Back Issue Content: 2015

2015

Are we forgetting an option in the public lands debate?

MY FLYFISHING HABIT has led me to believe that I should buy land on a trout stream. I first thought of this plan a few years ago, when my day job was going well enough to allow me to entertain such a potential folly. And so it went, a dedication to the idyllic concept that I could someday walk from my cabin to my stream, without the barbed wire of an aggressive farmer in my way.

Smallmouth, gar, and glee on America's first national river

The problem was simple: We were thirsty and couldn’t find beer. Barreling north out of Little Rock, we careened through Ozark mountain highways, pushing that little rented Ford like we were competing in some sort of Redneck Indy Invitational. K.V. must have been as thirsty as I was, because he took the corners fast enough to have me grasping for the oh shit handle, braking only for small creatures contemplating a chicken maneuver.

Shore Albies

Miss them already

THE ROCKS ON THIS JETTY were all once uniform and composed. They say that, long ago, you could drive a car on them, all the way out to the tower, where the greasy cormorants preen their feathers. This is no longer possible. The Long Island Express hit it with 100 mile-an-hour winds and 15-foot swells just a few years after it was built. Then came Hazel, Donna, Esther, Agnes, Gloria, Isabel, Irene, and Sandy—all the nasty girls. The rocks are now jumbled and misshapen. Some have fallen into the water, unattached to the jetty at all. Others wobble in the waves like loose teeth. This is the fate of all ocean jetties.

Sometimes it's OK to lose

I'M NOT MUCH A HORSEPOWER GUY—I don't lust after motorcycles or muscle cars—but I am a sucker for a skiff on plane. Back from the ramp, turn toward the fish, and lean into the throttle. Wind in the face never gets old.

Just yesterday, I ran several miles up a narrow tidal channel here in the Northwest, my skiff holding the edges like a ski at speed. I weaved between debris, chased a seal from his log, saw an elk turn and bolt into the alders. Even on plane, the air smelled of mushrooms and moss.

A few flyfishers I know

I HATE FLYFISHING FILMS. I watch them religiously, but I hate them. Every time a new one comes out, I pay to go see it, I'll even pay to rent Fly Fishing Film Tour films from years past, on Amazon at home. I pay to torture myself repeatedly, and each time I'm left thinking the same thing: "Who the fuck are these people?"