It seems odd, though, that while I've spent the better part of my life fishing and have traveled some to do it, I always seem to end up, more or less, in someone else's backyard. Those licenses document no trips to exotic locales, no once-in-a-lifetime expeditions, no time logged in remote and unspoiled regions that few anglers ever reach. By most standards, I suppose, they catalog only well-trodden paths and ordinary places, though to me those places are anything but ordinary. From the bluegill pond at the far side of town to the little trout stream at the far side of the country, each river and lake has revealed a distinct world apart, not pristine and untamed but invested with its own kind of wildness and, in its way, as remote from everyday life as the waters of Tierra del Fuego or the Alaskan outback. In the end, the most meaningful geographies are interior ones. If the places I've fished have not been wilderness, in my imaggination they have always bordered on the wild and offered me the same kind of solace, breathing space, and sense of wonder. Collectively, those places map out a private territory I think of simply as "fishing country," and those old licenses have been my passports to it.