Editor’s Note

As you will discover in our cover story, a recent study tells us that the fish we catch and eat may not be able to pass a drug test. And it’s all our fault.

We may think our meds are done working by the time they make their respective journeys through our bloodstreams. It’s what happens after we metabolize, excrete and flush where things get tricky.

A year-long study by Florida International University (FIU) and Bonefish & Tarpon Trust (BTT) has discovered pharmaceutical contaminants in the blood and other tissues of redfish in Florida waters. Science has uncovered a new problem, but fortunately researchers have a solution that can help make Florida waters less troubled.

Speaking of fish, Merrill Watson, a native Californian and expat freelance writer now living in the English countryside, grew up fishing on remote rivers and lakes with her dad in California and cherishes her remembrances of those excursions. Recently, she took the same approach to create new experiences and memories with her son JP and his girlfriend on the River Test, a famous chalk stream in Hampshire near Stockbridge, which is considered the birthplace of modern fly fishing and the sport’s Mecca. They caught beautiful trout in challenging conditions, tangled lines in trees and lost big fish. They laughed and learned an important lesson that Watson’s father tried teaching her long ago.

Watson gained an appreciation of the restorative power of the outdoors through fly fishing, and that’s exactly what Walter Bundy has felt since he was a boy growing up fishing, hunting and gardening in Virginia. Bundy owns and is the head chef at Shagbark, a restaurant in Richmond offering New American fare with a Southern twist.

This past winter, we joined Bundy on an upland bird hunt at The Preserve at Dundee just north of Richmond. Afterwards, we were blown away by an amazing wild game meal of his own creation. It’s no wonder his award-winning restaurant has truly become a stage for local farmers, fishermen, artisans and artists. Shagbark is a thoughtful space that reflects his affinity for the sporting life. For Bundy, running a restaurant is a theatrical performance. You dance, delight people, feed and take care of them. Then you come back and do it again the next day. That’s what he enjoys, and I can’t wait to eat there and take in the show.

Bon appétit. Thank you for reading our magazine and enjoy your summer.

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