Back Issue Content: 2019

2019

"HOW CAN I BE THE ONLY ONE OUT HERE FISHING?" PHOTO BY NICK PRICE.

Just another walk on the beach

My primary tactic for snook in South Florida revolves around what my friend, Bear, calls "people avoidance." It's become a mantra that leads us toward, through, and past things—not only what river-section to float or campsite to choose, but when to pick up or set down certain hobbies, learn new ones, or abandon old ones entirely. It can sometimes be easy to forget about the people variable. But then you whip into a beach parking lot and find the lot full of minivans and the beach crawling with unrepentant shoobies.

FISH ON. ROD GONE... PHOTO BY BRIAN GROSSENBACHER.

Not the leave-behind you wanted

My father stood in the middle of the Beaverhead River, looking upstream calmly but urgently, almost how he looks when he's sorting cows. This was a little different. His reel and his rod's butt section were sitting on the bank. And he had a question.

"Do fly rods float?"

CHICKEE CHECK-IN TIME. PHOTO BY JEREMY CLARK.

Revivalists and renegades in South Florida's Everglades

It begins as a subtle unzippering across the surface. Nothing more than shape and motion—forcing the brain to calculate distance to target, direction of movement, and speed of travel. These computations form the basis of what comes next: an attempt to drop a bottlecap-sized fly in the path of a rocket-sized fish. Results vary. But when all goes well that nebulous wake erupts in an airborne Everglades tarpon—thrashing and hanging in the sky for a brief moment, like a postcard image from a lost era.

A FAT BATCH OF NEWLY MINTED ELWHA CHROME. PHOTO BY SHANE ANDERSON.

The return of the Elwha's steelhead

Give a rainbow trout a direct line to the ocean and you have a potential steelhead. Throw a dam in its path and watch anadromy hit a wall. Salmonids in Washington State's Elwha River, on the northeastern edge of the rain-soaked Olympic Peninsula, found their long-lost gateway to the sea reappear when the largest dam-removal in U.S. history commenced eight years ago. By 2015, both the lower Elwha and upper Glines Canyon dams were no more. But what of the fish that once were—the ghosts of hundred-pound chinook and double-digit steelhead that formerly laid claim to the river's glacial-green, boulder-studded waters?

Thomas & Thomas finds a friend in the whiskey business

Thomas & Thomas finds a friend in the whiskey business

Like many Westerners, I grew up without ever giving much thought to bamboo fly rods or rye whiskey. These things were viewed—like icy ski slopes or Steelers fans—as products of the Northeast, and thus of little concern to us Left Coasters.

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