Spring 2019 Contents

Drake 2019 Spring Issue

    Features

  • True Wilderness
    Northwestern Ontario is one of the last frontiers where large native brookies are as free as they would have been in the U.S. two centuries ago. Mostly because navigating that bullseye is a bitch.
    Story by Elliott Adler Photos by Hansi Johnson
  • Black Squall
    June clouds towering over the pale green Gulf of Mexico remind us that Florida can still bring the beautiful heartbreak, the fecundity and hope, and a few brilliant tarpon to see us through the coming storms.
    Story by Tom McGuane
  • Spring Showers
    Rain—love it or hate it, we’re fishing in it. Here, our intrepid photogs turn miserable days into magic shots.
    By Brian Grossenbacher, Matt Shaw, Mark Lewis, Hansi Johnson, Corey Kruitbosch, Arian Stevens, Dave McCoy, and Lee Church

    Departments

  • Put-in
    Try a little harder. Get a little better.
  • Rises
    Bad with names, popular with inmates, grateful for Chewy.
  • Scuddlebutt
    Streamer Lovefest, guide brews, Montana’s river populist, Puget Sound stream rehab, Interstate sowbellies, local warming, Guiding for the Future, Emma Sansom’s carp crusade.
  • Tailwater Weekend
    Plus-Size Snowpack.
    By Tom Bie
  • Tippets
    Bluegill bloodlines; remembering Anthony Bourdain; a pole down memory lane; what to wear for frog season; how to brainwash toddlers; coming close in Cleveland.
  • Redspread
    Cheez-Its in the Chandies.
    By Gordon Hight
  • Passport
    Turkish trout tour.
    By Burak Kalac
  • Bugs
    Got worms?
    By Ryan Brod
  • City Limits
    Casper, Wyoming.
    By Kim Cross
  • Rodholders
    Texas carp prophet.
    By Shannon Drawe
  • Backcountry
    Off the grid with bush-plane guides.
    By Austin Green Weinstein
  • Permit Page
    Aussie permit, plus Scotch.
    By Katie Knick
A PERFECT LITTLE FUN-SIZED TARPON. PHOTO BY AUSTIN COIT

Mystique, mayhem, and the palolo worm hatch

Late May, Florida Keys. Four in the afternoon. Skiffs buzz back to docks with tired guides and sun-drunk clients. Thoughts of missed shots and cold beer. A dying easterly rustles palm fronds; thunderheads lurk like massive silver anvils. Oceanside, brown bonefish flats sport crisscrossing prop scars. Between the flats flow deep, aquamarine channels.

BREWED FOR THOSE WHO SHOW US THE WAY.

A lager for good times and good causes

On a recent redfishing trip to Louisiana, I was introduced to SweetWater Brewing Company's newest offering, Guide Beer, which officially launches to the public in May. On our way out of Atlanta, I'd managed to score a six-pack of a promotional run from my friend Andy Bowen, who runs Cohutta Fishing Company, with fly shops in Cartersville and Blue Ridge, Georgia. His Cartersville shop is also home to the Last Cast Bar, where he's been exclusively serving six varieties of SweetWater since October of 2017. In fact, Andy was among a select group that the Atlanta-based beer maker consulted when Guide Beer was in development, and he may deserve a little credit for coaxing the brewmasters toward a boat beer that "you could drink all day if you needed to." A lager with four percent alcohol, Guide Beer answers that call.

A TYPICAL JUNE MORNING ON A TYPICAL NEBRASKA I-80 LARGEMOUTH POND. PHOTO BY TOM BIE

Sowbellies and baseball in the Cornhusker State

Dawn comes early to southern Nebraska on the 16th of June. Nautical twilight, second of the earth's three twilight phases, begins before 5 a.m. in Kearney, a town of some 30,000 sitting just off I-80 about three hours west of Omaha. I stopped in Kearney last summer on my way to the College World Series (CWS), and though sunrise was still an hour away, temps were already inching toward 70 and the largemouth were hitting poppers on Kea Lake—conveniently wedged between the freeway and a Best Western with a poachable breakfast bar. After landing a couple fat 15-inchers from the shoreline lily pads, I threw my float-tube back in the truck, helped myself to some hotel waffles, and headed on down the highway.

ANDREW UCLES (FRONT), AND BRIAN GROSSENBACHER, ON THE SET IN MYANMAR. COURTESY HOT SNAKES MEDIA/ HISTORY CHANNEL

Facing the Beast with Brian Grossenbacher

If you've paid even the slightest attention to flyfishing media over the past two decades, then you've seen plenty of shots taken by Bozeman, Montana-based photographer Brian Grossenbacher. Whether shooting commercially for clients like Simms, Orvis, and Yeti, or editorially for this magazine and many others, Grossenbacher has made his name by being one of the most talented and dedicated professionals in the industry. But starting this spring, fans of BG will have the opportunity to watch him on the other side of the lens.

EMMA SANSOM, POINTING TO A CARP. GADSDEN, ALABAMA, SPRING 1863. PHOTO BY DAVID FRANCK

Statuary in the Southern Imagination

"What do we do with hundreds of Confederate monuments and related statuary across the United States? Americans face a challenge that might be called the mass curation of our public spaces, in light of contemporary sensibilities, yes, but just as important, in service of what has always been the truth." —Washington Post

COURTESY NRCS

The West may experience a lengthy runoff in 2019

While it's always tricky making May or June runoff predictions in March, Snotel data from around the West indicates that snowpack levels, especially in Southern Colorado, Southern Utah, and parts of California's Central Sierras, are poised in 2019 to create high flows or a long runoff season or both. Snotels—short for snow telemetry—are automated devices set up by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) at various locations and elevations throughout 11 western states to assist water managers in making predictions about runoff, reservoir levels, and potential flooding. There are currently more than 700 Snotel sites scattered across mostly high-alpine watersheds. If you've been on a high-elevation hike and seen what looks like an oversized pillow off in the woods—that's a Snotel. These pillows have pressure sensors; they don't really measure snow as much as they measure water content in the snow.