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Outdoor photographers fight Forest Service for First Amendment rights

Sketch a line around the pristine and safeguard its natural integrity against human missteps and, in a nutshell, you have the foundational elements for wilderness. In 1964, Congress staked those perimeters with a Wilderness Act designed to preserve millions of acres in perpetuity.

Three years with Clyde.

Clyde should be dead by now.

He was pronounced dead. More than once, in fact. In February 2012, a Salt Lake wrencher put a $1,200 tranny in him and said, “He might make it through March.” In November of that same year, driver Steven Hawley emailed: “Clyde’s 460 is shot. Best quote for a rebuild here is $1,395.” It’s fun going back and reading old emails from Clyde’s drivers, many of them frantic. But some of the best ones came not from drivers, but from fishermen who’d stumbled across Clyde on a river somewhere. My favorite, from a man named Jason Koertge: “Was walking out of one of my go-to Oregon Coast runs a few days ago and lo and behold, there sat Clyde. Nice camp those guys had, but it’s complete bullshit their cooler didn’t have any beer in it.” Clyde’s engine was never rebuilt. And the cooler is still empty. But I’m sure Clyde’s co-owner, RA Beattie, still shares my opinion that he was the best investment either of us ever made.

Yuletide means Gift Guide, so without further ado welcome to The Drake's Annual Holiday Shopper, 2014—a full assortment of staff-curated picks to wow the flyfisher in your family.

 

crazyshitBook: Crazy Sh*t Bamboo Fly-Rodders Say

You may not know the subtle differences between a Leonard, Jenkins, Sweetgrass, or Suzuki, but don't you wonder what the ones who do say to each other? Now you can with this classic book. $15, woodpolepublishing.com

Keeping it Classy with Clyde

How to get skunked and befriend a cop

I wasn’t too concerned about the highway patrolman until I had to start digging under the seats for a piece of sharpened rebar. Then I thought I might go to jail. We were somewhere between Boise and Island Park, trying to get to Bozeman.

Ken Morrish spent two months staring at a grasshopper he’d pinned to a block of wood. He alternated holding first the real thing and then his fly pattern against the light. His decision: The only way to duplicate a hopper’s unusual shape was with foam.

Forensic science identifies Colorado’s true state fish

The story of Colorado’s official state fish, the greenback cutthroat, would make one hell of an episode of CSI Trout. As it turns out, about half of the fish that scientists had been calling greenbacks actually have genes more similar to the Colorado Cutthroat subspecies.

In the mid-’90s I was doing programs for the Canadian Sportsmen's Show in Vancouver B.C. The event was at B.C. Place Stadium and I stayed in The Georgian Court Hotel across the street.

Naked Gun

One driver's desperate decision

CLYDE HAS A FLAT. I can see it from the boat ramp of Montana's Bitterroot River. The front of the old Merc is sloping toward the passenger side, and while I'm happy to discover that there's a spare in the trunk, I'm unhappy to discover that the jack is missing its handle. I'm unhappy again when I throw the flat and my waders into the trunk and slam it shut, locking Clyde's only set of keys inside.

I'd hoped that a call to a locksmith would bring a quick solution, but the man on the other end of the line couldn't help. "I'm about six beers deep already, and I don't really feel like leaving. Know what I'm sayin?"

At some point in every young angler’s life, you’ll have to sit them down and have “the hex talk.” Conversation timing completely depends on the person. Some may not be ready, some will, and others are already experimenting with hex—without you even knowing.

Here are a few key points to remember when it’s time for that all-important heart to heart, considering a lot of what’s portrayed in the media is not real:

1) You don’t just go out and immediately start having hex. The hatch bounces around, and a stretch of river that was blowing up with bugs one day won’t fish well the next.

2) Every hookup isn’t going to be with a trophy. Don’t feel bad about lowering your standards at times.

3) Just because every fish in the river is up and eating on the surface, doesn’t mean you’re going to score. You still need to spit a little game in the form of a well-timed drag-free drift.

4) Bring a wingman. Doing it in the dark is a team sport—especially if you're in a boat. Good positioning is essential. Your wingman needs to be hyper-aware, focused on opportunities. And the guy on the rod needs to perform.

5) When it’s good, it’s addicting. Make sure they know their decisions can have lifelong consequences.

Finally, once you’ve had the talk, accept the fact that new anglers are going to be the ones making these decisions on their own. As much as you might want to, you can no longer control or dictate their actions.

And I already know what you’re thinking, If I sit down and talk hex with them, won’t that just make them want to do it more? Absolutely.

Quebec-based graphic artist Mathieu Laroche—aka, Matel—has worked with brands such as Volcom, Rome, and Spy, lending his street-inspired art to everything from snowboard designs to accessories and streetwear. His latest “Reel Art” collection stems from trout, Atlantic salmon, and striper hankerings, and was prompted by close friends seeking reels with a one-of-a-kind look.

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“The project came about randomly,” the 33 year old says. “We wanted to customize our reels and did it with the help of friend Martin Gravel, who distributes TFO in Quebec."

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Gravel provided the blank-slate reels and Matel went to work on their transformations, washing them in vibrant colors and adding intricate "Aqua" and "Topographic" accents to the spools and frames. Like all his works, mediums vary: from spray paint to acrylic to ink to marker. “Anything I can find to achieve the results I’m looking for.”

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[For more of Matel’s animated POV, check out mrmatel.com and IFOUND—a brotherly brand focused on shred accessories, with some flyfishing flavor in the mix. Matel's Morgan Bridge Gallery is based in Quebec City and includes works from emergent and underground artists from across the province.]