The Robert Traver Fly-Fishing Writing Award is once again open for entries. Send your work of fiction or non-fiction by the June 1, 2012 deadline to: Traver Fly-Fishing Writing Award, Fly Rod & Reel Magazine, PO Box 370, Camden, ME 04843. We’re looking for: “A distinguished original essay or work of short fiction that embodies an implicit love of fly-fishing, respect for the sport and the natural world in which it takes place, and high literary values.” Send in a typed, double-space manuscript of no more than 3,500 words, along with an electronic copy on a disc. E-mail submissions won’t be accepted.
- By: Bob White
- Photography by: Bob White
I admire John Koch’s woodblock prints for the same reasons I like the man; they have an honest and rough-hewn quality that I find direct, straightforward and authentic.
- By: Geoff Moore
- Photography by: Geoff Moore
Refreshed after a long, ice-covered rest, British Columbia’s interior lakes wake as the light shifts from a cold blue of winter to warmer spring hues. Improving weather trends are fairly consistent, but it’s possible to experience a sampling of four seasons in a single day. If you are a fisherman and a hockey fan, it’s even possible to experience five seasons in a day, those being spring, summer, fall, winter, and the NHL playoffs. The downside of the fifth season is you may lose focus on priorities. For example, a night of hockey and merriment could result in a poorly executed angling plan, especially if you’re scheduled to be on the water a few hours after your celebration ends. We all know that a lack of clarity leads to precarious situations, and that’s exactly what happened to me.
- By: Greg Thomas
I think it takes a bit to get Jim Schmitz pissed off. For instance, I was recently interviewing Schmitz, vice president of the Seattle-based Wild Steelhead Coalition, when he realized that his house had just been robbed. He casually said, without hint of anger, “Hey, I should probably deal with this. Would it be OK if I give you a call later?”
But let me tell you this: If you bring up hatchery steelhead, Washington State’s 1974 Boldt Decision and the mismanagement of that state’s fisheries, you’ll see Schmitz’s hackles rise.
- By: Brian Chan
- Photography by: Brian Chan
Fly-fishing continually evolves, be it advancements in tackle, the challenges of new fisheries, or the evolution of fly patterns and fishing techniques. In fact, what may seem like a simple fishing or tying advancement may turn into a significant step in the refinement of a fishery. That’s often the case with stillwater trout fishing, where creative anglers are attracted to the sport because it offers plenty of challenge and equal reward, in the form of skeptical trout that run much larger on average than their stream-raised counterparts.
One of the most productive lake-fishing methods is to fish with chironomids, also called midge pupae. In nutrient-rich waters these members of the Diptera insect family form a significant part of a trout or char’s diet. During spring and summer daily chironomid emergences cloud the water with pupae wiggling to the surface. Chironomid pupae must taste good, because the biggest trout gorge on even the smallest pupae. Fish literally swallow hundreds of the insects as they slowly ascend to become adults. But matching chironomids and getting a fish to take isn’t as easy as you’d think it would be. In fact, in lakes fish have the time to study them closely, and they’ll likely refuse anything but a perfect match. That’s why matching chironomids has become an art form, and Kelly Davison, who runs Searun Fly & Tackle in Coquitlam, British Columbia, made one of greatest advancements in chironomid construction of all time.
- By: Troy Letherman
- Photography by: Greg Thomas
This makes no sort of sense. In fact, referring to it as fishing is a terrible joke, responsible only for the mistaken idea that you’ll actually touch one (a fish) at some indeterminate point in the future. Angling masochism is a bit closer to the mark.
- By: Jim Dean
- Photography by: Cathy Beck
- and Barry Beck
When a young friend, Cody Cantwell, ate a baby green drake (Ephemerella drunella flavilinea) while we were fishing the Railroad Ranch stretch of the Henry’s Fork in Idaho last June, I asked him, “Why?”
“I just wanted to see what it tasted like,” he replied, a bit sheepishly. “These big rainbows love Flavs, and I was curious to see what the big deal is.”
- By: Skip Morris
- Photography by: Skip Morris
Recently i delved online, then perused my substantial fly-tying library, trying to find some sort of attractor-emerger fly pattern. I failed, and that surprised me—there are thousands of attractors and emergers in existence, but those are all nymphs, streamers or dries. Never a combination of the two.
- By: Bob White
- Photography by: Steve Laurent
There’s a certain spark in great artwork that’s difficult to define, and hard to ignore. The photography of Steve Laurent has that fire.
Laurent works in black and white with a wide-angle lens to record the everyday lives of bush pilots and fishing guides at Bristol Bay Lodge, in southwest Alaska. His images are honest, stark and gritty, reminiscent of Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans’ photographs of the Great Depression.
- By: Mike Conner
- Photography by: Tom Rosenbauer
That’s the mantra of the fly-fishing industry, which has admittedly been flat since the A River Runs Through It electricity died sometime in the 1990s.
Fly-fishing growth would provide multiple benefits, and not just to a manufacturer’s, retailer’s or guide’s bottom line. More fly fishers, in fact, could increase fish-habitat and fisheries-resource stewardship, and that means more quality water and desirable fishing for all of us. Unfortunately, growing fly-fishing may be the single most difficult task the industry has, and nobody seems to have a clear answer on how to get newbie anglers onto the water and enjoying rewarding outings.