Season Two | Part VIII

The joy of hex Hex time marks the biggest shitshow in the North Country, bringing every sizeable trout and big douchebag out of hiding. The spot you’ve scouted all season will inevitably hold some guy from Tennessee. And so far this year’s hatch has seen the best anglers fishing in the worst conditions, while the…

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The Sound of Cicadas

Summer on Utah’s Green River In the pines above a slumbering Dutch John they clicked and we listened. Clicking, like a foreign tongue only a small group of unwashed anglers might decipher. Below the concrete wall holding Flaming Gorge Reservoir, that same clicking joined the riffing of the Green River. They clicked. The trout tuned…

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Season Two | Part VII

Ticks, carnival tricks, and plotting summer fishing in Michigan’s UP Drift boats are great. But I still prefer hiking into the backcountry and exploring blue lines. Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula can still be classified as wild. And once you get north of M-55, you’ll find small stream nirvana.

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Season Two | Part VI

Waiting for drakes in painted-on waders There’s one thing that has always terrified me about guiding women, and that is wader rentals. I can’t stock 80 sizes of waders and boots, so I work with an area fly shop. I get the client’s measurements, pick waders up the day before, and hope like hell they…

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Season Two | Part V

June is king The growing pile of paper plates and gas station food wrappers on my car’s floor hint at my daily routine over the past couple weeks. Wake up at 6:30 a.m., 40-minute commute, 9-hour work day, 40-minute drive to go watch my son at either baseball, track, or golf, stay as long as…

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Season Two | Part IV

Borchers, hennies, mattress thrashers, and the odd mahogany “You’re such a bass fisherman,” I shot at Matt after seeing his approach on a late afternoon riser. His silence hinted that the joke didn’t register. Matt is one of the best bass flyfishers I know, and fishes for trout with a bit of a heavy hand.

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Season Two | Part III

Sucker spawn, teenage spawn, and first mouse attack of the year My toughest client is my teenage son, Coleman—his friends call him Cole. Now, you might say taking a kid fishing doesn’t count as guiding, but you couldn’t be more wrong. Taking a kid fishing is the best practice a guide can get, especially when…

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Season Two | Part II

Swisher Sweets, venison tacos, and the savage traditions of Michigan’s annual trout opener With so many miles of special regs water open year-round, you’d think Michigan’s trout opener would have become largely insignificant by 2015. Yet most anglers still consider the last Saturday a holiday—including myself. In fact, as I walked out of a party…

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POV: Pretty Fly for a Gear Guy

Wild Washington steelhead and searching for a consensus among anglers of all types Why does the fishing gear I use define me? Why does the equipment I choose to pursue my steelhead fishing passion make or break how others perceive me? Why is there so much backbiting between salmonid anglers in different sets? These are…

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Season Two | Part I

Guiding in northern Michigan starts with a great bumper sticker This series begins, oddly enough, where the last series I wrote left off. “Lake Effect” chronicled a steeelhead trip where a friend and I hit tributaries flowing into all five Great Lakes inside a five-day window in early November 2013. I was so stressed to…

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Gripes & Grins

A #keepemslimy photo essay Since Erin Block’s piece a year ago in Trout Magazine, the flyfishing community’s conversation on the negative impact of grip-and-grin photos has grown louder. The Internet has been saturated with pictures of exhausted fish held high and dry for your viewing pleasure for too long. And the #keepemwet backlash continues. In…

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Hang Up, Cast, Connect

Shallow Water Expeditions’ film Out of Touch hits the F3T with overstuffed reds and a special alert Out of Touch is one of several films premiering at this weekend’s F3T launch. It’s also one that doesn’t open with sweeping aerials of Caribbean flats or dip-in-lip anglers fondling 30-pound browns. Instead, the audience crowding Denver’s City…

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Ansel Adams Act

Outdoor photographers fight Forest Service for First Amendment rights Sketch a line around the pristine and safeguard its natural integrity against human missteps and, in a nutshell, you have the foundational elements for wilderness. In 1964, Congress staked those perimeters with a Wilderness Act designed to preserve millions of acres in perpetuity.

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Drake Holiday Gift Guide

Yuletide means Gift Guide, so without further ado welcome to The Drake’s Annual Holiday Shopper, 2014—a full assortment of staff-curated picks to wow the flyfisher in your family.   Book: Crazy Sh*t Bamboo Fly-Rodders Say You may not know the subtle differences between a Leonard, Jenkins, Sweetgrass, or Suzuki, but don’t you wonder what the…

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CSI: Greenback Cutthroat

Forensic science identifies Colorado’s true state fish The story of Colorado’s official state fish, the greenback cutthroat, would make one hell of an episode of CSI Trout. As it turns out, about half of the fish that scientists had been calling greenbacks actually have genes more similar to the Colorado Cutthroat subspecies.

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Reel Art

Quebec-based graphic artist Mathieu Laroche—aka, Matel—has worked with brands such as Volcom, Rome, and Spy, lending his street-inspired art to everything from snowboard designs to accessories and streetwear. His latest “Reel Art” collection stems from trout, Atlantic salmon, and striper hankerings, and was prompted by close friends seeking reels with a one-of-a-kind look. “The project…

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Photo: Jay Morr

6-Pack and Shooters: Jay Morr

Utah-based photographer Jay Morr can often be found with his lens slipping back and forth between separate universes. The first is familiar. It’s places with trout, drift boats, requisite dudes looking dude-ish, and the awesome esthetics of the West’s best waters. But Morr’s alternate reality, I hate to say it, looks even better. Musicians. Models.…

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Salty Fly 2014

They came, they saw, they won a tournament and made history. All in one day. RUSKIN, FLA—Chris Hargiss and teammate, Mani Pailer, dominated the 2014 Salty Fly with a back-to-basics approach. Others poled their way into position and threw from the bow with long presentations and sexy patterns. However, Hargiss caught his fish on foot…

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Jako Lucas—The Interview

320 reasons why, Hier kom groot kak Flyfishing filmmaker Jako Lucas has been on a world tear since dropping Gangsters of the Flats on U.S. audiences in 2012. The bangers of those Seychelles flats were, of course, large and in charge giant trevally. With Aqua Hulk, last year’s Best New Film at The Drake Film…

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Drake Holiday Gift Guide

‘Tis the season for The Drake’s annual Hot Holiday Gift Guide—A full assortment of special selections to wow the flyfisher in your family. 1) Tenkara®   Tenkara is the simple Japanese method of flyfishing where only a rod, line, and fly are used. Be the first to buy the whole franchise, including Tenkara rod manufacturing facility,…

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Best Shots of 2013 Win Swag

Dust off the Holgas, dump the hard drives, do your best Terry Richardson, and delivereth your mind-blowing fishing images for a chance to win swag. As 2013 comes to a close Trout’s Fly Fishing has teamed with The Drake and drakemag.com to run its year-end photo extravaganza. What’s up for grabs? 1) A one-year subscription to…

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IRON FLY—SENSEI-TIONAL

Earlier this month a group of Fort Collins, Colorado-based flyfishers fused the ancient arts of beer drinking and hackle stacking for the first in a series of “Iron Fly” events. Loosely based on the Iron Chef TV show—but with more drinking and lots of yelling—contestants are presented with mystery ingredients from which they craft flies…

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Photo: John Wark

6-Pack and Shooters: John Wark

John Wark’s vertigo-instigating work bucks the confines of terra firma in exchange for a rarefied view: one that starts high in the sky, via the cockpit of his Husky A1 bush plane. Those images—including recent shots of Ma Nature doing her best to drown Colorado during last month’s biblical flooding events—continue to be featured everywhere…

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Photo: Bryan Gregson

6-Pack and Shooters: Bryan Gregson

Thanks to an armed populous wielding image-capturing devices of all calibers the “outdoors photographer” has become a dime-a-million lately. But most of us have never inhaled the intoxicating chemical fumes of a stop bath, nor spent much time wrapping our brains around the nuances of f-stops and apertures… because, quite frankly, it’s hard to find…

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Hot Sauce Diary

The hoarding phenomenon was evident as John Custer peered into his refrigerator. The right side of the door was jammed with a varietal of hot sauces. These sauces – many way, way past the date of expiration, hailed from distant and exotic locations – the islands of the Caribbean, Central America, and South America.

Tebowing for Permit

Our father, who art in Denver. Tebow be thy name. Many people have experienced the joys of catching an important sporting event in Mexico—scrambling to find a TV at a small Mayan village or finding a radio at a bar in Baja. Like last spring, when several friends from Dallas were permit fishing at the Palometa…

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Supreme Decision

Who Really Owns America’s Riverbeds? Tomorrow is a big day in Washington, D.C. for anyone who likes fishing, rafting, or canoeing public water in the United States. In what is likely the most meaningful river-access case ever heard before the U.S. Supreme Court, PPL Montana v Montana is seeking to answer the long-disputed question of…

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Getting After It—Outside in Aspen

This past weekend was big, at least as far as Colorado waters are concerned. Rivers like the Frying Pan gushed at near flood levels, while the Colorado and Roaring Fork also gauged in at monstrous cfs proportions. Crashing Aspen for the first annual Outside in Aspen festivities, this weather scenario of rain, runoff, and muddy…

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The River Why – a review

Dallas, Texas. There is one scene, early in the film adaptation of David James Duncan’s The River Why, where flyfishermen will undoubtedly connect with the movie. It comes the day Gus Orviston, played by Zach Gilford, ditches his parents and his life and moves into a run-down cabin along an Oregon coastal stream. After bringing…

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Print is Dead

“I think a writer owes the readers a new way of telling a story.” —Ken Kesey As the 15th Drake makes its way across the country this fall, I find myself intrigued by all the recent chatter on the downfall of magazines, most of it coming from new-media pundits shouting their favorite proclamation: “Print is…

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Contest: These 10 Flies

These ten flies* were found hanging on a wall in central France. Whoever can tie the best replicas of these ten flies (real muskrat not necessary for Muskrat strip–but it couldn’t hurt), and present them in a photo on The Drake board by July 1, will win a brand new Bauer Jr Mac reel (MSRP:$230).…

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The Show Must Go On

New Owners Ensure a Future for the Flyfishing Film Tour A mass e-mail went out on December 31st from the four “Fish Bum” members of AEG—Thad Robison, Justin Crump, Chris Owens, and Brian Jill —to all of the 2009 sponsors of the Flyfishing Film Tour. The message contained three short sentences, with the important one…

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Why the Yucatan Rules

One of the most common saltwater fishing questions that I get asked or that appears on The Drake message board is some variation of, “I have to go to some stupid/gay/waste-of-time/soon-to-be-divorced-anyway  wedding/business conference/family reunion down in Cancun. I’mstaying at (fill in name of cheesy resort, usually within walking distance of Outback Steakhouse or Bubba Gump’s),…

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Of Alcohol and Albacore

If I’ve had better domestic fishing trips, I can’t remember them. Blitzing Albies, fish from the beach, pool and locol luches at the BT, fantastic food and one questionable movie night. Others have made posts on the forum, but now, you get to the REST of the story… k:

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San Diego Shark Attack

I’m fried. Fighting butt buried deep in my belly, my left hand bends backwards on the foregrip of a 12-weight while my right hand palms the bottom of a Tibor, trying desperately to slow the spinning. The 80-pound blue shark at the end of my line is heading deep for another run (again), and I…

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One Wing, Two Wing, Red Wing, Blue Wing

by Tom Bie Blue-winged olives are sometimes called “drab” – defined by Webster as “monotonous” or “dull”. But I think that’s a wholly inappropriate term. Winter is monotonous. Waiting for bugs is monotonous. Frozen lakes and rivers are monotonous. Bluewings are the bridge leading away from monotony, not toward it – they’re almost always

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