Summer 2017 Contents

Drake 2017 Summer Issue


  • Nelson's Anew
    A return to Montana's renown spring creek, where family, friendship, and fishing for rainbows and cutthroat define the past, present, and future.
    By Myers Reece Photos by Greg Lindstrom
  • Kamchatka Steelhead Retrospective
    Shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union, a small group of exploratory anglers helped raise the profile of steelheading in the Russian Far East.
    By Words and photos by Adam Tavender
  • Meeting in the Thin Space
    Five flyfishing artists with divergent styles and tastes find a common stimulus on the flats of Great Abaco Island, in The Bahamas.
    By Sarah Grigg Photos by Graham Hegamyer
  • Yukon Pikeathon
    Canada's Inconnu Lodge offers huge grayling, gorgeous lake trout, plenty of pike, and the curiously mythical inconnu—sometimes in that order.
    By Tom Bie Photos by Dan Armstrong


  • Page Six Chix
    A summery selection: two rainbows, a badass brown, and a hook-jawed Atlantic from Iceland's Holka.
  • Put-in
    An outpouring of sentiment on smallmouth.
    Also: Dear permit guy, it's okay to cry.
  • Rises
    Reactions to our Fly Fishing Collaborative story.
  • Scuddlebutt
    Finding Faraway Cay; Lee Spencer's masterwork; a trove of flyfishing history; Bahamas guide shortage; the get-rich Pebble Mine gamble; Clyde in Arkansas; Utah's monuments; the Deschutes dilemma; green drakes in Aspen; and Trask gives advice to a youngin'
  • Tailwater Weekend
    Minivan magic in Nebraska.
    By By Elliott Adler
  • Tippets
    Curing caddis indigestion, yard-sale scores, the unbearable lightness of fly rods, nerding out in New Zealand, Mexico's tannic water tarpon, and more...
  • Redspread
    A decade of reading reds.
    By John Kumiski
  • Passport
    Patagonia's atypical outpost.
    By Scott Willoughby
  • Bugs
    Eastern caddis with Swedish inclinations.
    By Elliott Adler
  • City Limits
    Sleuthing Bayou City.
    By Shannon Drawe
  • Rodholders
    Vice to vise, with Brian Bergeson.
    By Tom Hazelton
  • Backcountry
    Everyman's Middle Fork.
    By Mark Menlove
  • Permit Page
    Stacked up and stoned.
    By Sandy Moret

A public-lands debate at your doorstep

IN THE SPRING OF 1996, President Bill Clinton created the 1.8-million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, encircling a swath of twisted canyon country in southern Utah. Using the Antiquities Act, he sidestepped Congress—as 16 presidents have done, creating 157 national monuments—and delivered the proclamation in a ceremony on the rim of the Grand Canyon.


The benefits of Colorado's Roaring Fork

SO YOU'VE DECIDED to fish green drakes this summer. On a western river, preferably. Good for you. It's an incredible hatch that too often gets overlooked for the more glorious salmonfly. Is your significant other coming along? Does he or she fish? Wait, a better question: Does your partner like to do anything other than fish? Because green drakes often hatch in the middle of summer, when pressure is high to make the dreaded "combo trip." (Flyfishing and a couples retreat!) Problem is, if you're serious about green drakes, then you'll be choosing between iffy vaykay towns like Island Park, Sisters, Ennis, or Encampment.

Meeting in the Thin Space

An artists' gathering at Blackfly Lodge

FROM THE SICKLE'S CURVE of Great Abaco Island's eastern shore, the next piece of solid ground for 3,500 miles is the African continent. Between those shores lies ample room for inspiration. This is perhaps why noted American sporting artist Vaughn Cochran called a summit. "Years ago, when I managed fishing lodges, I had this idea to invite artists to gather and do a symposium," Cochran said. "I thought to myself, 'If I ever own a lodge, I'm going to do this.'"

Chasing Pike in the Yukon Territory Yukon

Chasing pike in the Yukon Territory

Dan caught the only inconnu. Let's get that out of the way. "Dan" is Dan Armstrong, a well-traveled, Bozeman-based photographer who occasionally gets invited on spectacular fishing trips with the tacit understanding that his job is to record the heroics of the writer and keep his hands off the rod. But it was our last day in the Yukon and we had yet to try for inconnu—AKA sheefish, AKA "connie," AKA an overgrown whitefish that has somehow managed to parlay rareness and mediocre fighting ability into a Sasquatch-like mystique and the hyperbolic nickname: "tarpon of the north."

An addict and his art.

How musky flies saved Brian Bergeson’s life

I'm sitting in Bob Mitchell's Fly Shop in St. Paul, Minnesota, watching Brian Bergeson tie a fly. His thread wraps are quick and confident. He trims a tightly bound clump of bucktail and a plume of hair rises and settles to the table. His Red Bull sits safely outside the fallout radius. His fingers seem to operate on micro muscle-memory rather than direct control. Over the course of a half hour, as we talk about muskies and the flies he ties for them, a pair of bare hooks develops into a twelve-inch black-and-orange streamer.