Fall 2015 Contents

Drake 2015 Fall Issue


  • Western Remembrance
    Waitressing West Yellowstone in the 1980s, our writer met a fishing guide. In fact, she met a few.
    By Darcy Lohmiller

  • Ahead of the Flood
    Floating Arkansas' beloved Buffalo for smallies and sunfish, days are filled with tossing poppers, stripping streamers, and lobbing bacon grease.
    By Miles Nolte
  • The Wind at Montauk
    Striper fishing the rocks of Long Island is not for the faint of heart. It's also not for trout fishermen.
    By James Wu
  • Return of Wild Abundance
    Osoyoos Lake sits on the border of Washington and British Columbia. In the past 20 years, its wild sockeye run has increased nearly 30,000%. Why?
    By Bill McMillan


  • Page Six Chix
    Two browns, a bass, and a bonefish. With love.
  • Put-in
    Be the bucket. And other joys of water-reading.
  • Rises
    Lab love, scolding Scotland, and Casa de Caddis.
  • Scuddlebutt
    Deschutes dilemma, striper movie, a new take on public lands, fishing wildlife refuges, Kanton Atoll, steelhead martini, and solutions for the Bahamas!
  • Tailwater Weekend
    Western Connecticut's Deerfield River delivers.
    By Stephen Zakur
  • Tippets
    Fishing as religion, Qatar justice, in defense of shitty casting, Driftless bar, aggressive taimen, fishing and Letterman, Shakespeare steelhead
  • Redspread
    The heartbreaking story of Randy Charba.
    By Tosh Brown
  • Passport
    Everyone loves Atlantic salmon on the Gaspé. But what about all those stripers?
    By Ben Carmichael
  • Bugs
    Steelheading with the General Practitioner.
    By Geoff Mueller
  • City Limits
    Columbia, South Carolina's schoolie stripers.
    By Tommy Cody
  • Rodholders
    Tommy Lynch, Batman of the Pere Marquette.
    By Preston Marson
  • Backcountry
    Bonefishing the Bahamian hinterlands.
    By Mike Benson
  • Permit Page
    The life and flies of Craig Mathews.
    By Geoff Mueller

Detained in the Middle East

I STOOD AT ATTENTION in front of my Colonel after a firm and deliberate salute: “Captain Church reporting as ordered Ma’am.”

“Yes, Captain Church, why did I just find out during my executive staff meeting that you were detained in a Qatari jail?” Her look said that she demanded more of the story than the details she’d just received. I took a deep breath and began to tell the tale, which began with a yellow inflatable kayak bought off Amazon and a couple of guys just looking to catch some fish on their deployment.

A dozen solutions to the “Bahamas Issue”

IN JULY, the Bahamian government and the Bahamas Fly Fishing Industry Association (BFFIA) announced proposed changes to laws governing bonefishing in the Bahamas. Some of the proposals—like requiring visiting anglers to hire a guide—created public outcry, private controversy, and several scintillating blogfights. But our own investigative reporting uncovered a few lesser-known proposals:

Who cares about casting anyway?

LET’S GET THIS OUT OF THE WAY: I’m not going to win any casting competitions. As a self-taught angler, my poor habits are deeply ingrained, the result of years spent with mismanaged routines and questionable form. My tailing loops have tailing loops. I’ll often find my backcast hurtling toward something behind me because I’ve managed to let go of the line. And sinking lines? Not a chance.

Are we forgetting an option in the public lands debate?

MY FLYFISHING HABIT has led me to believe that I should buy land on a trout stream. I first thought of this plan a few years ago, when my day job was going well enough to allow me to entertain such a potential folly. And so it went, a dedication to the idyllic concept that I could someday walk from my cabin to my stream, without the barbed wire of an aggressive farmer in my way.

Smallmouth, gar, and glee on America's first national river

The problem was simple: We were thirsty and couldn’t find beer. Barreling north out of Little Rock, we careened through Ozark mountain highways, pushing that little rented Ford like we were competing in some sort of Redneck Indy Invitational. K.V. must have been as thirsty as I was, because he took the corners fast enough to have me grasping for the oh shit handle, braking only for small creatures contemplating a chicken maneuver.