- By: Zach Matthews
All of us dream of adventure—the three-day float deep into a map where the only pathways are rivers and game trails. But to pull it off, you have to be properly equipped. A few years back, I spent the most uncomfortable night of my life camped on a solid sheet of ice in sub-freezing temperatures next to a trout stream in Arkansas. It was February, and yet I had only a thin-wall tent, no stove, and a cheap sleeping bag that in no way deserved its 20-degree rating. That trip illustrated just how important quality gear can be—especially when you’re miles from the car, in places where the weather can be a touch unpredictable.
- By: David Hughes
- Photography by: David Hughes
- and Greg Thomas
I wrote a book titled wet flies, and generally consider myself competent to fish them. Recently, however, I fished with Davy Wotton on the White River, near Cotter, Arkansas, and received a set of lessons that gave the effectiveness of wets a quantum leap for me. I was invited to present a workshop for the North Arkansas Fly Fishers, in Mountain Home, and did two smart things: accepted the invitation; and instantly booked a day to fish with Wotton.
I’d met him, discussed writing with him, studied his videos, but had never fished with him, and had not got around to incorporating his concepts whole into my own fishing. When I finally got that chance, I was astounded at the breadth and depth of his knowledge about fly-fishing. I also hung well behind him on the river, so that no contrasts could be drawn between his artistry and my ineptitude when we got fly rods in our hands.