Summer 2019 Contents

Drake 2019 Summer Issue

    Features

  • Unemployed Fishing
    What's a man to do when the company that’s employed him for nearly a quarter of a century cans its entire staff just before the holidays? Ask him after shad season.
    By Matt Labash
  • The Last Ride
    Many a shaky auto has started its final run on one side of America and come to rest in Yellowstone. But when that crappy car or truck finally delivers you safely, will you make the most of being there?
    By Ben Haguewood
  • Returning from War
    Countless combat veterans have participated in some sort of outdoor pursuit to help smooth the transition to civilian life. Is flyfishing just another pleasant distraction, or is there more to it?
    Story and photos by Michael J. Macleod

    Departments

  • Put-in
    National conservation issues are hugely important, but don’t forget to protect your own backyard.
  • Rises
    Hawaiian spelling lessons, writing rant, Clyde art.
  • Scuddlebutt
    Fixing the Everglades, movie for Midwesterners, new dry flies for steelhead, booze made by flyfishers, Clyde visits the Atchafalaya Swamp, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, and a red flag on the Big Horn.
  • Tailwater Weekend
    A winter of discontent on Montana’s Madison River.
    By Tom Bie
  • Tippets
    Flyfishing vs. baitfishing, graduation day, on stealth, library nerd, beach-stalking snook, heartbreak and cutthroat, starving artist, big tuna, bad-luck genes.
  • Redspread
    On being the designated whipper-snapper.
    By Gene Taylor
  • Passport
    Backcountry on New Zealand’s South Island.ph
    Words and photos by Jono Winnell
  • Bugs
    Brown drakes: big and tasty and unpredictable.
    By Tom Bie
  • City Limits
    Cruising along South Florida’s Tamiami Trail.
    By Pete McDonald
  • Rodholders
    Building bamboo with Marc Aroner.
    By Ben Carmichael
  • Backcountry
    Backcountry musky on Minnesota’s Shoepack Lake.
    Story and photos by Tom Hazelton
  • Permit Page
    Excuses, Excuses. A tale of three Cuban permit.
    By Robert Tomes
US ARMY PARATROOPERS WITH THE 82ND AIRBORNE DIVISION PAUSE BRIEFLY DURING COMBAT OPERATIONS IN AFGHANISTAN TO MOURN THE LOSS OF TWO OF THEIR OWN.

Why flyfishing works for traumatically wounded combat veterans

The two pairs of boots sit next to each other on my closet floor: old, waterproof, knee-high LaCrosse Alphas, and the tan combat boots that I wore as a paratrooper fighting in Afghanistan. I'm attached to them both, but for very different reasons. I enlisted in 2008, at 41 years of age, during "The Surge"—when the Army was sending an increasing number of warm bodies to our country's ongoing conflicts in the Middle East. Imagine a strong riptide pulling surfers out to sea, sucking in the occasional beachcomber. That was me—feet in the water, thinking that I might want to surf too. Four years and two combat tours later, on leave from the 82nd Airborne Division, I was standing in New York's Cohocton River in my rubber boots, thankful to still be alive.

RUSSELL PEDERSEN (FAR LEFT) BRINGS HIS BEER-MARINATED, MUSKY-INFUSED BANJO SOUND TO THE MAIN STAGE.

Horseshoes & Hand Grenades' Russell Pedersen releases fishy solo album

Deliverance references notwithstanding, a drive to the river is always made better with banjo music. Good banjo tunes, like good trout streams or musky rivers, find just the right pace, yet still flow and wind toward unexpected places. Few people understand that better than Russell Pedersen, part-time guide and full-time banjo player for the critically acclaimed, Midwest-based bluegrass band, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades. In February, Pedersen released a solo album titled, Steal from the Rushes, a record written specifically with anglers in mind. "It's a time capsule of things I've seen and felt on the water," Pedersen says. "A musical collection of fishing memories."

FISHING AT FLETCHER'S COVE ON THE POTOMAC, ONE OF THE BEST SHAD FISHERIES IN THE COUNTRY.

Coming to terms with a new reality

This past December, I received an unwelcome holiday surprise. Our corporate overlords rounded up the staff at the magazine where I've worked since its inception, twenty-three and a half years prior, to announce our new direction. The upshot: We could still pursue exciting careers in magazine journalism, a vocation now rivaling that of lamplighters or bowling-alley pinsetters for growth potential. Just not at our magazine. They were shutting it down. We were all sacked. As Christmas bonuses go, I'd have preferred a Cabela's gift card.

PAYOFF ON THE MADISON, JUST UPSTREAM FROM ENNIS.

A winter of discontent in Ennis

If your summer plans include a tailwater weekend along Montana's Madison River, you won't be alone. In early April 2018, after years of surveys, public meetings, and citizen advisory committees, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) released its draft Recreational Management Plan for the Madison, which included some alarming data. From 2013 to 2017, the number of angler days on the upper Madison doubled, from 88,000 to 179,000. Data also showed that commercial outfitter use had increased 72 percent from 2008 to 2017.

"HOW CAN I BE THE ONLY ONE OUT HERE FISHING?" PHOTO BY NICK PRICE.

Just another walk on the beach

My primary tactic for snook in South Florida revolves around what my friend, Bear, calls "people avoidance." It's become a mantra that leads us toward, through, and past things—not only what river-section to float or campsite to choose, but when to pick up or set down certain hobbies, learn new ones, or abandon old ones entirely. It can sometimes be easy to forget about the people variable. But then you whip into a beach parking lot and find the lot full of minivans and the beach crawling with unrepentant shoobies.

FISH ON. ROD GONE... PHOTO BY BRIAN GROSSENBACHER.

Not the leave-behind you wanted

My father stood in the middle of the Beaverhead River, looking upstream calmly but urgently, almost how he looks when he's sorting cows. This was a little different. His reel and his rod's butt section were sitting on the bank. And he had a question.

"Do fly rods float?"