Summer 2016 Contents

Drake 2016 Summer Issue


  • Shadow Grab
    Summer steelhead have developed one of the most complex and varied life histories of all Pacific fish. We have learned so much, yet the most basic question remains: Why do they—or don't they—eat a fly?
    By John Larison
  • I'll Take a Half-Dozen Malpeques and a Cocktail. A Tribute to Jim Harrison
    You may have read some other Jim Harrison tributes since the end of March. But not like this one.
    By Miles Nolte
  • National Park of Flyfishing
    Four million acres of brown bears, big lakes, volcanos, rivers, rainbows, salmon, and most of all, wilderness.
    By Ryan Peterson
  • Of Mice and Brown Trout
    The summer of 2015 was a mousy time to be fishing central Idaho. If you happened to miss it, never fear: photographer Nick Price had your back.
    Story and photos by Nick Price


  • Page Six Chix
    You've all seen brown trout on this page before. But a whitey and a bright chum? We think not.
  • Put-in
    “I don't even care if I catch a fish—I just love being out here!”
  • Rises
    Whiskey i.d. crisis, ugly cuticles, and six degrees of flats fishing.
  • Scuddlebutt
    Catching tagged permit, Grand Teton National Park, Clyde hits Minnesota, world's oldest fly shop, Puget Sound cutthroat, Montana grayling, Colorado's inmate rod-builders, Potomac snakehead, bumping off brookies, and a new resort in Belize
  • Tailwater Weekend
    Peebers and Fajitas on Colorado's Taylor Fork.
    By Elliott Adler
  • Tippets
    Coho from an Alaskan beach, tossing and turning on the road, chasing largemouth with friends in California, chasing smallmouth with Jesse James in Minnesota, float-tubing San Diego Bay, single-issue voting, and carping in backwater Georgia
  • Redspread
    Crayfish and redfish in Grand Isle, Louisiana.
    By Miles Nolte
  • Passport
    Swinging for Atlantic salmon on Ireland's River Laune.
    By Greg Vincent
  • Bugs
    Meet the Beetles.
    By Miles Nolte
  • City Limits
    Finding hungry white bass in the Detroit River.
    By Dustin Walsh
  • Rodholders
    The not-quite-yet retirement of James Babb.
    By Ryan Brod
  • Backcountry
    Diggin' for gold in West Virginia.
    By Ben Moyer
  • Permit Page
    You never forget your first. A day in Placencia, Belize.
    By Matt Hansen

Déjà vu and the creation of Grand Teton National Park

EVEN IN THE END, Cliff Hansen—one of the most influential advocates of local control and state rights in Wyoming history—thought it was a good idea. But thank the river gods he didn’t get his way back in the day. Otherwise, the Snake River in what is now Grand Teton National Park would be a whole lot different.

Now in the upper river, are snakeheads here to stay?

THERE ARE MANY SLIMY and unappealing things in Washington, D.C.—politicians, attorneys, lobbyists—but flyfisher Austin Murphy is interested in just one: the northern snakehead, also known as the Potomac Pike or the fearsome-sounding Frankenfish, named for its seemingly unnatural ability to move on land, live for days out of water breathing air, secrete mucus from its thick skin, and eat just about anything it can fit in its mouth.

Without our rivers, what is left?

DEEP INSIDE MOST TROUT anglers lies an understanding that the existence of clean water and healthy public habitat are what get us out of bed in the morning, especially on weekends. Many have sacrificed lucrative careers, either by stalling out in the middle when the job-responsibility-to-annual-vacation-day ratio became optimal for fishing, or by running away to the woods and the humble yet happy life of farming nickels and dimes.

Crash pads come in unlikely places

THE BEST-KEPT SECRET in all of Colorado is on the Taylor River. Every fisherman in the state knows the river itself, and those who think they're special know to fish it at night, but a select few know the real spot. In the town of Almont, just across the bridge on Taylor River Road, sits a little cabin wedged between water and pavement. During the months of May through September, the cabin runs $250 per night. During the months of October through April, the living room futon is available for an eighth of weed and a 30-rack of Peebers. These rental fees are always shared.

One year after trading electrodes for drip stations, the plan to remove brookies from Yellowstone's Soda Butte Creek appears to be working.

NO ONE IS SURE where the brook trout found in Soda Butte Creek came from. Maybe a flood washed them over from a neighboring drainage. Maybe somebody in Cooke City had a bucket and a brookie fetish. Then again, the source doesn't exactly matter. The fish are interlopers in one of Yellowstone National Park's most popular cutthroat streams. That was enough to put them in the government's crosshairs about 20 years ago, as biologists worried the colorful trespassers might one day displace the iconic Yellowstone cutthroat that call Soda Butte and the Lamar drainage home.