- Pride of the QuinaultTrey CombsThe Quinault Indian Nation boasts some of the largest wild steelhead on earth. Now, if we can only keep them that way.
- The Lagoon FactorTom BieChasing snook and tarpon at Mexico’s Paradise Lodge, on the southern Yucatan coast.
- Good Times in Terrace
Photos by Drew Stoecklein
Captions by Tyler MaxwellSketchy snowpack and a steelhead solution in British Columbia’s Coast Range.
- Page Six ChixOne brown, one red, one brook
- Put-inFeeling salty
- RisesDrake editors remap Michigan... and fail
- Tailwater Weekend
Road-tripping to Arkansas’ White RiverZach Matthews
- RedspreadTosh BrownIn Texas, it’s best not to piss-off the locals
- PassportJako LucasMaster wrasse of the Indo-Pacific
Images by Nick Price, Lucas Carrol, and Corey KruitboschMidges. Because it’s winter, that’s why.
- City LimitsMichael IsraelsonMore strange for Colorado’s Front Range
- Rod HoldersJoshua PrestinLiminal lessons with Josh DeSmit
- BackcountryMonte BurkeMangrove roots and 150 pounds of poon
- Permit PageMini-doppelganger gets its due.
The IGFA calls Steve Huff "the most well-respected guide in the history of flats fishing." In Andy Mill's book, A Passion for Tarpon, he calls Huff "bar none, the best tarpon guide alive, the best there was and the best there ever will be." Though he spent the first half of his career guiding the Lower Keys, Huff has spent the past twenty years in the Everglades, where long-time Drake contributor Monte Burke caught up with him for a day of backcountry tarpon fishing.
Another biased BiOp makes the rounds
Fishing is a fine way to gain insight into the true nature of water. Russian literature is an equally effective medium for getting a handle on the nature of corruption.
In the 1842 novel Dead Souls, by Nikolai Gogol, the protagonist Chichikov connives to get rich off a bureaucratic loophole. Estates are taxed based on the number of serfs the rich keep. Counted as “souls” on census data, which is gathered far less frequently than taxes are levied, the wealthy complain incessantly about being taxed for their “dead souls”—serfs that have died—but are still counted as a tax burden on outdated government rolls. Chichikov to the rescue: He roams the Russian countryside, greeting a batch of greedy, vain, unscrupulous landowners, offering to buy their dead souls. Then he’ll take this list to the bank, use it as collateral to procure a lavish loan, and live like a king for the rest of his days.
Pride of the Quinault: Huge, Winter-Run Steel
Years before I saw either a steelhead or the Quinault River, they were twin obsessions dominating my imagination. I would eventually come to meet both, but at different times in my life, and under very different circumstances.
BEFORE THE EARLY 1990s it was impossible to catch steelhead on a fly rod, and certainly not using a floating line and a single-handed rod. We just couldn’t get our small flies deep enough, we couldn’t cast them far enough, and we all just stood there wishing we had a center pin and roe sacks, because flyfishing for steelhead was hopeless.
A summertime story for the mid-winter blues.
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 hit it big—really big—when he stumbled upon what would eventually become the world’s richest nickel mine. He’s done various things with his considerable dough. One of them: A lodge on the Hunt River in northern Labrador, just 70 miles or so from the spot of his fortunate discovery. The man is wholly obsessed with fishing. After hearing about his annual fishing program—three months in Labrador chasing Atlantic salmon, six months hunting tarpon in the Keys—it’s unclear to me how exactly he manages to run his various mining businesses and venture capital funds. The man is from Newfoundland, and he fishes in the willful manner characteristic of folks from his island. He does not like to rotate through pools, preferring instead to find a fish he favors, then casting over it until he or the fish succumbs. He once spent nine straight hours on a single fish, pausing only to sip water. He eventually landed the 25-pound Atlantic.