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  

Click image for slideshow.

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.

Taster's Guide to Mayflies

  • By: Jim Dean
  • Photography by: Cathy Beck
  • and Barry Beck
Green Drake

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.”

The Thunderdome

  • By: Skip Morris
  • Photography by: Skip Morris
The Thunderdome

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.

Steve Laurent's Alaskan Perspective

  • By: Bob White
  • Photography by: Steve Laurent
Alaskan Bush Plane

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.

10,000 New Anglers A Year

  • By: Mike Conner
  • Photography by: Tom Rosenbauer
Girls Fishing

Grow fly-fishing.

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.

Fishing Music: Ben Winship & David Thompson

  • By: Bob White
Fishing Music 2

Like “the important part of fishing” says, the process is often more important than the product, and this is particularly true when it comes to fly-fishing. Perhaps, that’s why I enjoy road-trips so much. Whether it’s watching the sun come up while I pull a boat to the river, or the long quiet on drives home, time on the road has become an integral part of my fishing experience, and the music I listen to while driving is fundamental to the experience.

New Sales Methods, New Markets

  • By: Kirk Deeter
Angling Trade fade

We’re hearing a lot about the new products fly companies will unveil in 2012 (and rest assured, FR&R and Angling Trade will detail the hot newcomers before they even hit the racks of your favorite fly shop). Here are a few hints: Patagonia is coming out with a wading boot that uses mountaineering technology to dramatically improve traction. Sage shelved its Z-Axis in favor of a rod line called “One”; by early accounts, it is indeed something special. Orvis, Hardy and others are introducing new products across wide price ranges that should have consumers chomping at the bit to try (and buy). Overall, I expect 2012 to be a solid new product year—one of the best in a decade.

Cape Cod Stripers

  • By: Rob Conery
  • Photography by: Bob Mahoney
2010maybass_lg.jpg

You can hear it as soon as you step on the Centerville property. It gets louder as you walk down the grassy path, past the flats skiff and the old Bahamian smuggling vessel up on stands. From the open barn door near a small pine grove, in the humming, electric air, an urgent buzzing pops. Inside, from the rafters hang fly rods, surfboards and yacht club burgees.