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Lock, Stock and Two Smokin' Six-Weights

(presented by The Drake and Beattie Outdoor Productions)

The year was ’74. It was classic. Disco fever strutted its sequined jumpsuits and platform shoes. CCR’s “Proud Mary” was rolling on the river. And it marked my transition from steel slabs in Ford Motor’s trenches to a shimmering masterpiece of the open road—right in time for Nixon to nix highway speeds to 55 mph.

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2011 was quite a year. I’m thankful. Before I wax nostalgic and get sentimental, I want to close with one last field report from the South Platte River.

Here lies: "Steve" the Great Lakes Steelhead, Flyfishing Badasses, Priests, and Public Access

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Another year of fishing is about to smash through the door. But before it does we take a moment to remember those who passed in 2011, while leaving indelible marks on our evolving flyfishing culture.

Our father, who art in Denver. Tebow be thy name. Many people have experienced the joys of catching an important sporting event in Mexico—scrambling to find a TV at a small Mayan village or finding a radio at a bar in Baja. Like last spring, when several friends from Dallas were permit fishing at the Palometa Club near Punta Allen, and rallied into town to watch Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs win Game 7 of the NBA Finals. Or on the East Cape in October of 2007, when I watched my beloved Oregon State Beavers beat then #2 Cal on a tiny black-and-white TV in Los Barriles.

[mit-i-gey-shuhn] noun
1. lessening the force or intensity of something unpleasant, as wrath, pain, grief, or extreme circumstances

The situation down on the South Platte and Sand Creek continues to evolve. This river is near and dear to a lot of anglers here in Denver - I was happy to see continued mitigation work when I visited the site again earlier in the week. Here is a photo of Tim Romano fishing Sand Creek - ground zero of this spill - during better days, this past summer.

Who Really Owns America's Riverbeds?

Tomorrow is a big day in Washington, D.C. for anyone who likes fishing, rafting, or canoeing public water in the United States. In what is likely the most meaningful river-access case ever heard before the U.S. Supreme Court, PPL Montana v Montana is seeking to answer the long-disputed question of who really owns the riverbeds on navigable waterways, and whether the definition of "navigable" should be based on the present, or based on the river's navigability when the state joined the Union.

Denver carp community first on the scene

When I was 13 years old my buddy Scott was attacked by a doberman. It was bad. The dog mauled him head on—Scott's cheek was punctured, one eye was nicked and subsequently swollen shut, and he lost part of a finger trying to fend off the attack. It had been a family dog, one he'd lived with his entire life.

Man and fish departed ways somewhere deep in eastern Washington on a tributary of the Columbia River. The water we fished ran from the granite cathedrals and frozen peaks of the north Cascade Mountain range.

Bristol Bay and a view from the Columbia River

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Thirty million fish. Every year. Thirty million salmon and steelhead returned through the Columbia and Snake River systems. Thirty million.

Wyoming—A Photo Essay

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They say winter is the season for tying flies.