Daily Drake

Spawning Cutthroat

Grip & grins, screaming reels, and airborne salmonids are the bread, butter, and bacon of flyfishing media. It sure gets the heart thumping to see that tarpon thrash its head side-to-side in midair. The film tours capitalize on this adrenal desire and know how to deliver. But there are times you don’t want your heart to race. Occasionally, you just want to sit back and relax with some wholesome videos of fish being fish.

The Big Year is back. And for the next 12 months, it's not about the biggest fish, it's about the most species caught on a fly rod. Now through April 21, 2018, post a picture of you with your fish on The Drake’s Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter page. Whoever posts the most different species, that they caught starting on April 22, 2017 (no cheating!), will be the Grand Prize winner. This includes a 3-night, 2-day stay at Turneffe Flats in Belize. There'll also be monthly and quarterly winners, with some great prizes—rods, reels, line, coolers, sunglasses, gear—provided by our sponsors.

As spring runoff works its way out of the nation’s river systems, many underemployed, overfished trout bums fear that their favorite Forest Service campsites will be closed this summer due to President Trump’s proposed budget constraints. As a result, Walmart parking lots across the country are now filling up with tailgating anglers. “It’s cheaper than a KOA and it’s hard to beat their bulk cereal selection,” said a recently converted Walmart overnighter, who wished to be identified as “Streamer Joe.” Joe used to stay at the Forest Service-run Canyon Campground along the Yellowstone River for the maximum allowed 14-day period, when rangers would boot him. He’s been in Bozeman’s Walmart parking lot for the past 37 nights, no questions asked.

Facing a record-low Klamath River salmon forecast, the Pacific Fisheries Management Council has moved to close 200 miles of coastal fishing in northern California and southern Oregon. Fishery managers expect to see less than 12,000 chinook returning to the Klamath this season.

Castaway Films' latest trailer for Atlanticus travels deep up northern Costa Rica's jungle river systems in search of triple-digit tarpon. The freshwater fishery, fed by seasonal rains, is also stomping grounds for garfish, sawfish, bull sharks, and cute, cuddly caiman. The feature length film is due Jan. 2018. Meantime, here's a snippet of what's cooking.

Florida-based captains and anglers are traveling to Tallahassee this week, urging state lawmakers to follow what was outlined in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan in 2000. In other words, to build the reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee that would store, clean, and properly convey fresh water, sending more of it south to Florida Bay.

President Trump on Monday donated his first-quarter earnings as leader of the free world to the cash-strapped National Park Service—a total of $78,333. The check was presented to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who said, "I'm thrilled," and noted that the wad would go toward maintaining historic battlefield sites under the NPS domain.

Columbia-Snake River salmon and steelhead, thanks to a ruling this week by U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon, will see increased water releases over spillways at eight Columbia and Snake dams, helping ocean-migrating smolts navigate the concrete cluttered basin.