Back Issue Content: 2015

2015

Flyfishing never looked better

IN THE SHOWTIME SERIES HOMELAND, Carrie Mathison, played by actress Claire Danes, leads drone strikes against terrorists from the comfort of her CIA station. But the same technology that makes drones—also known as unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs—convenient military weapons, has also helped advance the careers of real-world civilians, including a growing list of flyfishing photographers and filmmakers.

Smoky Mountain Brook Trout

In 2015, the Park Service opened all of what were once known as "red line" brookie streams in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In doing so, it endorsed both anglers and trout. It is now the official policy of the United States to let these Appalachian natives be their own brookie selves. Contributor Zach Matthews notes that it's also up to anglers not to mess this up.

How to enjoy them; how to avoid them

THE YAKIMA Central Washington

Enjoy it: Central Washington University is why Four Loko was banned. Coeds in Ellensburg like to party next-level, and when they want to get blacked out on an inner tube, the Yakima River is their venue of choice. Hoppers and summer stones pop at the height of co-ed activity on the Yak. You can witness the sunburned mayhem in the lower canyon from Ringer to Rosa Dam. Look for dirty cars with faded DMB stickers. In high summer flows you can float twenty miles, catch wild rainbows, and drink cans of Busch Light found floating in the river.

Big Icelandic salmon, secret American flies, and the determination of Orri Vigfusson.

IT'S EASY TO CAST A FLY IN ICELAND. No trees get in the way. The country never had much timber to begin with, and what trees there were got cut down long ago because burning wood keeps you warmer than not burning wood. Only 20 percent of the Kentucky-sized country can support vegetation anyway, so if you get nothing else from your fishing trip to Iceland, you’ll at least get a clear backcast.

The toughest trout of them all

NO FRESHWATER FISH swimming the American West is more badass than the bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus). Like Mongolian taimen, bulls are the undisputed apex predators of their watersheds, and they know it. A mature bull swims with the élan of a gangsta in his lifted Cadillac; when he rolls by, the little fish dart for cover.