Summer 2017 Contents

Drake 2017 Summer Issue


  • Nelson's Anew
    A return to Montana's renown spring creek, where family, friendship, and fishing for rainbows and cutthroat define the past, present, and future.
    By Myers Reece Photos by Greg Lindstrom
  • Kamchatka Steelhead Retrospective
    Shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union, a small group of exploratory anglers helped raise the profile of steelheading in the Russian Far East.
    By Words and photos by Adam Tavender
  • Meeting in the Thin Space
    Five flyfishing artists with divergent styles and tastes find a common stimulus on the flats of Great Abaco Island, in The Bahamas.
    By Sarah Grigg Photos by Graham Hegamyer
  • Yukon Pikeathon
    Canada's Inconnu Lodge offers huge grayling, gorgeous lake trout, plenty of pike, and the curiously mythical inconnu—sometimes in that order.
    By Tom Bie Photos by Dan Armstrong


  • Page Six Chix
    A summery selection: two rainbows, a badass brown, and a hook-jawed Atlantic from Iceland's Holka.
  • Put-in
    An outpouring of sentiment on smallmouth.
    Also: Dear permit guy, it's okay to cry.
  • Rises
    Reactions to our Fly Fishing Collaborative story.
  • Scuddlebutt
    Finding Faraway Cay; Lee Spencer's masterwork; a trove of flyfishing history; Bahamas guide shortage; the get-rich Pebble Mine gamble; Clyde in Arkansas; Utah's monuments; the Deschutes dilemma; green drakes in Aspen; and Trask gives advice to a youngin'
  • Tailwater Weekend
    Minivan magic in Nebraska.
    By By Elliott Adler
  • Tippets
    Curing caddis indigestion, yard-sale scores, the unbearable lightness of fly rods, nerding out in New Zealand, Mexico's tannic water tarpon, and more...
  • Redspread
    A decade of reading reds.
    By John Kumiski
  • Passport
    Patagonia's atypical outpost.
    By Scott Willoughby
  • Bugs
    Eastern caddis with Swedish inclinations.
    By Elliott Adler
  • City Limits
    Sleuthing Bayou City.
    By Shannon Drawe
  • Rodholders
    Vice to vise, with Brian Bergeson.
    By Tom Hazelton
  • Backcountry
    Everyman's Middle Fork.
    By Mark Menlove
  • Permit Page
    Stacked up and stoned.
    By Sandy Moret

A public-lands debate at your doorstep

IN THE SPRING OF 1996, President Bill Clinton created the 1.8-million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, encircling a swath of twisted canyon country in southern Utah. Using the Antiquities Act, he sidestepped Congress—as 16 presidents have done, creating 157 national monuments—and delivered the proclamation in a ceremony on the rim of the Grand Canyon.


The benefits of Colorado's Roaring Fork

SO YOU'VE DECIDED to fish green drakes this summer. On a western river, preferably. Good for you. It's an incredible hatch that too often gets overlooked for the more glorious salmonfly. Is your significant other coming along? Does he or she fish? Wait, a better question: Does your partner like to do anything other than fish? Because green drakes often hatch in the middle of summer, when pressure is high to make the dreaded "combo trip." (Flyfishing and a couples retreat!) Problem is, if you're serious about green drakes, then you'll be choosing between iffy vaykay towns like Island Park, Sisters, Ennis, or Encampment.

Beyond the Horizon

Flyfishing’s first descent on Honduras’ Faraway Cay

ON MARCH 20, 2017, a canary-yellow A-star helicopter kicked up a cloud of sand while planting its skids on a tiny atoll off the Caribbean coast of Honduras. Years in the making, the landing at Faraway Cay was like a blindfold removed. According to satellite imagery, the island doesn't exist. But minutes after landing, Steve Brown was hopping out the chopper door and stringing a fly rod, about to go wade a flat where even Google Earth can't take you.

Pondering the future of Deschutes River summer steelhead.

The river’s steelhead are struggling.

Tucker Jones is certainly comfortable speaking in front of a surly audience. This much is clear from the outset. The burly, self-deprecating Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist is standing in front of a group of 50 guides and anglers on a blustery spring evening at his agency's office overlooking the Columbia River in The Dalles, Oregon. Jones and his colleague, Rod French, who manages ODFW's Deschutes River fisheries program, are here as the bearers of bad news. Before they begin their presentation, a Tidewater Lines barge glides ominously past the picture windows opposite the lectern where Jones is just clearing his throat, as if to remind anglers that the river was re-made a half-century ago. It isn't just for fish anymore. "Well, as most of you know," Jones begins cordially, going for a yarn-around the campfire tone, "steelhead and salmon runs in the Columbia are in pretty bad shape this year. So we're here to tell you about some management actions we have to take."

what anal-retentive flyfishing looks like.

A numbers nerd hits New Zealand

After graduating from college, I accepted a position as an actuarial analyst—a very digital, very stationary job. My parents appreciated this move, as it meant financial independence, and also that I wouldn't be joining some friends on what eventually became an eight-month motorcycle tour of America. I was mostly certain I didn't want to become an actuary, but the job paid well, satisfied my mathematical and analytical interests, and was a bright spot on an otherwise dim resume. It was also the only job I was offered.

Zebra Caddis

The alderfly that isn't

One night during my sophomore year of college, a drunk Swedish exchange student sunk into my couch and began telling tales of the old country. Midsommar's Eve is a special event in June, Henrick said, when all able-bodied citizens eat and drink till they can't. He reminisced about his first Midsommar's kiss, first Midsommar's beer, first Midsommar's sex.