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Hemingway Adventure

Horton Creek, Michigan

Horton Creek, Michigan, USA 
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Picture postcard time. On Horton Creek, one of the shallow streams of north Michigan, Hemingway perfected his fishing technique and Palin abandoned his. You can almost hear the steelhead trout sighing with relief as my canoe comes towards them.
Michael Palin - Hemingway AdventureA scintillating late autumn morning. Im in a canoe moored up amongst auburn reed beds on the marshy banks of Horton Creek. The wind ruffles stands of aspen sending the sunlight scattering. A dragon-fly settles momentarily on the end of my paddle, ripples spread from an almost imperceptible movement in the water. A soft and seductive sense of timelessness prevails.

Twenty minutes earlier our camera boat overturned, plunging our director, cameraman and his assistant into eighteen inches of water. Were not talking Titanic here, but they were in well above their knees and all the footage weve shot so far today has gone soggy.

So, whilst theyre off drying out the equipment Im left, with John Sheets, chef and fishing mentor, thinking about life and why, despite the undoubted beauty of this place, Im feeling oddly regretful. For what? Well, not catching a fish for one thing. Although fish are shy in the bright sunlight we have seen a couple of fair-sized steelheads emerge from the shadows but they swam past the bait with almost contemptuous disdain.

The twenty-year-old Hemingway caught sixty-four trout in one day here. Mindful of this I think I tried too hard. I rushed the line into the water, I tugged too sharply, I forgot the loose, controlled sweep of arm and rod and at one point my line stuck somewhere behind Johns ear, hooked into the back of his shirt. I find myself guiltily hoping that the film will have been damaged beyond repair by the muddy waters of Horton Creek.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Hemingway Adventure
  • Chapter: Horton Creek, Michigan
  • Country/sea: USA
  • Place: Horton Creek, Michigan
  • Book page no: 28

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