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The Big Year is back. And for the next 12 months, it's not about the biggest fish, it's about the most species caught on a fly rod. Now through April 21, 2018, post a picture of you with your fish on The Drake’s Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter page. Whoever posts the most different species, that they caught starting on April 22, 2017 (no cheating!), will be the Grand Prize winner. This includes a 3-night, 2-day stay at Turneffe Flats in Belize. There'll also be monthly and quarterly winners, with some great prizes—rods, reels, line, coolers, sunglasses, gear—provided by our sponsors.

As spring runoff works its way out of the nation’s river systems, many underemployed, overfished trout bums fear that their favorite Forest Service campsites will be closed this summer due to President Trump’s proposed budget constraints. As a result, Walmart parking lots across the country are now filling up with tailgating anglers. “It’s cheaper than a KOA and it’s hard to beat their bulk cereal selection,” said a recently converted Walmart overnighter, who wished to be identified as “Streamer Joe.” Joe used to stay at the Forest Service-run Canyon Campground along the Yellowstone River for the maximum allowed 14-day period, when rangers would boot him. He’s been in Bozeman’s Walmart parking lot for the past 37 nights, no questions asked.

Facing a record-low Klamath River salmon forecast, the Pacific Fisheries Management Council has moved to close 200 miles of coastal fishing in northern California and southern Oregon. Fishery managers expect to see less than 12,000 chinook returning to the Klamath this season.

Castaway Films' latest trailer for Atlanticus travels deep up northern Costa Rica's jungle river systems in search of triple-digit tarpon. The freshwater fishery, fed by seasonal rains, is also stomping grounds for garfish, sawfish, bull sharks, and cute, cuddly caiman. The feature length film is due Jan. 2018. Meantime, here's a snippet of what's cooking.

Florida-based captains and anglers are traveling to Tallahassee this week, urging state lawmakers to follow what was outlined in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan in 2000. In other words, to build the reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee that would store, clean, and properly convey fresh water, sending more of it south to Florida Bay.

Obsessed. Permit in the Keys.
Obsessed. Permit in the Keys.

The pursuit and protection of our most adored and frustrating fish.

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 his friend poled from the bow. "We were poling barges around back then," Robinson said. He held an 8-weight Fenwick in his hand, rigged with a Platinum Blondie striper fly—a chunky bucktail streamer of the Homer Rhode-Joe Brooks lineage. As they moved along the perimeter of Barracouta Key, in The Lakes area just west of Key West, he spotted a permit. "We'd caught permit on live crabs, but not flies," Robinson said. "I cast at it, started stripping, and not only did that fish chase the fly to the boat, but I could see it had its mouth opened by the end. I thought to myself, these sons of bitches eat flies."