Innovation / Achievement Kudos

  • By: Greg Thomas
gink 2.jpg

IT WAS SPRING ON MONTANA’S Big Hole River and my bushy Improved Sofa Pillow sank like a stone. I was about to snap a Sage rod over a knee when my father said, “Tie on a fresh fly and try some of this.” In midair that tiny item looked like another airline bottle, which my father was prone to offer at any time, morning or night, on our fishing trips. When that plastic bottle landed in my hand I said, “What the heck.” About five minutes later, with a fresh fly dressed with Gehrke’s Gink, I was fast to a solid brown and my dry-fly life changed forever.

Coho Exploration

  • By: Rob Lyon
On the remote shores of Vancouver Island

In search of wild coho salmon and coastal thrills off the remote shores of Vancouver Island.

Taimen in the Land of Khan

  • By: Peter Fong
A prized Mongolian taimen.

A guide's journey on a river in Mongolia.

2009 Readers' Choice Awards

Readers

Often, it’s not only how well a product stands up in the midst of battle but, more important, how well the company stands behind their product. My trusty Steelhead Large Arbor Orvis Mach IV is only a few years old, but has seen many trying days on Michigan’s rivers. This past spring I had an issue onstream that “felt” like the reel was tight. I was mid-stream and decided to take a closer look, breaking a cardinal rule, and something fell out of my reel. I sent the reel to Orvis with a check for $40. A new clutch and cover and, within a week, I had the reel back with a refund check for $30. The level of service and customer satisfaction far surpass how many clams I shelled out for a quality reel. Thank you Orvis for getting me back in the season in time to chase more chrome.

Innovation / Achievement Kudos

  • By: Buzz Bryson
Cortland 444

The percentage of new products that enjoy even a brief success is small, very small. Fewer still endure to reach iconic status. Anyone over the age of five or six knows that the hourglass-shape soda bottle is a “Coke bottle.” And virtually every fly fisherman knows that the peach-colored line seen so often on a trout stream is a Cortland 444.

Big Bones with Big Charlie

  • By: Jim Levison
Mr Bonefish

Great New Gear for 2009

Gear 2009

  • Orvis Pack & Travel Sonic Seam Waders
  • Winston Boron Rods
  • Tibor Spey Reel
  • NRS GigBob Pontoon Boat
  • Salmo Saxatilis Rods

The New Chrome

  • By: John Larison
Chrome

Only 60 years ago, West Coast steelhead streams churned with silver-plated natives. Waves of naturally reared steelies ascended their natal rivers, hellbent on reaching the same gravel beds from which they had emerged four or five years before. A modern steelheader need only read the accounts of such early anglers as Roderick Haig-Brown and Enos Bradner to appreciate how truly aggressive and plentiful these fish were.

WEB BONUS: More on Yvon Chouinard

  • By: Paul Bruun
Surf Casting

Recently returned from the Gaula in Norway, Yvon Chouinard bucked the trend of using the giant tube flies and enjoyed great Atlantic salmon success with small Eastern Canadian patterns. "We landed some fine 20-pounders and turned them all loose," he reported, despite the tendency in many countries to keep large Atlantic salmon.

Fly Philosophy

  • By: Jeff Mishler
Fly Philosophy

The first steelhead fly that fell from the tying vise into my 10-year-old palm was a standard Skunk tied on a 2X heavy Mustad, down-turned eye, sproat, size 4 hook. The tail was an irregular clump of webby red neck hackle fibers, tied in too short, like the tail of the green Woolly Worm I'd finished a few minutes before. The body was medium black chenille over-wrapped with oval tinsel, one size too thin, followed by a thick black saddle hackle so spiky that the first four wraps were about four sizes too small; the fifth and sixth wraps grew progressively two sizes too big. The tips of those last wraps lay back beyond the ragged red tail when I preened them to clear a space for the wing.