Humor

An argument for catch-and-release fishing

Accident in Bear Gulch

I rarely keep trout—let’s get that straight right away. I have no ethical objection to killing them when done responsibly, I just prefer to leave them in the river. Plus I’ve never really enjoyed the taste of trout, which my wife still regards as “strange,” given the amount of time and effort I spend chasing…

SEVEN FISHING PRESIDENTS

Seven Fishing Presidents

George Washington Served: April 30, 1789 – March 4, 1797 America’s Founding Father was not only the Brits’ worst nightmare, he was also a badass woodsman, whiskey distiller, tobacco farmer, and once dabbled in spinning and weaving. We’re excusing the last two knowing that the First Prez also hauled in cash via commercial fishing on…

CANNED BEER: 7 STANDOUTS

Canned Beer: 7 Standouts

Way back in August of 2010, we celebrated the 200th anniversary of the can—canned soup, canned beans, canned tuna. This summer, it’s about the beer. Once considered a sub-par compromise when bottles weren’t available, cans are quickly becoming the preferred vessel for many a craft beer-drinker, particularly flyfishers, rafters, and other marginally employed types. Cans…

How cane is like a venereal disease

The Other Side of Bamboo

Bamboo fly rods are a little like herpes. Both are achieved out of lust which, in the light of day, provokes a certain retrospective guilt. Both, once acquired, invoke the sort of awe that elicits careful handling, and—be it split-cane rod or irritated genitalia—the newfound host might find himself wondering “Damn… should I even touch…

THE SECRET LIVES OF SALMON AND GANGSTERS

The Secret Lives of Salmon and Gangsters

My flight was delayed an entire day. My bags were packed for a two-week stay in Guatemala City, where I would accompany an underground cadre of ex-gang members who were now volunteer chaplains entering Central America’s infamous gang prisons. As a jail chaplain myself, working with Chicano gangs in Washington State’s Skagit County, these young…

Clyde is always the talk of the town.

Photo By: Copi Vojta

Ride with Clyde

In the fall of 2010, a 1974 Mercury Marquis by the name of Clyde joined The Drake ranks as part of Beattie Outdoor Productions’ film, When Guiding Goes Gangster. An instant hit with indy rap fans and female ex-cons—and more than 17,000 views on YouTube strong—Clyde’s entry into the flyfishing stratosphere was electric. Autograph signings…

Clyde the old 1974 Mercury Marquis starts his journey.

Ride with Clyde Tour

(presented by The Drake and Beattie Outdoor Productions) The year was ’74. It was classic. Disco fever strutted its sequined jumpsuits and platform shoes. CCR’s “Proud Mary” was rolling on the river. And it marked my transition from steel slabs in Ford Motor’s trenches to a shimmering masterpiece of the open road—right in time for…

Because 1% of fishermen catch 99% of the fish

Occupy Duval Street

Immediately institute “Finder’s Keeper’s” rule for all bales of pot that wash up in the Marquesas. Ditch Hemingway look-a-like contest and expand Fantasy Fest to the first Saturday of each month. Boobs and feather boas ring cash registers. Old fat white guys with beards, not so much. Student loan relief from Key West Community College,…

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…

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…

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…