Back Issue Content: 2014

The Anti-Artist

Dave Hartman's cool, quirky creations

THERE WAS A TIME when skateboarder-turnedgraphics- creator Dave Hartman excelled at the art of being aimless.

Bucking the law and generally lacking purpose, Hartman bounced from home to home in suburban Arizona and California, rural Alabama, and southern New Hampshire. Until fishing intervened. He found a fly rod and carried it to Montana. And there he dove into the tactics of what makes humans falter and function. A degree in social work followed. And for the past 15 years Hartman has coalesced with the imprints of a former self—counseling troubled youth at the Montana Academy in Kalispell, on the outskirts of Glacier National Park.

"Instead of being a self-centered teenager, I found a new purpose," he says. "It was to be on the water as much as possible, while studying to be a person outside myself—focusing on others, as opposed to just me."

Washington's Olympic National Park is best known for iconic steelhead rivers such as the Hoh, Bogachiel, and Sol Duc. It's also home to America's largest dam removal project, which was completed on the now free-flowing Elwha River in August 2014. Here, contributor Brian Irwin recounts his days pouring drinks in the park and exploring a river that "courses through the temperate rainforest amid Paleozoic-sized ferns before crashing into the sea."

The Other Gunnison River

It's not all about the Gorge and Black Canyon

MENTION THAT YOU'RE PLANNING A TRIP to Colorado's Gunnison River, and a likely response will be something like, "Oh, cool—are you fishing Black Canyon or floating the Gorge?"

Which makes perfect sense. After all, between the famed salmonfly hatch and national park status of Black Canyon, and the horse-pack/ rafting reputation of Gunny Gorge, it's hard to imagine a flyfisher having not heard of the Gunnison proper. But what about the upper Gunnison, near Crested Butte? Never heard of it? Join the club.

Hating the Thompson
“As with rush-hour driving or the public use of cell phones, everyone believes we need a code of etiquette, but no one can agree on what it would be, and some couldn’t bring themselves to observe it regardless.”
—Ted Leeson, Inventing Montana


I’ve seen this before. It starts as a spark, then a faint flicker of vermilion on the landscape. Soon it will grow and undulate, slave to the movement of air. This midnight fire will burn until pre-dawn, bringing the illusion of warmth and light to those gathered round it. Tales will be told, punctuated with laughter and silence in equal measure as the faithful indulge in herbal, fermented, or distilled distractions to push back the dark. In each passing moment burns the promise of glory. In the pre-dawn, anglers wobbly with exhaustion stumble after ovals of light in search of grace.

Autumn Monarchs

To find the fish, follow the butterflies

In March and April, depending on where you live on the East Coast, the first broods of monarch butterflies hatch from their chrysalis (a cocoon to you and I) and enjoy a short two- to six-week life span. They do what butterflies are best at: they flit around, eat flowers, look pretty, avoid elementary schoolers with nets, and dodge feisty birds. They will follow an irresistible pheromone-scent trail, find some butterfly love, mate, lay eggs on a select milkweed plant, then die. From these eggs, a second generation of monarchs emerges in May and June, and sows the seeds for the third generation to hatch in July and August. A fourth generation hatches in September and October from the eggs laid by the third.