Greg Thomas's Blog Archive 2012
As many of you know, southeast Alaska is one of my favorite places in the world, a lot of that sentiment coming from the fact that I lived there when I was young and have continued to visit the area almost every year, at least once or twice. The reason: the Tongass is loaded with salmon, steelhead, dolly varden, and cutthroat trout and it's a haven for wildlife, including black bears and coastal grizzly bears, mountain goats, Sitka blacktail deer, moose, and waterfowl. In addition, it's rich in shellfish, meaning you can drop a pot over the side of your boat, let it soak for a few hours while you fish, and likely come back to enough for a great meal of Dungeness or king crab, or sidestripe shrimp or spotted prawns. The Tongass is a rainforest so most days in the area, which stretches from Yakutat south to Ketchikan, anglers encounter cloudy and rainy conditions. But, on those days when the sun breaks through and the sky lifts, there's no more beautiful place on the planet.
I’ve been thinking about a steelhead trip sometime in the near future, maybe even this weekend. And since I plan on swinging up fish, I’ll be tying on Pick Yer Pockets and Intruders.
There are two questions I'm consistently asked, the first being, "Do you know who you look like..." and I always answer, "yes," before they finish with, "Brett Favre." The second is, "Where is your favorite place to fish?"
One of the loudest detractors of hatchery-raised steelhead is the Seattle, Wash., based Wild Steelhead Coalition. They take the best biological data and make strong arguments in favor of wild steelhead in the West’s best rivers.
Kelly Galloup lives in Montana's Madison Valley and owns Slide Inn fly shop on the banks of the Madison River.
By Max Werner
A few months ago, a fellow Utahan chided me for revealing the names of the rivers I fish. Apparently, he was afraid that people would visit them and further strain the resource. My initial reaction to his reprimand was irritation: Where did he get off telling me what I should say and what I shouldn’t? Didn’t he understand the importance of using the right word or, in this case, the right name when describing a place and the experience of that place? But I also felt like I had made an irreparable mistake, which is of course
the worst kind. I wanted some perspective, so on our early morning, inaugural drive to the Junco River, I shared my mixed feelings with my friend Banjo, who is one of the most sensitive, moral, and level headed people I know.
I remember the Bitterroot Valley's major fires in 2000 and 2003 and what that did to the attitudes of anglers—basically, it beat them down and many thought that the Bitterroot and its all important tributary streams would be destroyed, along with those native cutthroat and bull trout, and its non-native browns and rainbows.
But that wasn't the case, and I began documenting that in 2004, just a year after the fires, when I interviewedChuck Stranahan, a river protector and the owner of Stranahan's Flies and Guides in Hamilton, Montana. In addition, I interviewed the river's chief biologist, Chris Clancy and each of them, even early on, said the river was going to benefit from the blaze. Here are a few quotes from that interview:
You like wild? Really, really wild? And you like some big rainbows and dollies thrown into the mix? Salmon, too? If so, you better make some excuses for the spouse, or build up a shore pass some other way, because this summer you once again have an opportunity to fish the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia.
Just a heads-up to say my Web site's redesign is complete and you can check it out at www.anglerstonic.com Some will say the site doesn't look as edgy as it used to, and they may be right. But I like the new look and the readability—black on white text instead of the opposite—and the functionality of the site is so much better than before. With the old site I couldn't even post on my own due to a confusing set of tasks that had to take place before a homepage image would appear. Ihad to contact a developer and have him deal with images. Maddening. One of these days I'm going to put together a post on how to build a Web site so all of you don't have to endure the pitfalls I did.
If you’re a western fly fisher and you don’t know Landon Mayer you’ve had your head in the sand or somewhere else equally dark.
Mayer is a Colorado guide who specializes in finding big trout for he and his clients. And most of his research happens in Colorado where he and his family live. During winter he takes to the road and speaks for the International Sportsman’s Exhibition, in Denver, Sacramento and elsewhere. He’s a good angler, no doubt, but I’m more impressed by his mentality; I’ve been fortunate enough to spend time with Mayer, over steaks and beers, and the passion he shows for our sport and the willingness he demonstrates to share his findings with others is what sets him apart. Believe me, in this day and age, with egos running rampant, and jealousies hampering good writers’ best efforts, it’s amazing that there’s any literature out there for those who are interested in the sport and just want to taste some success and do so in a classy manner.