If the Dalai Lama Were a Fisherman

Rick Bass

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Photograph by Ron Kube

I was in Hawaii, working on a story about whales—a big story, about big animals and the people who are drawn to them, a story that’s going to take months to write—and while out on the boat one windless day, heat-struck amid the shimmering blue, with whales singing and groaning far below, I was seized with an image of the Dalai Lama riding in the bow of a drift boat belonging to my friend Tim (an Orvis Endorsed Guide Conservationist of the Year) down the mighty Kootenai River of northwest Montana, my home.

I don’t know if His Holiness fishes or not. It takes a lot of time, so I would think perhaps not, but then again its essence is focus and patience, so perhaps he does; or if not, perhaps he might like it.

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