Destination travelDrake Magazine Back Issue Content Fall 2013HumorLifestyleSalmon/SteelheadRetracing steps in the Skeena Valley

Retracing steps in the Skeena Valley

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, and, when heading north on the Yellowhead Highway, the first fishy town in the Skeena Valley.

I hadn’t fished the Morice in 16 years, but the river was as beautiful as I remembered it; an endless glide of exceptional water flowing from one perfect run to the next, all surrounded by a shoreline of autumn color. A light drizzle was falling, and the campground was full of steelheaders, many of whom were already back at camp after a three-hour morning session. I was exhausted from the drive, but far too amped for sleep. While rigging, I dropped leaders and flies, fumbled with various spey tips, and could barely tie a knot, being reduced to little more than a mess of anxious energy. After a brief ten minutes of test swinging, I headed upriver, as happy and filled with anticipation as I’ve ever felt in my life.

[Read the full feature in Fall issue of The Drake.]

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Tom Bie is the founder, editor, and publisher of The Drake. He started the magazine in 1998 as an annual newsprint publication based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He then moved it to Steamboat, Colorado (1999), Boulder, Colorado (2001), and San Clemente, California (2004), as he took jobs as managing editor at Paddler, Senior Editor at Skiing, and Editor-in-Chief at Powder, respectively. Tom and The Drake are now both based in Denver, Colorado, where The Drake is finally all grows up(Swingers, 1996) to a quarterly magazine.

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