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You’re Not Fly Fishing, This Is Fly Fishing

You’re not fly fishing.
Oh, you think you’re at the peak of progression with that shiny carbon-wrapped rod and machined reel, throwing space age multi-coated lines as far as they’ll go before slipping off and disappearing into the distance? Really, your hand-tied flies so resemble the hatch that every time you open your box horny insects descend trying to breed with ’em? You’ve mastered delivering those delicate doppelgängers to impossible feeding lanes from awkward angles using ninja-like rod skills? Well, I’ve got news for ya, it don’t mean a thing. 

Drake Magazine Summer 2020 Socotra Slider

Photos by Ray Montoya

Stranded on Socotra

On March 13, 60-year-old retired schoolteacher Ray Montoya arrived on the Arabian Archipelago of Socotra, intent on landing what is thought to be the first permit on a fly from the war-torn country of Yemen. Three weeks later, the talented fly-tyer, photographer, artist, and angler was still there, grounded like the rest of us. But Montoya is not like the rest of us. A Navy veteran, he grew up in a third-generation military family, bouncing around the U.S. as a kid. He became a teacher after college, and in the late ’90s began teaching internationally with his wife, Kerry.

Bear Attack in Montana

Photo: Bryan Gregson

Ambushed. Another Bear Attack in Montana

When Matthew Churchman woke up on a recent Sunday morning, at first the only thing growling was his stomach. Coffee and a cold breakfast took care of that. Camp, nestled in a 300-yard-long, cottonwood-and-willow stretch of river bottom, was in the process of being broken down. Skies…

John Prine Fly Fishing

John Prine hanging out at Georgia State College, before a live interview on WRAS-FM. (Photo by Tom Hill/WireImage)

The Quarantine and John Prine

Got the news today. The troubadour of my soul’s playlist, the gravel-voiced poet of so many of our flyfishing adventures, John Prine, was hooked up to a ventilator. He didn’t survive. I keep waiting for one of the dearly departed to claw themselves…

Tarpon Fishing Mexico

Photo by Austin Coit

Tarpon, A Mexican Intoduction

Megalops atlanticus. The name belongs more to a creature in an ’80s horror film than a fish out roaming the flats. They are so big and powerful it is hard to imagine them existing in real life. I saw Flip Pallot and Jose Wejebe cross paths with these monsters…

March Madness - Finding calm amid coronavirus anxiety

Photo: Hansi Johnson

March Madness – Finding calm amid coronavirus anxiety

It was a brisk and beautiful morning, the sky cloudless, the sunlight sharp. It was the kind of day that under different circumstances would have you looking forward to the coming seasons of warmth and splendor and carefree fun. We began packing the car. I’ll never forget the looks on some of my neighbors’ faces as I took the bags of groceries—canned goods, pasta, rice and yes, even some toilet paper—to the car. Those faces betrayed thoughts. Wait, should I be doing the same thing? Fear may be the only thing more contagious than this virus.

Drake Magazine Winter Fly Fishing

Photo: Corey Kruitbosch

The Winter Writhe

It’s late February and I stumble out the door to grab another beer kept cold by winter’s free refrigeration. If it was anything but the high-octane variety, it would’ve frozen from a lack of alcohol. I pop the cap, drain it, and unzip my pants, melting as much snow as possible when I piss—anything to…

Greatful Dead manager on fishing break

The Dead Drift – Grateful Dead

David Lemieux wears many hats, and every one of them bears a “Steal Your Face” logo. He’s the official Grateful Dead archivist. He’s also the Dead’s legacy manager with Rhino Records, the host of “Today in Grateful Dead History” on Sirius XM radio’s Grateful Dead channel, and a writer for the Dead’s official website, Dead.net.…

Festivarians gather for the Telluride Bluegrass Festival

Bluegrass and Fiberglass

It’s 1 a.m. and we’ve just shuffled out of the Sheridan Opera House, halfway through The Travelin’ McCoury’s NightGrass after-show. Not because they weren’t fantastic. Fronted by the sons of bluegrass legend Del McCoury, they lived up to their pedigree. But we’re exhausted. Ignoring the advice of experienced Festivarians, we have not paced ourselves. It’s…

The beauty of SaraBella goes beyond pretty colors

Rodmaking Rose

BEFORE APRIL ARCHER cofounded Denver-based SaraBella Fishing—makers of women-specific fly rods—she’d already noticed an influx of female flyfishers to the sport. But as an angler herself, fishing since she was a toddler and flyfishing for the past 16 years, she also recognized that there was a distinct lack of women-specific gear.

Competition runs deep in the Biloxi Marsh

Sheepish – Sheepy Tournament Competition

Booze consumed me as I sat listless in the upper bar of the Dogwood; a restored Mississippi riverboat docked a few hundred yards east of the Hopedale, Louisiana, boat launch. For the next two days and nights, the Dogwood would serve as home and headquarters to anglers competing in the 2017 Sheepy tournament—a tongue-in-cheek backcountry…