Winter 2017 Contents

Drake 2017 Winter Issue


  • Debonair Dirtbag
    All fishing trips to Patagonia revolve around luxurious lodges, meat-heavy three-hour dinners, and bottomless bottles of Malbec served just below room temp. Or not.
    Story and photos by Dave Karczynski
  • Golden Bones
    A journey from Canada to Illinois reveals that the love of flyfishing for carp stretches far and wide, as does a deep passion and respect for the species itself.
    Story and photos by Ryan Sparks
  • Unofficial Absaroka
    One man had a dream: Carve out a new American state by stealing the fishiest parts of a few others. It would've been a great place to call home.
    By Geoff Mueller Photos by Hank Welles


  • Page Six Chix
    Something salty, something fresh.
  • Put-in
    Why are so many people afraid of science? Our fisheries biologists are the fish's best friend. Let's listen to them.
  • Rises
    On Michigan State fans, sappy moments, and Peter Heller.
  • Scuddlebutt
    The story behind those bird-eating GTs; Bentley's SUV vs. The Drake's; looking back and looking forward at Oregon's Steamboat Inn; modern love and Instagram; Pebble Mine, again; Clyde hits the Texas coast; pound nets and salmon; three great books; new owners at Tom Morgan Rodsmiths; and Colorado's greenback cutty gets on the road to recovery
  • Tailwater Weekend
    Montana's Lower Madison, in winter.
    By Ryan Sparks
  • Tippets
    So many striper seasons; rescue at sea; the promise (and reality) of winter steelheading; high-water pike fishing; one man's ode to a lost jacket; ditching work for some bobber-doggin'; client management in AK; and flyshop shit-talking.
  • Redspread
    Reflections on a South Carolina flood tide.
    By Tom Bie
  • Passport
    The monster rainbows of Argentina's Barrancoso River.
    Story and photos by Mark Hatter
  • Bugs
    White flies of Wisconsin.
    By Elliott Adler
  • City Limits
    Thoughts on Hurricane Irma, from a shelter near Tampa Bay.
    By Scott Kinsman
  • Rodholders
    How Stan Bradshaw helped save Montana's Silver Bow Creek.
    By Michael Wright
  • Backcountry
    An impromptu solution for a forgotten fly box.
    By Daniel Weddle and Katie Cahn
  • Permit Page
    Two flies, one fish.
    By Paul Puckett

Locals fight to protect Paradise Valley from mining

THE YELLOWSTONE RIVER'S pristine headwaters are tucked into some of the most remote land in the Lower 48, draining roughly 70,000 square miles across Wyoming and Montana. These wild waters serve as a stronghold for native Yellowstone cutthroat, and, combined with Yellowstone Lake, make up the largest inland population of cutthroat in the world.

EPA moves to scrap Pebble Mine restrictions

The proposed Pebble Mine, subject of 20 years of controversy, 2.2 million public comments, a dozen Congressional hearings, multiple documentary films, media campaigns, ballot initiatives, lawsuits, and the most ubiquitous sticker in all of fishingdom, is back on the table. Seemingly the result of one 30-minute meeting between two men: EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Pebble CEO Tom Collier.

Tom Morgan may be gone, but his philosophy isn’t.

Walk into the Bozeman offices of Tom Morgan Rodsmiths and an immaculate bamboo rod greets you. Natural yellow. Maroon wrappings. Agate guides. Fluid action. It’s stunning.


The real story behind that giant trevally footage

Unless you've been living under a triggerfish for the past few months, you're likely one of the millions of viewers who've watched those incredible teasers of bird-eating giant trevally in the Seychelles, which hit the Interwebs on Oct. 26. The footage was captured by a four-person crew from the BBC's Natural History Unit during fall of 2015 and fall of 2016, as part of the group's four-year production of Blue Planet II—the much anticipated sequel to its 2001 Emmy-winning original.

Clyde surveys the wreckage.

Clyde makes landfall at Aransas Pass

God promised Noah that He'd never again destroy every living creature on earth by a flood, and God put rainbows in the sky as a sign of this promise. (Genesis 9, Chapter 10, verses 9-13). But God never said He wouldn't have Mother Nature occasionally kick us in the crotch as a reminder of what we're doing to our planet. And the winds began to blow.

Schoolies beware.

Seasons of the striper

It starts in early Spring when the water is cold and flinty, the wind an unceasing bully. Sure, there may be a schoolie here or there, a member of the Hudson River group that's opted out of the migration. But the great fish are still south. I don't care, though. I just need to reacquaint myself with everything, to feel the bend, to shoot the line through the guides, to smell the brine, to hear the surf's hiss. This trip just gets me one step closer to the real thing.