Flats & Tropics

Personal History

  • Photography by: Brian O'Keefe
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Sometimes things work out. And sometimes they don’t. All right, picture this, ALMOST than 25 years ago: I’m the newly minted associate editor of this magazine (at the time, it was still called Rod & Reel, the Fly coming later). I’m newly married. I’m on my honeymoon. To top it off, my wife and I are spending that honeymoon in Belize, for our first flats fishing experience.

Bonefish On The Brain

  • By: Ian Davis
  • and Jim Klug
  • Photography by: Jim Klug
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Click image for slideshow.

You can chase bonefish in lots of killer locations, but the Bahamas say “bonefish” more than any other place in the world, because of both the size and numbers of fish there, and because they are found throughout a network of flats that weaves around more than 700 productive islands.

In addition, Bahamians understand that the resource is much more valuable swimming the flats than being sold for pennies at a fish market, and they protect those bones accordingly. To put it in clear perspective, here in the U.S. we put pictures of dead presidents on our currency; in the Bahamas it’s bonefish.

Riviera Redfish

  • By: Walter Kirkland
  • Photography by: Tosh Brown
  • , Walter Kirkland
  • and Greg Thomas
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Looking forward to the late fall and winter, my neighbors in Fairhope, Alabama, duckaholics for the most part, work themselves into apoplexy anticipating the beginning of their annual bird slaughter. Those not as mad at them ducks might turn their attention to catching redfish in Louisiana or Texas. But, I don’t care for freezing my butt off in futile attempts to blast mallards from the sky, nor for hauling my boat down to the Biloxi Marsh to stalk fickle redfish that disappear on anything other than a perfect bluebird day.

The Healing Waters of Belize

  • By: Ceamus McDermott
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"The turquoise waters of the Caribbean bonefish flats were something that most of us only saw on TV or in magazines…yet here was Dave on the phone with an amazing opportunity, bonefishing in Belize."

Autumn Days in the Bay

  • By: Tom Keer
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Whenever folks ask me where I live, I adopt my best body-builder pose, arm curled tight, and point just below my wrist on the inside of my forearm. My anatomical reference is to Wellfleet, on outer Cape Cod. Everyone laughs, but the biggest cackles come from Michiganders because they know what it's like to chart geography on a body part. (Michigan is known as the Mitten because of its resemblance to the hand shoe.) But, then again, they may just find humor in the fact that I need to hit the gym and grunt out a few hundred more bicep curls.But no gym time for me now because it's fall on the Cape and that's fishing time. Vacation crowds leave in droves around Labor Day, and we anglers have the entire sandbar to ourselves. There are few vehicles waiting at red lights and beach parking lots are virtually empty (and non-permit parking is generally allowed). Vehicles with bike racks disappear and are replaced by rigs with rod racks. By Columbus Day, the restaurants are closed, and it becomes increasingly difficult to get a cup of coffee or some junk food to chow on in between midnight fishing trips.

Voice Your Support for Belize

An open letter asking for support for important catch-and-release regulations.

Metal-flake Fly Rods

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What can the new tournament-ready bassin' rods do for us?

Editor's Notes

  • By: Joe Healy
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I grew up on a lake in Central New York, Oneida Lake, known as one of the Northeast's top walleye waters. I took my share of that brand of perch-we always said "pike" in CNY, but walleyes are of the perch family, and calling them pike is similar lazy usage as saying that brookies are trout when

Simms G3 Waders, Filsons Mackinaw Jacket and More

G3 Guide Convertible Waders One of the smartest models in Simms' revamped line of waders is the G3 Guide Convertible, which is equally functional in both waist-high and chest-high configurations. Most waders of this type give priority to chest-high mode, with waist-high use an inconvenient afterthought that involves re-wiring your suspenders, fussing with your belt and fighting folds of excess fabric.

The 2008 Kudo Awards

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Once again, it's the time of year when the staff of FR&R gets together with some of the magazine's contributors to select those pieces of gear that deserve to be recognized with a Kudo Award...