Community Justice--Or the Result of Competition?


The first email arrived on July 14. “Reaching out to pass along some fresh ‘industry happenings’ from the heart of Bolivia’s golden dorado region,” it began. “I figured the Drake might be interested in looking into it, as it seems on par with the prior articles investigating Deneki.”

Late summer over the Patoka River near the Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), Indiana, USA. Photo by Brent Waltermire

Op Ed: Questionable Criticism

In the fall of 1993, then-President Bill Clinton signed Executive Order 12866, requiring all Federal regulatory agencies to publish a list of anticipated rulemaking actions for the upcoming twelve-month period. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) is such an agency, and its rulemaking process requires four steps: Publishing a proposed rule in the Federal Register; Inviting public comment; Considering the public comments received, and Publishing a final rule in the Federal Register.

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.


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.

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.

Photo: Tosh Brown

American Greed, Inc.

riter and historian David T. Courtwright calls them “limbic capitalists”—people or companies that target our limbic system, the part of our brains primarily responsible for emotion, especially as it relates to pleasure, motivation, and survival. Courtwright is author of The Age of Addiction: How Bad Habits Became Big Business. “Biological evolution shaped the limbic system,…


Lodge Owners on Trial

The last week in September can be one of the finest of the year for flyfishers, but lodge owner Jerry Shults and his daughter Amy Herrig did not look to be enjoying it in 2018, as they spent the week in the Federal courthouse in Dallas facing 17 counts of drug trafficking, conspiracy, and money…

Howler IndyFly

Howler Bros. X IndiFly: Golden Frog Collection

Kaieteur Falls is a superlative 800-foot single-drop waterfall located in the heart of Guyana’s Kaieteur National Park. And although the falls are heavily photographed by gapers from around the globe, the area is also home to another famous inhabitant that is equally quirky, cool. The non-poisonous Golden Frog (Anomaloglossus beebei) is endemic to a 600-hectare…

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.”

A Difference in the Balance

Feelings are part of it. That’s because our cherished fly rods, whether impatient laser throwers or deep-bending noodles, stroke emotions. When they feel right, we’re remarkable anglers. When something’s jacked, it’s a slippery slope from elitist to self-defeatist. Idaho-based Waterworks Lamson, with its new Center Axis Rod/Reel, is banking on recalibrating the way we feel…

Photo by Corey Kruitbosch

Salmon in AK’s Tongass Catch a Break (Cue the Celebration)

The U.S. Forest Service this month finalized an amendment to its Tongass Land and Resource Management plan that will help conserve more than 70 salmon and trout streams within Southeast Alaska’s 17-million-acre Tongass National Forest. The decision helps safeguard fish thanks to provisions that transition the Tongass timber program from old-growth logging to one based on…


RepYourWater Kicks $60k Toward Conservation

Flyfishing businesses occupy a tempestuous microcosm tied to the sea-sawing health of rivers and oceans. Example. If there are no fish (participation catalyst), there is no you (potential consumer). And for brands that appreciate a prosperous tomorrow, backing nonprofits working to keep trout, tarpon, salmon, steelhead swimming makes sense.

Simms Celebrates Veterans with WQW Wader

This month, Simms is again honoring our nation’s combat veterans by donating proceeds from sales of its WQW Limited Edition wader. Simms launched the special G3 Guide™ Wader last year to help benefit the Bozeman-based Warriors and Quiet Waters Foundation (WQW). WQW helps reintegrate post-9/11 combat veterans into society by building hope and resilience, facilitating camaraderie,…


Meet The Wader Makers

Simms‘ new Wader Maker campaign tells the story of the people behind the pants: “The secret to Simms waders isn’t any one material or tool. It’s the love, passion and artistry put in to each and every cut, seam and stitch by the skilled and steady hands of the wader makers — Bozeman, Montana-based craftsmen…


The Founding Pflueger

American tinkerers had a lot going on in the late 1800s—blueprinting modern cars, stretching cities skyward, and finding inventive ways to evade severe prohibition laws. Meanwhile, in Milan, Ohio, Thomas Edison flicked the switch so we could see in the dark. And about an hour east, in Akron, Earnest Pflueger—aka the Founding Pflueger—aimed to one-up…


Invisible, All-Weather Fly Lines

These days there’s a fly line for almost everything. The short list includes long bombers, quick loaders, trout tamers, bassblasters, tarpon winchers, and an ever expanding string of options designed to perform really well in a world of specifics. But if you’re looking for one line that does double duty in both hot and cold…


Winston Upgrades Boron III X Fly Rods

When Winston added a third “I” to its BIIx rods several years back, the classic all-around sedan received an engine upgrade in the form of boosted horsepower. Thanks to a slightly stiffer mid-section and tip, the speedier BIIIx performed great in the wind and was more accurate at longer distances than its predecessor.

No Water. No Fishing. No Beer

Clean water powers paddling and flyfishing opportunities. It’s also essential for brewing awesome BEER. With that in mind, SUP manufacturer BOTE™ Boards and SweetWater Brewing Company have teamed to raise cash for Waterkeeper® Alliance—an organization dedicated to the protection, preservation, and rights to clean waterways.

Howler Bros. | Spring ’15

More than rods, reels, and toenail clippers… the most essential piece of fishing equipment might be your hat. Bad hats don’t fish. Austin, TX-based apparel brand Howler Brothers makes good ones. In addition, their Spring 2015 collection features five new shirts, four new styles of shorts and boardshorts, and a pile of fresh t-shirts designs.

Tested: RIO’s Fly Line App

If apps are your thing and selecting the right line for your rig isn’t, RIO might have the solution. Last week, the Idaho Falls-based company introduced its free Line Selector App, designed to make “…the connection to fish come easier for anglers whether it’s through its lines, leaders and tippet or through education on the…


Idylwilde (UPDATED)

Idylwilde Flies last week filed a lawsuit against Umpqua Feather Merchants—the company that recently purchased and started selling in-limbo Idylwilde product from production facilities in the Philippines. Via its social media channels and blog, Idylwilde owner Zach Mertens announced that, “…Idylwilde legally filed for its right to claim the flies from Umpqua and Mirabel….” He…


Sold: Deneki Outdoors

Deneki Outdoors—with lodges in Alaska, British Columbia, and the Bahamas—was sold this week to a Dallas, Texas-based family with ties in the destination flyfishing game that run two-decades deep. Despite the sale, there are no short-term plans to dissolve the successful brand started by former owner Andrew Bennett in 2004. The trio of lodges on…


Rafts Rule Out Here

If you’ve fished out West for more than a little while chances are you’ve figured it out—Rafts rule. You jealously spy them drifting by the opposite bank, the one you can’t get to, past the “No Trespassing” sign and fence you can’t cross, into water you can’t fish. You wish you knew that guy on…


Suit Filed To Block Elwha Hatchery Programs

Citing warnings from agency and independent scientists, four conservation groups filed suit today against several federal agencies and officials of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe (in their official capacities) for violating the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and ignoring the best available science and threatening the recovery of killer whales, Chinook salmon, and native steelhead by…


Westwater Products

THINGAMABOBBER: INDICATOR OF “THINGS“ TO COME Here’s the thing, Westwater Products was recently awarded a patent by the United States Patent Office for its strike indicator the Thingamabobber™. And the thing is, the Thingamabobber is only the beginning. According to the company, which prides itself in these sorts of things, there are many more things…


G.Loomis Exits Custom Blank Biz

WOODLAND, Wash. USA – 4/09 — Allowing it to focus its staff and manufacturing facilities on its globally expanding finished fishing rod business, G.Loomis has decided to exit custom rod blank production by the end of 2009, announces Bruce Holt, executive director at G.Loomis.

Fortune Magazine: Madoff’s Fly-Fishing Connection

Fortune Magazine February 2, 2009 Page 19 FLY FISHERMEN maybe the next subculture tangled up in the Madoff mess, thanks to Bernard Madoff’s younger son, Andrew. As the alleged $5o billion Ponzi scheme continued to claim victims including Manhattan philanthropists, Florida retirees, and Minnesotans (see page 8o), anglers worried how its fallout might affect Abel…

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