This article first appeared in volume eleven, issue three of The Flyfish Journal. It’s May in the Keys, sunny and barely blowing. And they’re swimming. We’re on the ocean side and getting shots all day. We can see them coming from two football fields away: black, human-sized torpedoes sliding over white sand bottoms. Strings of a half-dozen, […]

On Uncertainty

When Washington state’s Governor, Jay Inslee, ordered non-essential business in the state closed on March 23, there was a significant amount of confusion as to what actually constituted “essential.” For the first couple days after the order, many fishing guides I know questioned whether their work fell under the former or the latter, reasoning that […]

Rubbermaid Revival

Sometime around mid-November I typically stuff my waders and boots, chest pack and fly boxes into a Rubbermaid tub and stick it high up on a garage shelf.  It’s not that I mean to leave it up there for months at a time, but soon comes ski season and Christmas. Then a January of shoveling […]

The Gar Dentist

I was looking for small bills to pay the ramp fee when a late ’80s Chevy pulled into the repurposed trailer park where boaters leave their rigs. The doors to the truck swung open and out stepped two guys, one of which walked directly toward me. He wore a sandy blonde mullet, a formerly white […]

Christmas Queens

The lodge transport fetches us from the airport—a once-weekly commercial stop—and places crowns made of intricately woven flowers and palm fronds on our heads. We are unapologetically excited and can’t help but laugh because nearby a truck full of male anglers heading to another lodge watches stoically, crownless. Visitors to this remote atoll in the […]

Fishing by Thumb

After two weeks of fishing across the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness in Montana and Wyoming, I was desperate for a taste of civilization. The food I brought for the journey had dwindled and I’d been living on a diet of couscous and alpine trout for several days. Mosquito bitten, malnourished and exhausted, I longed for margaritas and […]

Goners, For Sure

above Southwestern Wisconsin’s Driftless Area isn’t famous for the size of its trout, but for its great amount of fishable water, access and stream health. However, when you find yourself on the stream on a sunny day in early spring, and the water warms a couple of degrees, the big fish come out to play. Robert […]

A Spool of Mono

ABOVE A large peacock bass from the Amazon River drainage grabs big air. On these rivers, everything from voracious piranha to 100-pound catfish to vampire-fanged payara is ready to throw down. Bring wire tippet and beefy sticks. Photo: Rafael Costa Kopky is a giant Kayapo warrior with bulging scars running down his arms, marks from […]

Ragati Reds

above “Prior to exploring Kenya’s Ragati River, we’d only heard rumor of Ragati reds, a rainbow phenotype with blood-red flanks. The males show off large kypes and spawning battle scars, while the gorgeous hens are blessed with green-black spots no larger than specks of sand. This run proved perfect for the evening rise with the faint […]

From The Heavens

I was standing on the edge of a cliff with Steve Conrad looking at our objective—the North Platte River—way, way down below us. The fishing is excellent upstream, but we wanted to know if it was even better here, where we imagined no one had ever fished before. Our transport would consist of climbing ropes […]


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