Content

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.

YOU CAN CATCH ALBIES FROM SHORE. BUT MOST OF THE TIME YOU CAN'T. PHOTO BY DAVE SKOK.

From North Carolina to the Vineyard

When the indulgences of summer have finally and fully come to an end, it's time to start thinking about albies.

NOT A 7-ELEVEN IN SIGHT. PHOTO BY LIZ CHRISMAN.

Clyde gets his groove back, in Arkansas

Clyde is docked in the parking lot of Little Rock's Ozark Angler, his big ass hanging beyond the lined allotment and his bigger-still nose hanging yards past the curb. He's been baking in the 90-plus degrees for several hours.

I yank once and then again on his heavy door. The smell of ancient, super-heated, musty Motown funk blasts me in the face as the door opens with an arthritic "pop." Ain't it funny how two of the most distinct scents in the universe are new car and decrepit car? Both are instantly recognizable. For what should be obvious reasons, I also expect Clyde to smell of fish, at least a little. But he does not.

A FLY ROD, NOT A GILLNET, IS HOW TO CHASE PERMIT. PHOTO BY COREY KRUITBOSCH

The push to ban gillnets in Belize

At a Guatemalan fish-processing plant in spring of 2019, a team of journalists saw something that would make any flats angler cringe: several 80-gallon drums filled with salted permit.

The journalists, from the Belizean newspaper The Reporter, were there to examine Guatemala's shark-fishing trade, and the problems it might pose for tourism-dependent Belize, which sits just up the coast. The drums full of permit illustrated why netting is one of the biggest concerns facing the flyfishing industry in Belize: because gillnets don't discriminate between sharks and other species.