CBC Literary Prizes

"River Dreams — Learning to Fly-fish in Patagonia" by Christie Pashby

Christie Pashby has made the 2017 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist for "River Dreams — Learning to Fly-fish in Patagonia".

2017 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist

Christie Pashby is a professional writer and content creator who lives in Canmore, Alta. (April Callow)

Christie Pashby has made the 2017 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist for "River Dreams — Learning to Fly-fish in Patagonia". 

About Christie

Christie Pashby is a professional writer and content creator who lives with her young daughter in the beautiful Rocky Mountain town of Canmore, Alta. She studied history at McGill University and journalism at University of King's College. For 15 years, she was a travel writer based between Patagonia, Argentina and the Canadian Rockies. She currently works in marketing.

Entry in five-ish words

Fishing and loving in Patagonia.

The story's source of inspiration

"I spent many years in Patagonia. I accumulated a lot of stories and began compiling them. They're about things like gauchos, granite spires and the incessant wind. This one blends my admiration for the wild rivers of Patagonia with my attempts to dabble into the most gentlemanly of sports — fly-fishing."

First lines

"Of all the trout I reeled in off my fly rod that afternoon, the last one was the most beautiful. It was just before dusk on the Rio Chimehuin, one of the finest fly-fishing rivers in the world. Early summer in Patagonia. There was a dark storm hovering above the snow-capped volcanoes of the Andes to the west, and clouds swirling over the dry Steppe to the east. Bits of sunlight were peeking through the clouds.

"We'd moved on from the previous pool because the sunset's reflection made it nearly impossible to pick my tiny little fly out of the small rapids. Even a bright orange strike indicator got lost. If I couldn't see it, how could the fish? I was in my waders, waist-deep in the river, silently and carefully inching closer and closer to the hole, but I just couldn't make out anything.

"Fly-fishing requires extreme attention to the world around you. Your eyes must be fully alert and wide open because any movement at all is a clue that will help you reach your goal. I was squinting, my eyes just barely open. It wasn't happening."

About the 2017 CBC Nonfiction Prize

The winner of the 2017 CBC Nonfiction Prize will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, will have an opportunity to attend a 10-day writing residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and have their story published on CBC Books and in Air Canada enRoute magazine. Four finalists will receive $1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and have their story published on CBC Books

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