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

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Photo: Nick Price

Mag Bay Magic

Survive, is what an angler does the first few minutes after hooking a striped marlin. My friend Nick and I shout with joy, accompanied by excited words in Spanish from our new friends. We watch a reel getting emptied and watch the fish leap, flip, and dive. Thirty minutes later and it’s the post-release chatter,…

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Clyde and the Shark

If you linger around a fly shop long enough on a slow day, you’ll eventually hear some crazy and creative fishing plans. My shop—Arbor Anglers in Golden, Colorado—is no exception, and on a recent afternoon in late October, the fishing plans got a little nuts. What started with: “We should find a big-ass shark-mount somewhere…

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Fishing with Chewy

My annual migrations from Montana to Baja started in the winter of 2009, when the mainstream media first began covering news about the dangers associated with Mexico travel. Friends and family thought I was nuts, but as long as you weren’t searching for blow in Tijuana at 2 a.m., Baja was still safer than many…

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Mouths Wide Shut – Saltwater Fly Fishing

Transformations are occurring this time of year. Spartina grass browns and wracks, while the creeks in the marsh fill with shrimp and other nutrients. Redfish take this as a cue, schooling up and feasting hard before winter. As the water begins to clear, my friend Rich Walker and I watch the tides carefully, waiting for…

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Miskito Machinations

I’m not sure I want the Miskitos back in camp. Rules are different here. Maybe there are no rules. They want gas this time. They also want weed: “Fuma?” We give it to them. They smoke it in front of our camp. We’ve given them sliced pineapple, five-gallon jugs of water, rice and beans. They…

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Smallmouth in Mexico

Past the Far East Restaurant, and Big Daddy’s Buff n’ Wax, we turn left at the Mexico Congregational Church and find the boat launch empty. This is normal in the mill town of fewer than 3,000 residents, but surprises me on a spring morning: the Androscoggin is at its most fishable (around 4,500 cfs); it’s…

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Howler Brothers Spring 2018

HOWLER BROS | Spring 2018

The crew at Howler Bros. recently took its Spring 2018 collection (which drops today) down to Abaco, Bahamas. “We found beautiful water, beautiful people and many days filled with lobster diving, blue hole finding, bonefish chasing and wave discovering. Come along for the journey.”

Bonefish, Best Practices

Did you know that a bonefish’s chance of living to inhale another Borski slider or EP shrimp decreases by as much as sixfold when it’s been overly fondled or gill-fingered by an angler? True story, says the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, which hopes to increase fish survival odds with its latest series of Bahamas-based educational…

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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…

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Yukon – Inconnu Lodge Flyfishing

Dan caught the only inconnu. Let’s get that out of the way. “Dan” is Dan Armstrong, a well-traveled, Bozeman-based photographer who occasionally gets invited on spectacular fishing trips with the tacit understanding that his job is to record the heroics of the writer and keep his hands off the rod. But it was our last…

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Beyond the Horizon

ON MARCH 20, 2017, a canary-yellow A-star helicopter kicked up a cloud of sand while planting its skids on a tiny atoll off the Caribbean coast of Honduras. Years in the making, the landing at Faraway Cay was like a blindfold removed. According to satellite imagery, the island doesn’t exist. But minutes after landing, Steve…

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Obsessed: Permit in the Keys

Tommy Robinson remembered his moment of enlightenment. It took place in the ’70s, back when nobody believed you could catch permit on a fly. Robinson grew up in Key West, and began guiding before he’d even graduated high school. But on this day he was an angler, fishing from the back of the boat while…

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48 Hours with Tim Borski

IT’S 3:00 A.M. IN THE EVERGLADES AND TIM BORSKI IS LOOKING FOR SNAKES. I’m riding along with him as we drive very slowly down State Road 9336—the only four-digit road in Florida. It is 34 miles from Florida City to Flamingo, a distance we are currently covering at about 15 miles per hour. “Right up…

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Brazilian Brawlers

I woke to the sound of slaughter. Several times a night this happened. The noise was caused by a pair of prehistoric animals hunting beneath my bed at Brazil’s Uakari Lodge, a floating eco-resort nestled along a protected stretch of the Amazon River, about 400 miles west of Manaus. Guests are advised to sleep with…

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Two Sides of Southeast Alaska

Rolling over from my plywood perch on the top bunk, I peer down to see all three of my cabinmates asleep. So I rule them out. Slipping the headlamp from beneath my pillow and turning on the light reveals not one but two Alaska-sized mice sitting on top of a cooler, munching saltines. I stare…

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Finding Grace in the Rainforest

“My father was very sure about certain matters pertaining to the universe. To him, all good things—trout as well as eternal salvation—come by grace and grace comes by art and art does not come easy.” —Norman MacLean ABOUT TEN YEARS AGO, JAY BREVIK AND I SPENT A DAY FISHING several of the Olympic Peninsula’s winter…

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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…

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Seeking Refuge

CHAD BROWN, the Navy veteran who spawned the Soul River Runs Deep brand, looks like he’s just fought the battle of his life. And it’s no surprise he’s beat. A glance at my watch shows 3 a.m. Alaska time and Brown, along with his squad of vet volunteers here to herd a posse of bedraggled…

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Shore Albies

THE ROCKS ON THIS JETTY were all once uniform and composed. They say that, long ago, you could drive a car on them, all the way out to the tower, where the greasy cormorants preen their feathers. This is no longer possible. The Long Island Express hit it with 100 mile-an-hour winds and 15-foot swells…

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Gotcha Covered

IN JULY, the Bahamian government and the Bahamas Fly Fishing Industry Association (BFFIA) announced proposed changes to laws governing bonefishing in the Bahamas. Some of the proposals—like requiring visiting anglers to hire a guide—created public outcry, private controversy, and several scintillating blogfights. But our own investigative reporting uncovered a few lesser-known proposals:

Christmas Island Comeback

More than thirty years after hosting its first fishermen, Kiritimati is hotter than ever. I heard them before I saw them. When giant trevally are chasing bait in shallow water, the frantic reaction produces a distinct spraying sound, like the inside of your vehicle as you pass through the power-rinse of a car wash. The…

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Spring Training

LEAVE THE PASSPORT IN THE DRAWER, grab your rod, and head to sunny Florida for your springtime twofer. The combination of cozy Grapefruit League ballparks and hordes of saltwater game fish will cure your wintertime blues. First pitch for most games is on March 1, with the season going through April 4. Here’s your scouting…

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First Bone

The act of walking across a white-sand flat, knee-deep in endless shades of blue, is made much more interesting by bonefish. Especially if you’ve never caught one. After a few days spent searching empty water on the Bahamian island of Exuma, we drove down a twisted dirt road, past rotting cars and abandoned dishwashers, and…

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Trending: Golf Course Bass

You go to florida to fish the salt. But if you also happen to love largemouth, as I do, and you live in a place that’s a mile high, with a nine-week window to fish for them, then you take advantage of every opportunity to chase them elsewhere. Attending this summer’s annual flyfishing trade show…

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Idaho’s South Fork

DURING THE WANING DAYS OF SUMMER 2000, guide Dave Deardorff rowed his drift boat one stroke too far. Idaho’s lower South Fork of the Snake had fished well that afternoon. Cutthroat sipped BWOs under tormented skies, while Deardorff storm-jumped his way downstream. Finally, something angry surrounded him and his two clients. He sunk oar blades…

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Fundamentally Rare

The Belizean coastline stretches along 239 miles of pleasant places to visit. Tourists who come here, even for the first time, often want to help save it. And there’s a lot to save in Belize—jaguars and Scarlet Macaws and lots and lots of fish. There’s also plenty to save the country from, like Jimmy Buffett…

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Photos by John Sherman

Silver Tiger Taimen

Photos by John Sherman On the hundred-and-first cast the first strip felt dull, the second heavy, and the third came tight with a thuggish throb. Silver and pink flashed underwater a split second before the river broke in a shower of water ten feet across. “Taimen! Taimen! Taimen!” yelled Victor Voydilov, who was popping up…

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#GEOBASS

Team bass takes on a whole new persona, when the MotivFishing crew reunites to crush—or get crushed by—bucketmouths, peacocks, and smallies across the globe. Series sponsors now include booze-giant Budweiser and Evan Williams Whiskey. Bring on the swamps and glittery boats. Via Costa: “A group of experienced fly anglers and explorers take on the challenge…

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Naming Rights

IT STARTS IN HIGH SUMMER, in Labrador, that land of windswept crags, quaking bogs, and enthusiastic blackflies. “The land God gave to Cain,” as the explorer, Cartier, described it. Well, it is my sincere hope that the sumbitch took along a fly rod. I sure did. I’m on assignment, chasing down a mineral prospector who…

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(Still) Steelhead Paradise

I pulled into the Aspen Recreation Site just before 10 a.m. on Wednesday, October 3rd, after a 13-hour, nearly nonstop rental-car bender from Vancouver. The site is the lowest of three B.C. Ministry campgrounds along the Morice River, sitting about eleven miles southwest of Houston—home of the world’s largest fly rod, the world’s largest sawmill,…

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Floating with Barry

A couple years ago, new to Washington, I made my first trip to the Yakima River—a Columbia tributary in the southcentral part of the state. I arrived after dark, with moonlight revealing glimpses of the river as I neared the campground. By the time I got there it was pushing midnight, yet most of the…

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Richmond, Virginia

BENEATH THE MAYO BRIDGE I share a small island with the homeless of Richmond. I return each year when the tiny buds of spring start to appear and warm weather kicks out the last frost. The folks on the island don’t seem to mind. They know why I’m here. There’s a small sandy shore on…

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Drake Magazine Florida Bay

Water, Florida Bay, and Bonefish

When sight-fishing as a sport debuted in the Upper Keys and Florida Bay, boat-makers modified their hulls, fishing companies developed faster and lighter rods, and tackle shops sprouted up all over the islands. By the 1950s an entire industry was formed around a specific shallow-water grassland habitat dominated by tarpon, redfish, permit, snook, and bonefish.…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Silent Treatment

We’d just smashed into a Kangaroo with our camper and decided it was time for a drink. We were tired of driving anyway, and those damn kangaroos were just too hard to see in the dark. We saw a sign near the road, tacked to the side of a rickety shed: “Kalbarri Pub.”

Bull Run – Giving in to big blue

When you first climb up there, scrambling over the bait well to your perch above the Baja blue, the bow of a panga feels like love itself beneath the soles of your naked feet—warm, slippery, perilous, unstable. The sea, you sense, lies at your command; the authority seems daunting, then reckless, even appalling. For at…

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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…

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