Summer 2015 Contents

Drake 2015 Summer Issue


  • I Love Laxa
    Big Icelandic salmon, secret American flies, and the determination of Orri Vigfusson.
    By Tom Bie
  • Chasing Natives
    From backcountry brookies to spirited pickerel, this is our quest for encounters of the indigenous kind.
    By Zach Matthews, John Larison, Jimmy Fee, Kevin Luby, Brian Boomer, and Will Jordan
  • Patches
    When a shiny she-boat morphs into a he-boat, and becomes a confidant.
    By Monty Orrick
  • Post-Inferno Flyfishing
    In August 2013, two lightning-caused blazes burned 435 square miles of Idaho's South Fork Boise drainage, showing just how much impact fires can have on a river.
    By Mark Menlov


  • Page Six Chix
    The Flathead, the Yellowstone, the Menominee.
  • Put-in
    Summer Camp, America's best idea, and its worst.
  • Rises
    Husband exchange, political delusions, girlfriend dilema, and using a puppy to our advantage.
  • Scuddlebutt
    Nicaragua tarpon, coho comeback, Clyde takes a slyde, summer bikini hatches, oversized art, PNW smallies, striper uncertainty, and one feared Beard.
  • Tailwater Weekend
    Trout-filled tailwaters in Oklahoma and Texas.
    By Stephen Schwartz
  • Tippets
    Sounds of bluefish, steelheading the ‘V,' inglorious bassers, a crowded roadtrip, good hats, stripers in plain sight, and catching brown trout in Scotland.
  • Redspread
    The Islamorada backcountry delivers, eventually.
    By Matt Smythe
  • Passport
    A purist's exile to Saskatchewan's Pikelandia.
    By Toby Gilbert
  • Bugs
    Puget Sound termites.
    By Jesse Robbins
  • City Limits
    Flats fishing the Dirty South.
    By Zach Matthews
  • Rodholders
    How Jon Yousko pulls off the endless season.
    By Geoff Mueller
  • Backcountry
    500 miles from Denver to Durango, on foot.
    By Ben Kraushaar
  • Permit Page
    Protect the spawning grounds.
    By Terry Gibson
Smoky Mountain Brook Trout

In 2015, the Park Service opened all of what were once known as "red line" brookie streams in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In doing so, it endorsed both anglers and trout. It is now the official policy of the United States to let these Appalachian natives be their own brookie selves. Contributor Zach Matthews notes that it's also up to anglers not to mess this up.

How to enjoy them; how to avoid them

THE YAKIMA Central Washington

Enjoy it: Central Washington University is why Four Loko was banned. Coeds in Ellensburg like to party next-level, and when they want to get blacked out on an inner tube, the Yakima River is their venue of choice. Hoppers and summer stones pop at the height of co-ed activity on the Yak. You can witness the sunburned mayhem in the lower canyon from Ringer to Rosa Dam. Look for dirty cars with faded DMB stickers. In high summer flows you can float twenty miles, catch wild rainbows, and drink cans of Busch Light found floating in the river.

Big Icelandic salmon, secret American flies, and the determination of Orri Vigfusson.

IT'S EASY TO CAST A FLY IN ICELAND. No trees get in the way. The country never had much timber to begin with, and what trees there were got cut down long ago because burning wood keeps you warmer than not burning wood. Only 20 percent of the Kentucky-sized country can support vegetation anyway, so if you get nothing else from your fishing trip to Iceland, you’ll at least get a clear backcast.

The toughest trout of them all

NO FRESHWATER FISH swimming the American West is more badass than the bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus). Like Mongolian taimen, bulls are the undisputed apex predators of their watersheds, and they know it. A mature bull swims with the élan of a gangsta in his lifted Cadillac; when he rolls by, the little fish dart for cover.

Give me an old one with dirt on it

WITH ALL THE TALK I HEAR THESE DAYS about flat-brims, ironic trucker hats, and hipsters, I’ve been thinking about baseball caps and how they function as extensions of identity. A crisp New Era cap with a glittering sticker on the bill is separated from my sweat-stained fishing-logo lid by a cultural gulf as big as the Bering Sea.

Flats fishing the Dirty South

ATLANTA, YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND, is not a particularly good fishing town. We have a striped bass run, as well as some nearby mountain fisheries for brook trout, but on the whole, it’s tough being a flyfisher in the Dirty South. When I moved to the city a decade ago, I took a stab at stocked trout fishing (tragic), before quickly turning to alternatives. Back then, there was one resource no one cared to exploit: carp flats. The South is blessed with plenty of oxbow lakes and backwater sloughs, perfect habitat for the ubiquitous, invasive, common carp. Other than a handful of bow fishermen, few people cared that the carp were even here. They didn’t much invade traditional gamefish waters and thus were largely ignored. As a result, they were large, naive, and available. It didn’t take me long to identify a few prime flats. The carp awakening was sweeping the flyfishing world about that time, and several of my friends also expressed interest in casting to these previously maligned fish.