Winter 2015 Contents

Drake 2015 winter Issue


  • On the Mend
    The Kootenai River is hidden away in the boondocks of northwest Montana. But look closer at the trout and the scenery and Dave Blackburn’s lodge, and it doesn’t seem so far.
    By Myers Reece
  • Derailed
    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau banned oil-tanker traffic on B.C.’s north coast, lessening the threat of oil pipelines running along steelhead rivers. But plenty of other threats remain.
    By Leslie Anthony, Steven Hawley, and Tom Bie
  • Minnesota Musky
    There’s no toothy critters like ’Sota toothy critters. Our photographers in the field bring back a report to help you survive the winter.
    By Lee Church and Corey Kruitbosch
  • Pancora Holiday
    Catching a Patagonian brown or rainbow is like catching one in Montana or Colorado. Only it’s those two states circa 1915, not 2015. You’ll also lose a week of January or February, while gaining a week of Southern Hemisphere sunshine—a trade we’ll take.
    By Tom Bie


  • Page Six Chix
    Wintertime hat-trick: Musky, steelhead, and a Mongolian taimen.
  • Put-in
    Arctic weather options for sourcing a level of quiet calm under falling snow.
  • Rises
    Bushkill weekends, community connectedness, and a Deschutes River reply.
  • Scuddlebutt
    Waiting on El Niño, Clyde tours the Front Strange, an OP steelheader’s best friend, playing Hooké, pro bassin’ on the fly, school spirit, baked trout, and a scientific study on how to cheat death.
  • Tailwater Weekend
    Getting down in the Gunnison Gorge.
    By Gus Jarvis
  • Tippets
    Addicted to shore albies, North Umpqua redemption, a few flyfishers we know, reflections from the backseat, a Northwest bar brawl, from Steamboat to Striperville, and the real life of a hoarder with a fishing hobby.
  • Redspread
    Venice Reds: A homecoming in southern Louisiana.
    By Colles Stowell
  • Passport
    Unguided epiphanies in the Bahamas.
    By Jason Houston
  • Bugs
    A tailwater shrimp cocktail.
    By Geoff Mueller
  • City Limits
    Hobo hatches and Grand Junction heroics.
    By Justin Edge
  • Rodholders
    Engraving rods with Bill Oyster.
    By Zach Matthews
  • Backcountry
    Into the North for busted ankles, brotherly bonds, and backwoods pike.
    By Dave Karczynski
  • Permit Page
    Wading for the one that didn’t get away.
    By Luke Williams

A few flyfishers I know

I HATE FLYFISHING FILMS. I watch them religiously, but I hate them. Every time a new one comes out, I pay to go see it, I'll even pay to rent Fly Fishing Film Tour films from years past, on Amazon at home. I pay to torture myself repeatedly, and each time I'm left thinking the same thing: "Who the fuck are these people?"

Move or Die

Scientific studies show that inactivity will kill you.

LAST JANUARY, researchers from the University Health Network in Toronto, Canada, published the results of its study on the effects of long-term inactivity. In a word, the scientists who conducted the study found that sitting around all day can kill you.

Shore Albies

Miss them already

THE ROCKS ON THIS JETTY were all once uniform and composed. They say that, long ago, you could drive a car on them, all the way out to the tower, where the greasy cormorants preen their feathers. This is no longer possible. The Long Island Express hit it with 100 mile-an-hour winds and 15-foot swells just a few years after it was built. Then came Hazel, Donna, Esther, Agnes, Gloria, Isabel, Irene, and Sandy—all the nasty girls. The rocks are now jumbled and misshapen. Some have fallen into the water, unattached to the jetty at all. Others wobble in the waves like loose teeth. This is the fate of all ocean jetties.

Waiting on El Niño

Will this finally be the winter that brings water to the West?

THE DONNER PARTY MEMORIAL in Truckee, Calif., stands 22 feet tall, indicating the depth of the snow during the fateful winter of 1846-47. The snowstorms began in early November, trapping the Donners and other families near a frozen lake, deep in the high Sierra Nevada, until rescuers were able to reach them in March. Of course, we all know the rest of that story…

Sometimes it's OK to lose

I'M NOT MUCH A HORSEPOWER GUY—I don't lust after motorcycles or muscle cars—but I am a sucker for a skiff on plane. Back from the ramp, turn toward the fish, and lean into the throttle. Wind in the face never gets old.

Just yesterday, I ran several miles up a narrow tidal channel here in the Northwest, my skiff holding the edges like a ski at speed. I weaved between debris, chased a seal from his log, saw an elk turn and bolt into the alders. Even on plane, the air smelled of mushrooms and moss.