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Yuletide means Gift Guide, so without further ado welcome to The Drake's Annual Holiday Shopper, 2014—a full assortment of staff-curated picks to wow the flyfisher in your family.

 

crazyshitBook: Crazy Sh*t Bamboo Fly-Rodders Say

You may not know the subtle differences between a Leonard, Jenkins, Sweetgrass, or Suzuki, but don't you wonder what the ones who do say to each other? Now you can with this classic book. $15, woodpolepublishing.com

Ken Morrish spent two months staring at a grasshopper he’d pinned to a block of wood. He alternated holding first the real thing and then his fly pattern against the light. His decision: The only way to duplicate a hopper’s unusual shape was with foam.

Forensic science identifies Colorado’s true state fish

The story of Colorado’s official state fish, the greenback cutthroat, would make one hell of an episode of CSI Trout. As it turns out, about half of the fish that scientists had been calling greenbacks actually have genes more similar to the Colorado Cutthroat subspecies.

In the mid-’90s I was doing programs for the Canadian Sportsmen's Show in Vancouver B.C. The event was at B.C. Place Stadium and I stayed in The Georgian Court Hotel across the street.

Quebec-based graphic artist Mathieu Laroche—aka, Matel—has worked with brands such as Volcom, Rome, and Spy, lending his street-inspired art to everything from snowboard designs to accessories and streetwear. His latest “Reel Art” collection stems from trout, Atlantic salmon, and striper hankerings, and was prompted by close friends seeking reels with a one-of-a-kind look.

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“The project came about randomly,” the 33 year old says. “We wanted to customize our reels and did it with the help of friend Martin Gravel, who distributes TFO in Quebec."

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Gravel provided the blank-slate reels and Matel went to work on their transformations, washing them in vibrant colors and adding intricate "Aqua" and "Topographic" accents to the spools and frames. Like all his works, mediums vary: from spray paint to acrylic to ink to marker. “Anything I can find to achieve the results I’m looking for.”

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[For more of Matel’s animated POV, check out mrmatel.com and IFOUND—a brotherly brand focused on shred accessories, with some flyfishing flavor in the mix. Matel's Morgan Bridge Gallery is based in Quebec City and includes works from emergent and underground artists from across the province.]