Food or Sports? BOTH can be done well in Oregon.

I went to Oregon expecting to come back with lots of memories of the beautiful landscape and outdoors activities, but what really ended up leaving an impression on me was their food scene. Don’t get me wrong, the road trip from Vancouver to Bend, and then back up north to Portland, was a gorgeous one with a variety of mountains and canyons and farmland BUT a good majority of my time was spent eating, and I was impressed.

Our weekend started out in Bend, Oregon where hipsters and outdoors people (often one and the same) roam the town in search of the best lattes and bike trails. To say the city is a popular one these days, is an understatement. It seemed at every turn there was a new townhouse complex, shopping area, restaurant district or hockey arena being built. It’s no wonder why Bend is rated as one of the best places to live in the United States. Everything is relatively easy to get to, it has some of the best hiking and biking trails, ski areas and bodies of water for fishing (Deschutes is a world class fly fishing river), as well as water sports like paddle boarding and kayaking, and there are all sorts of fun little restaurants, bars and bakeries to indulge in. Oh, and let’s not forget, it has one brewery for every 4,500 people, which means a ton of tasty craft beers to choose from.

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Bass Fishing in Japan

This month marks two years since I fulfilled a life long dream of visiting Japan. We visited a bunch of super rad iconic places like Jiro sushi (if you haven’t heard of Jiro, watch the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi) and the Shibuya ward in Tokyo and the intricate and historical temples in Kyoto. This was a family trip and we didn’t have the cameras with us, but dad and I knew we had to take advantage of our proximity to the famous Lake Biwa in the Shiba prefecture where the world record largemouth bass was caught. A few weeks before leaving for our trip, I booked a few hours with Naoya Hiramura, a Lake Biwa guide who’s site “Truth Fishing Guide Service” seemed legit enough. You never know who you’re going to end up with when you seek someone simply by googling, without any word of mouth referral, but we got lucky and Naoya was awesome.

On the day we planned to go fishing, we also planned to meet up with the others in Kyoto, which, looking back was pretty ambitious, but you have to make the most out of your travels! Dad and I took the 4am on the bullet train (and it was actually pretty full, proving that Tokyo never sleeps). By the time the sun was coming up, we were being greeted by Naoya who picked us up from the station.

The thing that struck both my dad and I the most about Naoya, was his attention to detail – and I think this is emblematic of the Japanese culture. He made sure we had everything we needed from beginning to end, and was a true pro. He even presented us with fully packaged Naoya designed lures and Naoya instructional DVD’s!

Like I said, this was a quick fishing stop so although we didn’t have time on our side, we managed to get into a few nice sized largemouth, which we caught with Naoya’s “multi stick slide”.

Dad and I with our largemouth on Lake Biwa.

Dad and I with our largemouth on Lake Biwa.

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