|Trails in a Wild Frontier
American angling pioneers searching
rivers is a once-forbidden Land!
Lee Hartman's newly released book, Trails in a Wild Frontier, is a fascinating story
about the early American and European angling pioneers and their plight to
explore uncharted rivers in a once-forbidden land. When newly elected Soviet
leader Mikhail Gorbachev declared perestroika in 1986, Russia’s once locked
border, closed since the 1918 communist revolution, suddenly opened to foreign
travel. Rumors of giant fish in Soviet Russia began to circulate in the American
fishing community. Soon after an American businessman sensed an opportunity to
establish sport fishing there. With the help of National Trout Unlimited, the
American contingent led a series of meetings with Soviet officials until an
agreement was reached to allow the exploration of rivers in the wild expanse of the
Trails in a Wild Frontier, complimented with full color photos, takes you on a
thrilling journey into the wilds of Siberia, the Kola Peninsula and Kamchatka, on a
mission to explore and open up the last great salmon and wild trout fishery on the
planet. It can be purchased on www.Amazon.com or directly through Lee himself @
Fishermen, particularly fly fisherman, love not only the fishing part of their sport, but also the chance to enjoy the natural
beauty and exhilarating wildness of the places where fish live. In this fascinating memoir of the opening of the remote
rivers of the ex-Soviet Union to fly fishermen, Lee Hartman tells the exciting story of a third thrill that few anglers have the
opportunity to experience—to be among the first outsiders to bring the sport of fly fishing to virgin waters.
Not that it was a walk in the park for Hartman and his companions. The “wildness” of fly-fishing in Siberia, the Kola
Peninsula, and Kamchatka was not all “natural.” Imagine all the stories you’ve heard about life under the old Communist
regime—long lines to purchase anything, decrepit autos and decaying housing, virtually worthless rubles. Now add to
that the challenge of traveling across thousands of miles of beautiful but rugged and sparsely populated terrain to catch
fish with bits of feathers and hair that—crazy American that you are—you intend to throw back, not eat, and you begin to
get the flavor of the adventure. The first rules of survival Hartman learns are the “three P’s, patience, politeness, and
persistence,” and the creed of his hosts, “There is never a reason not to drink.”
But after all the inexplicable travel delays, the hair-raising helicopter rides, the sampling of “Russian delicacies,” the
shutdown weather, and the god-awful hangovers—not to mention the tantalizing opportunities to meet fetching Russian
women—there is the fishing. And what fishing it apparently was! Not just monster salmon and trout, but fish that most of
us will not get any closer to than Wikipedia—the lenok, the limba, and the elusive, almost mythological, taimen which
reputedly can live over fifty years and weigh in at over 200 pounds. Google them and dream!
Or better yet, just buy this book!
_Garth Hallberg on December 3, 2014
I became hooked on this book as Lee takes you on one adventure after another, beginning with his trip through Russia
to his final destination on the Kola Peninsula. The relationships that were made, lost, and those that endure today, are as
fascinating as the adventure itself. Fishing uncharted waters for salmon, trout, and species not yet scientifically identified
would be any anglers dream. It's hard to imagine that an adventure of this scope could still exist today. Totally fascinating
and a great read.
_ Joseph Whalen, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Lee catches Russia and you are there! Boots on the ground stuff in fascinating detail you will get nowhere else. It's like
you are at the campfire with him, listening to tales of the land where the BIG ones swim and dreaming of going there
when you can. Buy a bottle of vodka, hunker down with a lot of rye bread, a hunk of cheese, and a bowl of mushroom
soup and read these adventures he takes you on!
_ Terry Brykczynski, New York, NY
"Trails in a Wild Frontier will stir the pioneering spirit in every reader. Lee takes you on a thrilling journey through Siberia,
Kamchatka and the Kola Peninsula that helped unravel the mysteries of Russia's uncharted rivers."
_ Tom Gilmore, 4-time author False Albacore; Tuna on the Fly; Fishing the Big Apple; Eastern Trophy Tailwaters.