He is guilty.

He did it.

He confesses.

He comes clean.

He is a streamer punk.

If you didn’t catch my recent "Carp Slam V" recap, I described a pretty bizarre situation of running into a "gang" of rogue spear-netters on the South Platte River. Just the other day, I received the following e-mail (below). My take: rules are rules, and Denver South Platte street justice is well... justice.

I smelled the tinge of burning gun powder and knew exactly what was going on. I didn't even have to look. There was a F250 right in front of me so I ran around the hood, ducked for cover and set my beer down on the parking lot macadam. A few minutes before Scott Wells had tried to stick a bottle rocket in my back pocket but my Spidey senses were dialed in and I thwarted the practical joke. Tim Romano wasn't so keen. The bottle rock hissed and the group of 20 or so anglers all jumped and ran for cover. The projectile hit someone in the back and discharged under another truck. Everyone was laughing except for the photographer who's pants were still smoking.

New Orleans in August is a cacophony of brass horns, sweat, and an electric undercurrent of danger. As of last week, flyfishing joined the melee with the arrival of the 2012 International Fly Tackle Dealer (IFTD) show. Impressions of the event: Yes, Josh was robbed at gunpoint and proceeded to make his money back to the tune of 2 grand the following evening. (Thanks, Harrah’s.) Yes, the One is a rad rod. And yes, we scored a pair of Abel nippers for our efforts. (Thanks, Jeff.) And no, the fishing didn’t suck, mostly thanks to our guide, Bear Holeman, who located big reds despite tough conditions and dropping his bowels off the back of the skiff. Although much of the week remains a blur of Hurricane cocktails and little sleep, we made it back to Colorado on Monday unscathed. The following is a text-by-text recap of what went down.

I sat on the rock edge of a small lake just west of the spine of the continental divide and waited. I knew what was coming. I just didn’t know when—or how long it would last.

The cirque hung above my head like a granite crown. It wrapped halfway around the valley floor and stood straight up almost 2,000 vertical feet. I sat crouched eagerly awaiting, and watching. After a five-mile hike almost straight up, it felt like I was standing in a cathedral. 

I’d seen a few risers and cruising fish in the late afternoon, but their activity was sporadic. 

Cue the ‘70s porn music because the water is finally dropping and watching fish eat bugs on the surface is dead sexy.

Team Drake Captures TCC Gold

So far I've spent most of my flyfishing days chasing new experiences and an outdoor esthetic unattainable from within the confines of a cubicle. The competitive spectacle has long occupied the margins of what I consider important to this equation. That is not to say I don't compete: racing to the river for first crack at good water, against stingy fish and nasty elements, and dropping the occasional fish score between friends. But I haven't invested much effort into chasing a prize that resembled anything other than a rainbow, brown, tarpon, or permit.

When our flight left the tarmac our small plane arced into the sky, and I finally had a good look at the water. We’d traveled more than 24 hours. The engine’s hum and the view below reminded me of the trip from Belize City to Ambergris Caye.

Later that day as our boat bounced from deep water into the flats and moved closer to a small barrier island, I released my ten-finger grip from the seat. My jaw remained clenched. It was similar the ride from Tortola to Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands.

When I swung my legs off the bow and my boots slid into the water they crunched on the firm flat. We might have been in Ascension Bay.


Unless you're living in a cave on dial-up, you're likely aware that much of the Western U.S.—from Colorado to California—is under severe flood watch, with record snowpack poised to flow from snow choked mountains.

Montana, as made evident in the following photos, has perhaps been the hardest hit to date.



I strained. I stared. I squinted. My eyes pinched against the piercing sun high above. We had been fishing off-color water most of the day. Now it was clear but my eyes hadn’t adjusted—I didn’t know what I was looking for on the grassy green flat.