Workin' the Levi's Larva. Photo by Daniel Weddle.

Make do with what you've got

Her hand, inches from my nose, is filled with a half dozen hooks in varying states of undress and oxidation. Reaching out, I choose a moderately rusty hook with a small clump of fur dangling from a bit of unraveling thread. "Just think of it like summer camp craft hour," she says, holding up a handful of pine needles, "only without the Elmer's and popsicle sticks." A groggy pre-dawn conversation filled with mumbles and yawns had led to an oversight—our fly boxes still sat on the kitchen counter while we sat streamside, hours from anywhere. After a heated "he-said, she-said" conversation in which neither of us would accept the blame, her eye caught a Blue Jay feather lying among the pine needles at her feet, and she suddenly knew what to do. "Make me a fly," she says.

Three books for flyfishing nerds


Smallmouth: Modern Fly-fishing Methods, Tactics, and Techniques

Smallmouth: Modern Fly-fishing Methods, Tactics & Techniques

Tim Landwehr & Dave Karczynski
$29.95 Stackpole Books

Most of the how-to flyfishing books at your local library come from accomplished anglers that aren't very good at writing. This book isn't one of them. Lifelong smallmouth guide Tim Landwehr of Tight Lines Fly Fishing Company in DePere, Wisconsin, teamed up with the artistic stylings of frequent Drake contributor and writing professor Dave Karczynski to create what a fellow bass fanatic described as "the smallmouth bible."

Unofficial Absaroka

One man's scheme for a not-quite commonwealth of uncommonly good fishing

A week from now the creek at our boots will be too thin to float. Fueled by the dregs of a heavy winter snowpack atop Wyoming's Bighorn Range, its window is on the verge of being shuttered. "Hard to say how it'll fish," Clark Smyth says from under the brim of an oversized straw hat. Instead of a handful of flies, the Sheridan-based guide casually places rusty wire-cutters in my open palm. "Hang onto these."

The Drakecast fly fishing podcast winter 2017 tom bie

With the Winter 2017 issue of The Drake Magazine on its way to fly shops and mailboxes around the world, we figured we'd chat with Tom Bie about his favorite parts of the upcoming mag. We also hear from authors Dave Karczynski and Michael Graybrook about their recently published books, Smallmouth: Modern Fly Fishing Methods, Tactics & Techniques, From Lure to Fly: Fly Fishing for Spinning and Baitcast Anglers, and Cutthroat: A Journey Through the American West.

NOAA solicits public comment for steelhead fishery proposal

Home to a revered population of ESA-listed wild winter steelhead, Washington’s Skagit River and its main tributary, the Sauk, have been closed to spring catch-and-release fishing since 2011. That could all change in early 2018, however, as NOAA is considering granting a harvest permit to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and its tribal co-managers.