From Scratch: Fly Rods

  • By: Zach Matthews
Graphite Prepreg

If there’s one thing fly fishermen get worked up about, it’s fly rods. Golf addicts may expound for hours about a club head’s “sweet spot,” and ammunition reloaders go glassy-eyed talking about ballistics and shot patterns, but even these fanatics would be hard pressed to rival a shop full of anglers discussing “swing weight,” “modulus” and “action.” The funny thing is, most of these same experts have little idea how a graphite rod is made (and in the fly shop we’re all experts, at least when it comes to what we think a rod should be). The process is as fascinating as it is complicated. Knowing a thing or two about rod construction greatly increases your appreciation of what fly rods are . . . and yes, maybe what they should be.

Undersize Me

  • By: Landon Mayer
  • Photography by: Ted Fauceglia
  • , Barry Beck
  • and Cathy Beck
Undersize Me

Streamers often coax big trout into violent takes, causing many anglers to say, “The tug is the drug.” That’s why most enthusiasts run heavy, articulated streamers through the deepest water; these flies have so much motion they may convince you to take a bite. Other anglers target big browns and rainbows using ridiculous stoneflies that appear to be part nymph/part tarantula, with legs wiggling in every direction.

Sex Dungeons, Yellow Yummies, Moscow Mules

  • By: Greg Thomas
  • Photography by: Greg Thomas
Sex Dungeon

I like catching as many fish as possible, and I’m prone to keeping at least loose track of numbers if only to gauge, in a vaguely scientific way, one day or one season versus another. Some say that scorecard mentality is all about vanity and ego. In fact, I’ll take quality over quantity every time because dealing in sheer numbers, in fishing and life, is a setup for failure.

The Feathered Wizardry of Dr. Tom

  • By: Darrel Martin
  • Photography by: Darrel Martin
Dr. Tom Whiting

Tom Whiting was born and spent much of his childhood in Denver, Colorado. The Whiting clan admits that Dr. Tom must be some strange agrarian throwback. From youth he was fascinated by fowls, and their variety. When Tom was about 10 years old, a lucky break: His family moved to the suburbs, where he raised a few chickens, peddled eggs in the neighborhood and worked on a game-bird farm. Although he spent hours dreaming up breeding programs, there were no plans to become a feather merchant; when it was time to go to college he delved into music, political science and literature at Colorado State University. One day his older brother asked him what he really wanted to do. Tom replied that he often thought about quail. Avian science was the answer. After getting a bachelor’s degree in avian science at Colorado State and completing genetics internships with two poultry producers, he knew he wanted more.

Ojo Del Toro!

  • By: Scott Sadil
  • Photography by: Gary Bulla
A Jack Close-up

Valente Lucero captains the panga La Venadita, “the little deer,” off the shores of Punta Arena, an hour by car south of La Paz, Baja California Sur. Valente is known amongst family and friends as Venado, a nickname earned at a younger age when the seductions of local tequila often inspired him to hop about the pueblo of Agua Amarga like a deer and, on more than one occasion, climb into the arms of a cardón cactus and leap, like a frightened doe, to the desert floor below.

Saltwater Destination Planner 2011

Bonefish on Fly

I WAS TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE beauty of the low Mexican morning sunlight to shoot photos of my friend Dave casting toward the white-sand shoreline…when Dave paused his cast. Our guide quietly, very serious now, said “Si.” About 50 yards down the beach appeared a dark shape hovering over the sand—a piece of driftwood? No, it was a snook. A huge snook. Dave, a lefty, was having a hard time loading the rod with the cross-wind. As the guide poled our skiff closer to the dark form, Dave told me to step up on the casting deck. I put down my…

Feather Facets

  • By: Darrel Martin
  • Photography by: Darrel Martin
Adams Fly

“There is an expression in wine tasting that a fine wine must ‘blossom in the mouth and spread out its peacock tail.’ The metaphor that connects feather with wine is not all hyperbole. The finest feather is the rich, full-bodied and mature feather. The feather connoisseur recognizes the sweet, rich mahogany of coachman brown and the cool, dry flavor of a light Cahill. A warm and subtle bouquet of light explodes as it passes through a fine hackle. After all, the birth of a fly begins with a delicious hackle.”

A Way Home

  • By: John Larison
  • Illustrations by: Fred Thomas
Steelhead Art

2010 Robert Traver Fly Fishing Writing Award - Second Place

What was strange about that day, what caught Jim Mapleton off guard, was how hard he was working. At 59, he was no stranger to grief; he’d long ago learned how to pace the workday, how to parcel out his labor and save muscle for the next day. And yet here it was only noon and already his wrists were stiff, his elbows on fire, his shoulders wired with pain. Sweat soaked the front and back of his shirt, dripping from his brow and under his beard. He doused his baseball cap in the cold Oregon water and concentrated for a moment on the tendrils of river running down his neck.

Ask the Experts On Henry's Fork: Rene Harrop

  • By: Greg Thomas
  • Photography by: James Anderson
  • and Greg Thomas
Rene Harrop

René Harrop has lived and breathed the Henry’s Fork fishery for decades. His company, House of Harrop, produces some of the leading flies for the area; he was a founding partner of Trouthunter, a top fly shop on the river; and his artwork, writing and overall philosophy of fishing have inspired and enlightened countless fly-fishers, on the Henry’s Fork and elsewhere. Harrop lives in Last Chance, Idaho. We caught up with him there.

Wet Flies and Wasps

  • By: Darrel Martin
  • Photography by: Darrel Martin
Jose Manuel Ruiz Perez, Know to fly-fishing friends as Cholo.

Cholo, my companion and knowledgeable fishing guide, called me for lunch. Might as well, since the Órbigo river ran low and we’d found only a few taciturn trout. Over cheese, nuts, fruit and wine, we spoke of fly patterns and the past. Several years ago, I had fished southern Spain, but now I was in Northern Spain, León’s ancient heart of fly- fishing. World-class rivers—including the Esla, the Porma, the Curueño, the Torio and the Órbigo—flowed not far from León.