Kudo Awards 2011

  • By: Greg Thomas
  • , Joe Healy
  • , Buzz Bryson
  • and Ted Leeson
Kudo Awards 2011

Except for the angler, a fly reel is the only piece of fly-fishing equipment with any significant moving parts, and those of us with a weakness for fine reels appreciate them in part as machinery. Some offer the finely tuned elegance of a Ferrari, others the classic, understated solidity of a Rolls or Bentley. Hatch reels are a little different: their engineering appears to derive largely from a Brink’s truck—a very handsomely crafted, precision-made, cleanly finished Brink’s truck, to be sure. But their philosophical core clearly owes much to the armored car.

Angler of the Year 2011

  • By: Greg Thomas
  • Photography by: Joe Healy
Angler of the Year 2011 Tom Rosenbauer

If you ask Western anglers to paint the face of The Orvis Company, you might end up with an illustration of some stuffy Classics professor in tweed casting a bamboo rod on a manicured streambank, trying to lure some minuscule brook trout from the brush with 7X tippet and a standard Adams dry fly. Somewhere along the fly-fishing timeline, that’s the vision my hard-core Western friends and I developed. Fortunately, that stereotype got quashed a few years ago when I attended a trade show and met Tom Rosenbauer.

Adventures in Art

  • By: Mike Conner
  • Photography by: Mike Conner
Vaughn Cochran Painting

After a full day of flats fishing out of Abaco’s Sandy Point, it was time for a much-anticipated Bahamian après-fishing ritual. Our group—Stu and Jeaninne Apte, Jean Cochran, Clint Kemp and me—huddled around the dining-room table and dove into piping-hot conch fritters with tall, chilled Mojitos in hand. Our host, marine artist and Black Fly Lodge Bonefish Club partner Vaughn Cochran, eventually joined us. He cleared off half the table and unrolled a white canvas.

Saifish School

  • By: Jerry Gibbs
  • Photography by: Jerry Gibbs
Jake Jordan

“First thing you got to know is that you never touch the fly line,” Jake Jordan tells his sailfish-school students. “If you keep touching it, then I go below deck and come out in my nun’s outfit and crack your knuckles bloody with a ruler.”

Back Into New Zealand

  • By: Barry Beck
  • and Cathy Beck
  • Photography by: Barry Beck
  • and Cathy Beck
Back Into New Zealand        

Click image for slideshow.

New Zealand’s South Island is a trout hunter’s dream. In this land of big fish and gin-clear water, Kiwi guides tell you to forget large numbers of fish caught—it won’t happen here. There can be zero-fish days that are thrilling, as you may spend hours stalking a 10-plus-pound brown trout that refuses every offering until it finally “stiffens” as Kiwis say about fish that are off the feed. No matter; we’re here, after all, to test ourselves against the best trout in the world. A friend presented a perfect toast at the end of a New Zealand journey when he simply said “To the Everest of trout fishing.”

Running the Dean

  • By: Greg Thomas
  • Photography by: Greg Thomas
Running the Dean

Past July I was speaking with Geoff Moore of Tourism British Columbia, trying to secure a flight to Bella Coola. He said, “Greg, according to our records you’ve tried to get this flight and a spot on the Dean River for 15 years.” I’m a patient man—and so is Moore. Later, flight confirmation showed up in an e-mail with an interesting addendum. Moore, an avid angler, wrote, “I’ll give you the good news and the bad news at once. Here’s a ticket to paradise…and a return ticket home.”

The Bonefish Special

  • By: Chico Fernandez
  • Photography by: Chico Fernandez
Chico and Mike - Big Bonefish

The bonefish had been tough to approach and on this day, the last day of the Redbone tournament in the Florida Keys, the wind speed must have dropped to zero because it was dead calm. It was a day on which the water and the sky don’t make a defined horizon and the least disturbance would send bonefish to another zip code.

Bull Fights

  • By: Ted Williams
  • Photography by: Peter Thompson
Bull Trout

Bob Orsua was in full cry on September 15, 2010. “That’s a lie!” he told me between deep inhalations as he spoke unofficially for the 100-member Flathead Wildlife Inc. rod-and-gun club and virtually all outfitters, charter skippers and guides who work 122,885-acre Flathead Lake in northwestern Montana.

New/Old Photos

  • By: Bob White
Schiele 8

“Photography is an act of life.” So is the motto of Brian L. Schiele, who creates photographs that have been described as serendipitous, nostalgic, cinematic and dreamlike. As an artist, I’m nostalgic by nature; so it’s not surprising that his work strikes a chord with me. After all, the square-formatted, black-and-white images that this Utah-based artist creates remind me of the family photos in my parent’s attic.

Patagonia North

  • By: Jerry Gibbs
chiled.jpg

Touring Chilean Patagonia's trout-saturated Aysen region. “Okay, you’ve heard the hype—every fish in the river’s rising when the hoppers are on; but it’s true. And the number of fish you’ll catch is, well, obscene."