Over the past decade or so, I’ve tried just about every alternative to felt soles that has appeared on the market. The results were always disappointing; in my experience, felt surpassed them all by a comfortable margin, and studded felt was the very best.
- Photography by: Greg Thomas
Call it crazy.
There comes a time for every angler to grow up, supposedly. We’re expected to give up the weeklong road trips with buddies; now vacation time is parceled between in-laws. Extra income no longer accumulates in the “tarpon fund”; it is divvied between college savings accounts.
- By: Tom Rosenbauer
- Photography by: David Skok
p>Miles of grass beds were covered with pure white sand from the outer beaches, spoiling one productive habitat but forming another. Striped bass soon habituated to cruising the clear, shallow water in search of warmer temperatures, not to mention crabs and shrimp, and perhaps to escape predators. People knew the fish were there, but catching them by the conventional methods of trolling or throwing big plugs was out of the question. In fact, most boats on Cape Cod—other than the skiffs used by clammers—couldn’t handle the shallow water and treacherous shoals.
- By: Tom Rosenbauer
YOU CAN’T FISH THE DELAWARE RIVER, OR any other stream for that matter, with just anybody. They need to fish at a similar pace, match your eating schedule, and stay out of your way while you stay out of theirs, an agreement on personal space that’s arrived at without one word being said. Plus, they can’t get creeped out when you take them to Lordville.
- By: Chris Santella
- Photography by: Jim Klug
Thanks to an agreement between an Italian company (Avalon) and the Cuban government, anglers have fished Cuba’s Los Jardines de la Reina (The Gardens of the Queen) for the past 18 years. Tales of Los Jardines’ unblemished and underexploited waters make the archipelago a sought-after flats destination . . . especially in spring, when migrating adult tarpon pass through and anglers get their shots at 100-plus-pound beasts.
- By: Chris Santella
Who, after a great day of fishing, hasn’t thought You know, I really love this. I want to work around the fly-fishing industry. By the next day, you may have come to your senses… but perhaps you’ve decided to pursue the idea.
- By: Jeff Erickson
- Photography by: Jeff Erickson
- and Greg Thomas
You can chase cutthroats on easily accessed streams, such as the Snake, near Jackson, or head out from there to reach remote, wilder waters that are full of cutthroats and are visited by few anglers.
- By: Stephen Camelio
They say you should write what you know, and this advice has paid off handsomely for author C.J. Box. His best-selling novels, most of which feature crime-solving game warden Joe Pickett (who, like Box, is a Wyoming native, outdoorsman and dedicated family man), have sold millions of copies and won Box countless awards, including an Edgar Award in 2009, from the Mystery Writers of America, for Best Novel. Box and Pickett (who is once again the main character of Box’s newest work, Force of Nature, released this past March), share one other very important characteristic—both are avid fly fishermen. And while Pickett’s angling stories are fictitious, Box, in one of the few spare moments when he wasn’t either fishing or writing, agreed to share the truth behind his own fish tales.
Ice-out fishing in Alaska is not for the easily chilled. In fact, if you choose to chase rainbow trout during March and April (or even May and June), the weather will range between cold and evil cold. Even so, a group of us—four from Anchorage plus me—have been hitting Alaska early for many years, the reward being some massive “bow-bows” ranging from 25 inches to just short of prehistoric dimensions. Last year, however, just like 2010, the weather tested everyone’s commitment. In the mornings and evenings we were warmed by meals and blazing fires at our cabin, but the days belonged to the wind.
Our routine was to roll out in the mornings when the temperature was, if not reasonable, at least prudent. We’d hoped for 30-degree days but 18 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit is what the week served up, usually with some savage, ass-kicking wind-chill factor to go with it. How cold is savage, you ask. How’s eight degrees work for you when trying to execute a snap-T?
- By: Brian O'Keefe
- , Travis Lowe
- , Len Waldren
- and Jeff Currier
The Blackbird Hatch
Chico, california bass fanatic kevin price was 50 feet to my right as we waded 75 yards off the shore of Oregon’s Davis Lake. The reeds were so loaded with damselflies that there was a blueish hue to the horizon. We were casting poppers, searching for largemouth when the quiet morning was racked by an explosion—the kind of disturbance a big bass makes. Price stopped casting and glanced at me with a strange look. He asked, “Wasn’t a blackbird sitting there a moment ago?” There was no evidence other than concentric circles expanding across the water.
“I believe there was, and now there isn’t.”