Freshwater Fly Fishing

Drake Magazine 2020 Winter

JUST OUT CATCHING LAS VEGAS LUNKERS.

Flyfishing Sin City

I thought I was still buzzed from the night before when I first saw what appeared to be a person lounging in a yellow pool-floatie on the water. “Only in Vegas,” I thought. Some drunk idiot ends up using Lake Bellagio as his personal swimming pool. But looking closer, I could see that the person was a man moving his arm back and forth a few times before bringing it to rest. “Is he casting?”

Drake Magazine 2020 Winter

Photo by Corey Kruitbosch

End-Times Steelhead. Group therapy on the Oregon Coast.

None of us guessed what was coming. Within hours of our leaving the river, the county would close all boat ramps and Oregon’s governor would implement stay-at-home guidelines. We were fishing on the last days of winter steelhead season 2020 and we didn’t even know it.

Photo Courtesy Rep. Simpson's Office. Idaho's 2nd District G.O.P. Rep. Mike Simpson, at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Stanley-to-Redfish Lake Trail. 

The Bold Effort. An Idaho Congressman shares his thoughts.

In April 2019, Congressman Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, gave a somewhat stunning keynote address at an environmental conference hosted by Boise State’s Andrus Center for Public Policy. His comments were thoughtful, educated, and encouraging. But mostly, they were surprising, particularly his thoughts about what might be necessary to save Idaho salmon. Rep. Simpson and I discussed the topic in mid-December, and his quotes below come from his keynote and our conversation. Can Idaho salmon truly be saved? No one knows. But the Congressman has been down a similarly daunting path. In 2015, Mr. Simpson’s 15-year effort to broker a seemingly impossible deal resulted in the creation of Idaho’s Boulder-White Clouds Wilderness. (Which Mark Menlove covered in his 2014 feature, “A Fisherman’s Monument.”) If wild salmon and steelhead can indeed be saved, then Rep. Simpson is providing these essential fish the best shot they’ve had in decades.

Photo by Kurt Budliger. The deeper colors of a seasoned grayling.

Ingrid. One woman leaves an oversized impression in Alaska.

I think that Ingrid would want you to know—as she stands in her waders, stands by her weir, looking down at a dark mass of grayling that were trapped in the night—that there was a time when no one would’ve thought fish would ever need to be counted. But she’d also want you to know that these don’t have to be the last wild days. She would want you to know that not everything has been lost, and that there is still the hope of unknown waters.

Bobby Foster Chrome Winter OP

Commodities and Steelhead. An imperative shift on the Olympic Peninsula.

Wild Steelhead are not corn, wheat, or cattle. They are not oranges, apples, or anything that we can control with expected specific outcomes and pounds delivered to market. Put them in a box and they will swim right out of it.
Even among anadromous fish, steelhead are the least predictable of any salmonid swimming the North Pacific. They are never a species of multitude, like Kings, Coho, or even Pinks, that come home in a rush of biological delivery to the rivers spanning the West Coast. They cruise along the edges, arriving to their natal rivers in fits and spurts, with dozens of life histories across each watershed. In short, there were never that many steelhead to begin with.

Drake Magazine Southeast Alaska Tongass

Photo by Jim Klug

The Roadless Rule in America’s Salmon Forest

“Judge Sharon Gleason, U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Alaska, ruled last week that the Forest Service violated federal law by approving future logging in the 16.7 million-acre Tongass National Forest.”

I pay my bills here in Southeast Alaska, at least in part, by having short and intense conversations on airplanes. I help wedge wadered clients from all over the globe into DeHavilland Beavers, then drop in on some of the planet’s most spectacular temperate rainforest

The Fix – Streamer Fishing In Winter

The last time you wore that coat, campfire stories buried their scent into the seams above the elbow, where embers rose too quickly and charred patchy holes. By looking at the jacket, you taste the bourbon again and your throat burns. You scoured the entire Gunpowder River last fall, ending each weekend with a drink…

Smallmouth: Modern Fly Fishing Methods, Tactics & Techniques Dave Karczysnki The Drake Magazine

The DrakeCast Episode #24 – Winter 2017 Mag Preview w/ Tom Bie & Friends

With the Winter 2017 issue of The Drake Magazine on its way to fly shops and mailboxes around the world, we figured we’d chat with Tom Bie about his favorite parts of the upcoming mag. We also hear from authors Dave Karczynski and Michael Graybrook about their recently published books, Smallmouth: Modern Fly Fishing Methods, Tactics…

Meet the Deke

Meet the Deke

FLOWING WATER, BY DESIGN, HAS A SANCTIMONIOUS way of pre-qualifying its clientele. Gentle riffles and wide gravel bars lure the false-casting masses, and boiling black holes rimmed with mossy ledge rock frighten them away. That said, I suppose there’s really no great mystery why the easy flows produce the fussy little degree-candidate fish, while the…

Gardening

Pot Farms Guzzling NorCal Dry

SAN FRANCISCO—According to a study by state biologists, several drought-stricken rivers in northern California’s coastal forests are being polluted and sucked dry by water-guzzling medical marijuana farms. Worse, many affected waterways also contain non-smoking endangered salmon, steelhead, and other species. Biologists estimate that 30,000 pot plants were being grown in each river system. It’s also estimated…

What’s going on in Guyana?

River Monsters

One of the many appealing aspects of tarpon fishing is that tarpon come up for air, allowing anglers, in most cases, to view their quarry before casting to it. Just seeing a group of 100-pound ‘poons rolling on the surface can be almost as exciting as that first strip-set. So imagine taking the largest tarpon…