Drake Magazine Back Issue Content: 2021
Spring: Pandemic flies, Southern Colorado road trip, Brood X cicadas, Idaho salmon, Michigan trout, Pennsylvania carp, Wisconsin pike, Belize permit, Alaska grayling, South Carolina redfish, Russian taimen, Oregon backcountry, Baja beach trip, fly-names drama, Slough Creek, skiff challenge, expensive blue-wings, guided bass trips, and who’s been a bad dog in the White House?
Photo by Corey Kruitbosch
“The topic of stream access illustrates one of the most perplexing types of legal conflicts that can arise… Indeed, it is difficult to find a legal issue that is more tangled and uncertain.” —A Wildlife Primer (2009), by Eric Freyfogle and Dale Goble
Colorado’s river laws might be in trouble. Roger Hill, the octogenarian trying to fulfill his dream of legally wade-fishing the Arkansas River, was at the Colorado Court of Appeals on January 27 and got good news about his case—Hill v Warsewa.
Photo by Kendrick Chittock
There was no doubt it was a steelhead. Until it wasn’t. The grab had been so jolting, the head shakes so violent, that no consideration was given to the fish being anything but a steelhead. Yet there at my feet, in six inches of water, lay a brown smallmouth of grotesque proportions. Pulsing and flexing, flaunting its outsized strength.
Some serious tying torment
Now I understand how Mugato in Zoolander felt. Everyone at the fly shop is picking out different hackle, feathers, and fur, and here I am at the fly counter grabbing fistfuls of pre-tied adams and caddis, feeling left out for not tying my own.
Finding solitude in Appalachia
In the middle of the journey of our life I found myself within a dark woods where the straight way was lost. —Dante Alighieri, The Inferno
In Appalachia, there’s no straight way to travel. Laurel hell grows thick, and the only way to navigate it is to put your feet in a streambed and follow every meander and oxbow of the creek.
Bimini guide Ansil Saunders appreciating the Super Bowl I game ball
Mighty Waters, a wonderful movie released last year by Austin-based filmmaker Shannon Vandivier, tells the story of beloved Bimini-based guide and boat-builder Ansil Saunders, in particular how Saunders had taken Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. out for a peaceful day on Bahamian waters just four days before King was assassinated in Memphis on April 4, 1968. The fascinating story was part of the 2021 Fly Fishing Film Tour and was broadly shared with the public in early February by two of its sponsors, Simms and Costa.
Closer. Photo by Adam Tavender
The setting is the dining room of a fishing lodge in remote northern B.C. It’s early morning on a gray, drizzly day during a very slow week. Levine, one of the anglers, is talking to the head guide before the rest of the camp has come in for breakfast.
Photo by Jim Zech
I find it best to begin all writing about flyfishing by first writing about hunting. Or, alternatively, the Asian culinary arts. I’ll start this one by talking about Boomer.
Photo by James Fuller
Sitting on my fly-tying desk, on a shelf above the straggle chenille and holographic tinsel, is an 80-year-old Richard Wheatley fly tin. The edges of its aluminum lid, with that distinctive satin finish, are rubbed bright from the friction of bouncing about in a fly-vest pocket. It bears the inscription:
4, Short St.
There are two primary fishing cultures in Alabama: 1) The esoteric and exceedingly idealistic group of anglers that enjoy flyfishing and eating greasy Jack’s biscuits before a fishing trip. 2) Ricky-Bobby types who fish with junk baits. Needless to say, tournament pros burning up the interstates and roaring across impoundments with their 250-horse motors vastly outnumber those with “tippet” on their shopping list.
EmergenceSometimes, the fishing comes second By Britton White Emergence It was late morning on a sunny, calm, late-summer day. I’d been wade-fishing for a couple of hours along the Colorado River, a few miles downstream from my home in Carbondale. The only visible insects were a few tiny mayflies and midges hovering about twenty feet…
Memorial Weekend is typically a time to avoid fishing. But Clyde opens doors. And gates, with bass ponds behind them. I’m not a private-water-with-pellet-fed-trout guy, but access to an un-public largemouth lake in Tennessee? That’s another matter.
Photo by Kurt Budliger
My older brother Charlie—the red-haired menace of my youth, and the protagonist of so many fishing adventures—came to visit me in Canada. It was mid-August when I picked him up from the airport. He was hungover and indignant, as one of his rods had been lost in transit. We headed straight for a well-regarded trout stream in southern Ontario where there were rumors of giant browns, stopping eight hours later at the local fly shop to book a half-day trip with some dude named Larry.
Photo by Kurt Budliger
Let this be a warning to you and to me and to all the other salmon killers out there; to the moochers and trollers and dam builders; the seiners and gillnetters; sushi chefs and leach mines; treaty breakers, billy clubs, old-growth bulldozers, and an ocean of plastic; to fillet knives, fish farms, and this ever-warming world, let this be a warning: These fish will outlast you.
Lockdown at the ViseFifteen flies we’ve tied during the pandemic Illustration by Paul Puckett CHERNOBYL ANTIBODY. Unlike traditional flies, you eat this one. Helps ward off belief in fictitious cicada hatches. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE DRAKE. Only floats on the right side of the river—the far right, more like a side channel, or a drainage…
Misha Skopets’ Biggest FishFly Fishing Russia: The Far East, a review BY Ryan Peterson Photos: Guido Rahr (above), John Sherman (below) One day in the summer of 1979, Dr. Mikhail “Misha” Skopets, a young Russian ichthyologist based in Magadan in the Soviet Far East, found a mysterious fish skeleton in the stomach of a Boganid…
Let’s Go Bass’nIt’s time to test the warmwaters By Beau Davis and Tom Bie Photo by Jeremiah Watt Want to avoid bumping elbows with ten million new trout-chasers this summer? Then consider a guided day on some warmwater. You’ll surely face a less-pressured fishery, and if the trip includes kicking around in a float-tube, you…
Carp KoanA lesson in patience, persistence, and heartache By Michael Garrigan Photo by Jeremie Hollman Devoted to the untraceable path, carp are muddy enigmas that speak an ambiguous language. Wanderers of sunken trees along river islands, their routes are tied into knots, impossible to untangle. One can only hope, with carp. One can only seek.…