Final Countdown

Final Countdown

It's the End of The World as We Know It... And We're Going Fishing

As you might already know, the world is scheduled to end on December 21, 2012. News to you, you say? Well, get with the program: the Mayans have only been predicting it for the past 1,000 years, but these things do kind of creep up on you. So what does this all mean? Well, it means that you have just five more years to get in those big fly-fishing trips you have always talked about. But where would you go? Good question, and one we posed to three of the brightest minds and most well-traveled anglers in the business. Here are the five places each would fish as the clock counts down:

Brian O'Keefe - photographer extraordinaire

  1. Iceland. I would like to spend a couple of months in the summer in Iceland and fish for browns and Atlantic salmon. If the world were ending I would party like a rock star and poach the best water possible…or write bad checks.

  2. Kamchatka. I've come close to booking a trip to Kamchatka several times. Those big, wild rainbows that hit deerhair mouse patterns are hard to resist.

  3. Chile. I would go to Estancia del Zorro, outside of Coyhaique, and fish Zorro Spring Creek, possibly the best spring creek in the world. I'd try to sample all of their wonderful red wines and gorge myself on asado.

  4. A Southern bass lake. Just once I would like to go head-to-head in a big bass tournament and use a fly rod.

  5. On the last day of the world I would fish out of my drift boat on the Deschutes River. It has always been illegal to fish from a boat on the lower Deschutes but at this point, who's going to care?

James Prosek - author and artist

  1. Elizabeth Hurley's bathtub…with her in it.

  2. A lake in the Altai Mountains I once heard about that is reported to have the largest grayling in the world, probably Thymallus breverostris. It is a grayling with a mouth like a walleye, with big teeth. The grayling in this lake have been recorded up to one meter long. That would be a world-record grayling, for sure.

  3. I've never landed a tarpon, so I'd like to fish West Africa for a big, big one, or the Everglades for a smaller one.

  4. Before the end of the world I want to catch a bluegill or shellcracker over 1.5 pounds. A real panfish. I don't know where to catch one that big, but I'd find out and get there.

  5. I also want to catch a big crappie and a largemouth bass over 10 pounds. If there's a place where I could do that, that's where I'd go. Childhood fantasies die hard, I guess.

Bob White - guide and illustrator

  1. Mongolia for taimen and lenok. I've known the Vermillion brothers at Sweetwater Travel for years but have never had the opportunity to fish with them.

  2. Tierra Del Fuego for sea trout, steelhead and brown trout. Even though I began guiding in Argentina in 1985 and have traveled there extensively, I've never made it to "the land of fire." I have a Argentine friend, Alberto Cordero, whom I guided with 20 years ago, and who still works the rivers there and I'd like to spend some time under his tutelage.

  3. The Flambeau River in northern Wisconsin for smallmouth bass and muskie. I know, it's in my back yard and not thought of as an exciting or "high-energy destination" but I've fallen in love with the river and the country it flows through. The fishing is awesome.

  4. The Damdochax River in British Columbia for steelhead, Pacific salmon and trout. If I had discovered British Columbia first, I would have never made it to southwest Alaska. Everything about BC is big and larger-than-life except the beautiful little Damdochax River, which is as intimate and jewel-like as any river I've ever waded. It's the quintessential fly-fishing experience.

  5. The Huaca Mamuil: A spring creek tributary to the Malleo River in Argentina. The sight-fishing for brown, brook and rainbow trout is as good as it gets. This little piece of heaven is where I'd like to be on December 21, 2012.