One Pho the Money, Two Pho the Show
I have been hankering to try a new Vietnamese-French bistro in my hood called Elizabeth Street Cafe, which has an awesome sign that boasts “Noodles-Banh Mi-Boulangerie”.
Well, I went for the first time today and loved it. Inherently my taste buds lean French but I did some homework on Vietnamese fare and have to say I am a big fan of the noodle soups, called Pho, and baguette sandwiches, Banh Mi.
My Vietnamese-themed day has me wondering: Can you fly fish in Vietnam?
I am not sure I have the answer for you, but in my perfunctory sweep of Google I found a kickass, new-to-me fly fishing blog called Lo Fi Fly. Would you believe their most recent post titled THE LAND OF DONGS brings up this very same question: where/how to fly fish in Vietnam?!
The writer is en route to Vietnam as we speak for work, but is prepared to peel away and find some fly fishing opportunities. He couldn’t find much info on the web, so I pushed on for the both of us.
I found a website called Executive Adventures that claims to have the only fly fishing operation in the country, including a real “Scottish Highland Fisherman” who, presumably, is the guide. I have the visual of a washed up, ruddy-skinned, red-nosed expat Scot sucking on a bottle of Scotch, serving stale shortbread for guide lunches and peeing from the driftboat right from under his ratty old kilt. But who knows, he could be great.
Before all you Americans of Scottish-descent start sending me hate mail and angry comments, just save it. I got Scot in me. My people have a tartan, I can poke fun.
Anyway, I’m not precisely sure what we’re fishing for in Vietnam, but I read something about jungle perch and snakeheads and a stocked pond. I don’t even know if we’re talking saltwater or fresh but they do say their rigs are 9-12 weights. So could be big fish, which piques my interest. And I love the diversity of the patterns they use, according to the website:
The Mazy Frog of Japan:
The Sea Sprite of Australia:
or…The “Traditional” from Scotland:
Hell, it’s like the UN of fly boxes. I would love a float on a Montana river where I could catch trout on all three of these patterns in one given day.
My keen detective skills (aka sheer panic that SOPA is going to kill the Internet and these are my final days to browse aimlessly) urged me a step further and I searched youtube for “fly fishing Vietnam”. This is the best I could come up with:
While I realize this doesn’t have the high-testosterone action we’re all used to from FFFT clips, I really love this little video for a number of reasons. First of all, it smacks of striper fishing in the Northeast which makes the Globe feel like a cozy intimate neighborhood we’re all sharing. Plus I can’t get over the Lillith-fair, last night of camp sorta tune, which I like — but is a head scratcher. And (spoiler alert) I REALLY love that I patiently watched all three and a half minutes of this guy casting and finally got to see his smile at the very end for that teeny fish. Hey, I’ve been there buddy.
Suffice to say, I am no more an expert on Vietnamese fly fishing than I was when this day began, but I did have some pretty good food at Elizabeth Street Cafe.
My friend Elizabeth (no relation to the restaurant) and I split the house specialty Banh Mi which has Chicken Liver Mousse, Pork Pâté, and Roasted Pork:
And the Pho with Flank Steak:
So will I plan a fly fishing trip to Vietnam any time soon? Probably not, I’m holding out hope for a bonefish in 2012. But will I venture over to Elizabeth St Cafe again? Pho sho, suckas! Loved it. I am dying to try their breakfast menu.
Until my next post…Tam Biet!
(Just go ahead and Google it before SOPA and PIPA kill the web.)