Lose the Ego. Grab a Staff

  • By: Jim Bean
Wading Staff

There are plenty of fly fishers who plunge boldly into swift and treacherous rivers without the aid of a wading staff. Indeed, there is a widespread sentiment that only a weenie or an overly cautious old fart uses one. I may fit both categories. It’s true that I have less to lose at this age, but I am also more loath than ever to lose it.

Fishing for Home

  • By: Laura Munson
Fishing for Home

When i moved to northwest Montana, I was obsessed with books about place. As a city person and writer it was my way to make friends with this wild country I was trying to call home. Harrison, Duncan, Bass, Hugo—writers who allowed the land to get under their skin. Who felt a mystic pull to lessons of the natural world. I wanted those lessons. That pull. So I asked a friend to take me into it. Way into it. She sized me up and agreed. I felt chosen.

Sensational Swimflies

  • By: Stanton Klein
Den Fmt    

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As a fly guy, one thing has always stood out to me—what freshwater fly fishers consider to be a large fly in comparison to gear guys who are setting big-fish records by throwing eight- to 12-inch swimbaits. It’s common knowledge that predatory fishes, given the opportunity, eat the biggest thing they can get their maws around. Why, I wondered, don’t more fly fishers take advantage of the big-fly/big-fish equation?

Bolivia Bound

bolivian_catfish.jpg 

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  • Travel
  • Gear
  • Flies
  • Accommodation/Communication
  • Bugs and Disease
  • Season/Weather

Writers, Take Notice!

Robert Traver Writing Award 

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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.

Printmaker John Koch

  • By: Bob White
  • Photography by: Bob White
Brookie Pool by John Koch

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.

The Five Seasons of May

  • By: Geoff Moore
  • Photography by: Geoff Moore
Canada Bear

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.

The Wild Steelhead Coalition

  • By: Greg Thomas
Peeler Fmt

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.

The Ice Cream Cone Chironomid

  • By: Brian Chan
  • Photography by: Brian Chan
Rainbow on a Leech  

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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.

My Kind of Despair

  • By: Troy Letherman
  • Photography by: Greg Thomas
Road

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.