Rivers, Including the Bitterroot, Rebound After Fires

Trout in water.

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:

Kamchatka, Russia Reopens for Fly Fishing


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.


Anglers Tonic Redesign goes live


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.

Colorado's Best Fly Fishing - the best book on the subject


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.

Taster's Guide to Mayflies

  • By: Jim Dean
  • Photography by: Cathy Beck
  • and Barry Beck
Green Drake

When a young friend, Cody Cantwell, ate a baby green drake (Ephemerella drunella flavilinea) while we were fishing the Railroad Ranch stretch of the Henry’s Fork in Idaho last June, I asked him, “Why?”

“I just wanted to see what it tasted like,” he replied, a bit sheepishly. “These big rainbows love Flavs, and I was curious to see what the big deal is.”