2013 Fall Contents

Drake 2013 fall Issue
  • Chasing love in Eleuthera, chasing trout in the U.P., chasing stripers in NYC, and chasing bass in Florida. Also: loving jetties and sandwiches, but hating muskies (sorta).
  • The Catch
  • Bugs
  • City Limits
  • Rod Holders
  • The Fish Counters
  • Backcountry
  • Permit Page
(Still) Steelhead Paradise

Retracing steps in the Skeena Valley


I pulled into the Aspen Recreation Site just before 10 a.m. on Wednesday, October 3rd, after a 13-hour, nearly nonstop rental-car bender from Vancouver. The site is the lowest of three B.C. Ministry campgrounds along the Morice River, sitting about eleven miles southwest of Houston—home of the world's largest fly rod, the world's largest sawmill, and, when heading north on the Yellowhead Highway, the first fishy town in the Skeena Valley.

Idylwilde’s Wild Ride

The fly-tying company that lost—and blogged—it all

On the morning of May 19, 2013, Idylwilde Flies founder Zach Mertens stared into his computer screen, digesting the bizarre circumstances that had sent his business spiraling. He then began punching paragraphs into the keyboard with the kind of blunt transparency unexpected of a company president and owner of an established business—a man who had, in the past, kept quiet about what had ailed him.

"In 2012 I fell extremely ill to debilitating depression," he wrote. "This was brought on by stress and the amount of work I was doing to insure [sic] that Idylwilde was successful and to build a brand that you the consumer of our flies could relate to. That stress, combined with emotional trauma from my past, sent my brain into shut-down."

Keeping tabs on steelhead and salmon


Almost Every Northwest Angler living within 100 miles of the Columbia River or its tributaries has a weekly, if not daily, if not hourly, ritual this time of year: checking the salmon and steelhead counts passing over eight dams on the Columbia and lower Snake rivers—Bonneville, The Dalles, John Day, McNary, Ice Harbor, Lower Monumental, Little Goose, and Lower Granite. Until the mid 1990s, about the only place to find these numbers was the sports page of The Oregonian newspaper. Now, "daily" reports no longer satisfy society's instant-info demands. Lucky for the obsessed angler, sharp-eyed human fish-counters stationed beneath the dams mean we don't have to wait.

Landing the Indiana State Record Atlantic Salmon

I woke up Sunday morning with no way to hold my head that didn't hurt. I contemplated spending the rest of the day staring out the window, imagining fishing trips that never happened. But the cobwebs started to clear, so I figured I might as well go fishing.

I loaded a new two-hander in the car that I'd been meaning to master. This time of year, the fish—smallmouth, mostly—are sluggish and hold deep. So I had low expectations but still wanted to get out there and throw some line. I had an old Atlantic salmon fly, a General Practitioner, that I thought might be a reasonable crayfish imitation, so I tied it on, made a couple practice casts, then let ‘er rip.