Back Issue Content: 2015

2015

Give me an old one with dirt on it

WITH ALL THE TALK I HEAR THESE DAYS about flat-brims, ironic trucker hats, and hipsters, I’ve been thinking about baseball caps and how they function as extensions of identity. A crisp New Era cap with a glittering sticker on the bill is separated from my sweat-stained fishing-logo lid by a cultural gulf as big as the Bering Sea.

Flats fishing the Dirty South

ATLANTA, YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND, is not a particularly good fishing town. We have a striped bass run, as well as some nearby mountain fisheries for brook trout, but on the whole, it’s tough being a flyfisher in the Dirty South. When I moved to the city a decade ago, I took a stab at stocked trout fishing (tragic), before quickly turning to alternatives. Back then, there was one resource no one cared to exploit: carp flats. The South is blessed with plenty of oxbow lakes and backwater sloughs, perfect habitat for the ubiquitous, invasive, common carp. Other than a handful of bow fishermen, few people cared that the carp were even here. They didn’t much invade traditional gamefish waters and thus were largely ignored. As a result, they were large, naive, and available. It didn’t take me long to identify a few prime flats. The carp awakening was sweeping the flyfishing world about that time, and several of my friends also expressed interest in casting to these previously maligned fish.

Detained in the Middle East

I STOOD AT ATTENTION in front of my Colonel after a firm and deliberate salute: “Captain Church reporting as ordered Ma’am.”

“Yes, Captain Church, why did I just find out during my executive staff meeting that you were detained in a Qatari jail?” Her look said that she demanded more of the story than the details she’d just received. I took a deep breath and began to tell the tale, which began with a yellow inflatable kayak bought off Amazon and a couple of guys just looking to catch some fish on their deployment.

A dozen solutions to the “Bahamas Issue”

IN JULY, the Bahamian government and the Bahamas Fly Fishing Industry Association (BFFIA) announced proposed changes to laws governing bonefishing in the Bahamas. Some of the proposals—like requiring visiting anglers to hire a guide—created public outcry, private controversy, and several scintillating blogfights. But our own investigative reporting uncovered a few lesser-known proposals:

Who cares about casting anyway?

LET’S GET THIS OUT OF THE WAY: I’m not going to win any casting competitions. As a self-taught angler, my poor habits are deeply ingrained, the result of years spent with mismanaged routines and questionable form. My tailing loops have tailing loops. I’ll often find my backcast hurtling toward something behind me because I’ve managed to let go of the line. And sinking lines? Not a chance.