Follow Us

PANAMA RESURGENT
WHERE MEMORIES MELT
INTO NOW

By Riley Love

  “What a long, strange trip it’s been.”
  “Truckin’ ” a truly classic tune by the Grateful Dead, came rockin’ out of the speakers from the equally classic Joker, a vintage Bertram sportfisherman. Real, real good stuff for rollin’ out onto the brilliantly sunlit waters of the Pacific. It was a return to old stomping grounds … much reflection on life to be done here, and out on the blue is the place to do it. It has been said that a day of fishing becomes many things. But I quote myself.
  Capt. Tom Yust, Joker’s owner, came down here with a backpack 30 years ago. He had started fishing in Golfito, Costa Rica, then orchestrated his move to Panama and never looked back. Five years ago, he moved to his current lodge on the island hamlet of Bahia Honda. He has two internet addresses: www.MarlinPanama.com and Coiba Adventure Sport Fishing. He has a massive collection of classic rock in his telephone library, enough to need a new set of speakers before it’s done. The next tune up was The New Riders of the Purple Sage song, “Panama Red.” As a storyteller, discretion is sometimes required.
  It was over half a lifetime ago my father, brother and I fished both coasts of Panama. I also brought my son fishing here when he was still alive. Standing on the boat’s rear deck, his memory was so real. He had stood just there … but his difficult trip through life had not been a long one. He loved this place, and I could still feel it.
  Indeed, this day was many things. Memories of special places, bays, beaches, rocky outcrops crowded into mind. I remembered what lure we used and what fish we caught. Then blinding amazement overtook me … I’d failed to recall how beautiful it all was. The energy, the vibrancy of the escarpments thrust up from the sea by Vulcan and the power of the forest, so alive it virtually shouts its existence. Even small islands of stone were bespoke with crowns of rainforest on their tops. If I were to compare this place to a literary figure it would be Dean Moriarity (Neal Cassady) in Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” – just a being with more juice than all the others.
  Talkin’ ‘bout juice. We poured some into this little sojourn. The last venture down here was well before the COVID years. Things had changed. Historically, the few lodges or mother ships in this region of the Panamanian coast have come and gone.

You could never exhaust the collection of fishing holes that make up Panama.
You could never exhaust the collection of fishing holes that make up Panama.
The abundance of species keep anglers on their toes.
The abundance of species keep anglers on their toes.

Sponsors

Make sure to visit us on Facebook

fish with sun rays falling from above