:lo Nation, said the Cheam want to keep sports anglers out of the area because they don’t think they can share the water peacefully.

“There has been name calling. Rocks have been thrown from the shore. . . . It has become dangerous,” he said.

Mr. Crey said the federal government created the problem by allowing the sport fishery to expand over the past decade, with the harvest limit for sockeye growing from around 5,000 salmon to 50,000.





Fishing at Alice Lake – July 30, 2005

31 07 2005

I got up to Alice lake around 1015 (Holy smokes, have they been doing a lot of work on that highway!!)  Somehow I missed the fact that you can’t just drive up to the lake….oh well, I hauled the inflatable, and the gear over to the lake.  Inflated the boat, put all the gear in, and was launched by 10:40.  I headed over to a shady spot over in the SE corner, and put on a red doc spratley on a type VI full sink line.  Cast, retrieve, cast, retrieve..etc – nothing.  Changed to some thing that had a bead head, and was kind of green/grey and looked a bit like a small dragonfly nymph.  I tossed it many times with no success, and then I was getting into the retrieve with my eyes closed, and half asleep when one of my tugs on the retrieve was met with a return tug.  Wake up!  too late.  Cast again and again, and then when I’m just getting lackadaisical again; Wham!  Actually more like “tug a bit”… Fish on.  I stripped in the little guy, and let the 6” cutthroat off to swim and be caught by someone else.   More casting and dozing, and casting and dozing, when I feel a tug.  I tug back…nothing.  I wait, and then one stip in… “tug, tug, tug”.  Hook Set!  Fish on.  Up comes a 4″  :O fish, and he has totally swallowed my fly.   It’s buried. I open the little guy’s mouth, and you can barely see the bead on the top.  Damn!   Cut line, and release fish (probably almost 2x as heavy now with the fly in him  ::) )  I wonder if he’ll live, or should I have whacked him and retrieved my fly.   He swims away well.   After that, I couldn’t interest anything in anything.  Big leach patterns, small leach patterns,   A couple of attempts with a dry fly after seeing something larger than average sip up a fly off the surface, but no luck there either. 
By the time I left the lake, it had become a hive of activity.  Kids everywhere, all the beaches were packed, and people were swimming all around the shore.  Alice Lake was certainly being well used by the campers!   There were a few worm and bobber fishermen dotted around the shore, but they didn’t seem to be having much luck.
It was a good day, and sunny, with a light breeze, so casting wasn’t impossible, and it was a bit cooler.  A few fish got their lips stretched.  The only downer was that the plastic oar lock on the inflatable boat cracked off, as I was going to try trolling a fly around the lake at the start.   I ended up doing some rather funky paddling to keep the boat going straight.  Oh well.  Perhaps this will convince Mrs. D to get a new (better) boat now 😉
Now…where did I put that aloe vera gel?  ::)





Interesting points regarding the Sto:Lo fishery this week.

27 07 2005

Tad MacIlwraith has an interesting comment on the recent Sto:Lo fishery…. They decided when to have it, and then told DFO “Hey…we’re having a fishery”  Tail wagging the dog?  

When are we going to stand up as a political office, and as a population and say “Hey!  We’re sorry for what happened, but that’s the way it is. Let’s move forward because we can’t be living the ‘White Guilt’ thing for ever!“








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