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Drake Magazine Easement Taylor Park Reservoir

Photo: Corey Kruitbosch

Living on Easement Street

There aren’t many rivers in the Rockies more appealing in late September than Colorado’s lower Taylor, which sits halfway between Crested Butte and Gunnison and is known nationally for its monster, mysis-shrimp-filled rainbows that inhabit the short tailwater section below Taylor Park Reservoir. The river received national attention of a different sort in the spring…

Drake Magazine Roadless Areas

Keeping Roadless and WSA Areas Wild—and Accessible

There was a Western Governor’s Association annual meeting held on June 29, 2011, in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. And among the various sessions was one called “Restoring and Managing the Health of Forests in the West.” A worthwhile topic, right? I mean, who’s not for healthy forests? So I checked in via YouTube to see…

BIG TROUBLE ON LITTLE MOUNTAIN

Big Trouble on Little Mountain

We’re miles from the truck and 600 feet below the canyon rim when the first raindrops dimple Trout Creek. Charlie Card has spent his entire life in this country and guided it professionally since he was seventeen. I figure that makes pulling the plug his call. “What do you think, Charlie?”

WORTH THE WADE

Worth the Wade

The water’s surface is oily and shiny and silver and orange. The outgoing tide is tepid, with the current passing between your legs being the only indication that you’re wading, because the water is the same temperature as your shaking, nervous body. “Remember to breathe.” Vision drifting in and out, eyes straining for focus. Legs…

BYE-BYE ELWHA DAM

Bye-Bye Elwha Dam

Members of the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe will tell you that 100-pound Chinook salmon once returned to their namesake river on the northeastern tip of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. While no one can substantiate the existence of these behemoths, one thing is certain: The construction of the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams between 1913 and 1927 cut…

Foreign Land

In a Foreign Land

After eighteen hours of travel I arrive on the shaky, sweaty downside of an extended coffee and doughnut binge. I love travel, the lure of the exotic, broadening your perspective. But sometimes, instead of a welcome transportation to an easy, distant place, where you step off the plane and a bronzed beauty places a lei…

Barracuda Blues

Barracuda Blues

For every good shot at a tarpon, permit, or bonefish, there’s a cast-per-hour-of-effort ratio that on most days looks like a line graph of the U.S. economy. Then there are those days that you instantly know you’re losing, like a cold February morning when even the boxfish are lurking deep and you’re just hoping for…

A man with a mustache

The Stash

It takes a certain swagger to pull off a good mustache. Some guys just have it: Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, Jose Wejebe. And ’staches on Norris, Bronson, Chuck Furimsky, and the Marlboro Man say “badass” like no others. Hall-of-fame pitcher and fisher “Goose” Gossage carries an enviable upper-lip umbrella, as does Dr. Phil—meaty enough to…

SAVING OREGON’S SANDY RIVER

Saving Oregon’s Sandy River

When most of us hear the words “steelhead river,” we think “remote.” We imagine bright wild fish and hairy mofos wading waist-deep, bombing Intruders to the far shore. And maybe that’s why so many people cherish Oregon’s Sandy River: it offers the best of steelheading—only thirty minutes from one of the hippist cities in America,…

Trask

A Fishing Dog: The Life and Times of Trask

Steelheading in Smithers was a little different fourteen years ago than it is today. For starters, there were very few spey rods. Also, a hotel in town was about $80—a week. But then, as now, as always, which river you fished was sometimes decided by the weather. We’d hauled a skiff all the way from…

John Jackson began snowboarding as a preteen on the powder-strewn spines of the Eastern Sierras

Emergers—John Jackson

John Jackson began snowboarding as a preteen on the powder-strewn spines of the Eastern Sierras, near his hometown in Crowley Lake, California. Soon after, he cast his first flies in that same backyard—in places with legendary names like Inyo, Sierra, Yosemite, and King’s. Fifteen years later and the basic ingredients haven’t changed, just the stakes.…

Bergmans Typewriter

Ray Bergman’s Typewriter – Take inspiration where you find it

Stiff keys moved toward the carriage like an old man lifting his arthritic knees up a flight of stairs. They rose once, twice and, with effort, three times. A weathered and worn ribbon, now more leather than cloth, slowly began to cough up faint traces of ink with each succeeding stroke. And with each erratic…

Lodge Guest

Seven Guys You Meet at Flyfishing Lodges

The Been-There-Done-That Guy He is a walking, yammering Wikipedia of guides, lodges, rivers, oceans, lakes and fish. He’s the best caster he’s ever met. He sets up his vise on the bar during happy hour and forces you to notice his extraordinary tying skills. He owns three obscure IGFA records and is working on six…

Steelhead Highways

Photo by Tim Scott

Seven Steelhead Highways

Hwy 101, from Northern California to Port Angeles, Washington. No stretch of highway in the country crosses more prime steelhead water than this one. Start on California’s Klamath or Smith, then head up to Oregon’s Rogue or the great Tillamook Bay rivers like the Trask and Wilson, and then finish up on the drippy Washington…