Valente Lucero captains the panga La Venadita, “the little deer,” off the shores of Punta Arena, an hour by car south of La Paz, Baja California Sur. Valente is known amongst family and friends as Venado, a nickname earned at a younger age when the seductions of local tequila often inspired him to hop about the pueblo of Agua Amarga like a deer and, on more than one occasion, climb into the arms of a cardón cactus and leap, like a frightened doe, to the desert floor below.
- Photography by: Gary Bulla
Whether it’s a winter escape to the tropics or a trip farther north in high summer, you can’t say enough about warm-weather angling—packs of bonefish “Hoovering” the flats, lolling tarpon, trout dimpling under sapphire skies, peckish bluegills on a farm pond, shirtsleeves and shorts, sandals and shades. On warm, sun-soaked days and mild, congenial evenings, everything conduces to a larger and fuller fishing life.
- Photography by: Cathy Beck
- and Barry Beck
I like catching as many fish as possible, and I’m prone to keeping at least loose track of numbers if only to gauge, in a vaguely scientific way, one day or one season versus another. Some say that scorecard mentality is all about vanity and ego. In fact, I’ll take quality over quantity every time because dealing in sheer numbers, in fishing and life, is a setup for failure.
- Photography by: Greg Thomas
Streamers often coax big trout into violent takes, causing many anglers to say, “The tug is the drug.” That’s why most enthusiasts run heavy, articulated streamers through the deepest water; these flies have so much motion they may convince you to take a bite. Other anglers target big browns and rainbows using ridiculous stoneflies that appear to be part nymph/part tarantula, with legs wiggling in every direction.
- Photography by: Ted Fauceglia
- , Cathy Beck
- and Barry Beck
When I started fly-fishing I couldn’t see past trout and dry flies, and that cost me some good years when I could have carried a 12-weight in my hand and gone mano-a-mano with tarpon, sailfish and marlin. When I finally caved in to pressure and spent springs in the Florida Keys, my desires narrowed to this: I need two more lifetimes, and enough cash to buy an 18-foot Maverick and a 150-horsepower Yamaha.
I fished the yamsi ranch last spring, in the sparsely settled and flat pine-forest country of southern Oregon, with owner John Hyde. John grew up on the ranch. He raises range-fed beef when he’s not involved in his first love, guiding folks on his home waters. He’s tall, slender; his hat and mustache are both broad.
The St. Joe River is no secret among north Idaho anglers, but those who fish it agree: the “Joe,” as locals call it, is very much a diamond in the rough.
If there’s one thing fly fishermen get worked up about, it’s fly rods. Golf addicts may expound for hours about a club head’s “sweet spot,” and ammunition reloaders go glassy-eyed talking about ballistics and shot patterns, but even these fanatics would be hard pressed to rival a shop full of anglers discussing “swing weight,” “modulus” and “action.” The funny thing is, most of these same experts have little idea how a graphite rod is made (and in the fly shop we’re all experts, at least when it comes to what we think a rod should be). The process is as fascinating as it is complicated. Knowing a thing or two about rod construction greatly increases your appreciation of what fly rods are . . . and yes, maybe what they should be.
What are we to make of the international effort to manage bluefin tuna? A better question might be: Is there an international effort to manage bluefin tuna? From what we saw in 2010 and over the past 45 years, the answer to the second question has to be “No.”
- Photography by: John McMurray
For the third day in a row I had set my alarm for 5 a.m, and after a quick cup of café con leche I drove across the then-small city of Miami (this was in the early ’60s), over three bridges and onto Key Biscayne. Then, after a left turn onto a narrow, partially hidden, sandy road, I parked under a large seagrape tree, a tree I had parked under many times before. From there, just a quarter-mile walk along the beach brought me to the northeast shore of the key, where I looked out on a large, open flat facing the ocean.
- Photography by: Jim Butler
Tom Whiting was born and spent much of his childhood in Denver, Colorado. The Whiting clan admits that Dr. Tom must be some strange agrarian throwback. From youth he was fascinated by fowls, and their variety. When Tom was about 10 years old, a lucky break: His family moved to the suburbs, where he raised a few chickens, peddled eggs in the neighborhood and worked on a game-bird farm. Although he spent hours dreaming up breeding programs, there were no plans to become a feather merchant; when it was time to go to college he delved into music, political science and literature at Colorado State University. One day his older brother asked him what he really wanted to do. Tom replied that he often thought about quail. Avian science was the answer. After getting a bachelor’s degree in avian science at Colorado State and completing genetics internships with two poultry producers, he knew he wanted more.
- Photography by: Darrel Martin
Why an article about the Adams? Because I recently rediscovered the Adams as a lifesaver during what could otherwise have been a very frustrating day.
A few weeks ago, my friends Mike Clark and John Gierach invited me to fish some trout ponds not far from Boulder, Colorado that had been stocked with some rainbow/steelhead hybrids several years ago. We’ve fished these ponds several times over the past few years and knew the trout were large, very strong, extremely fast and would eagerly rise to midges. It was mid-April, so we assumed that midges would be the order of the day. I packed fly boxes loaded with midge adult, emerger and larva patterns in all the colors that had been successful in the past.
- Photography by: A. K. Best
Reviews of Trout Lessons, In Hemingway's Meadow, Love Story of the Trout and Charlie's Fly Box.
It was a phase of mayfly hatch I hadn’t seen before nor heard of. That evening, I sat at my vise and tied some N. Q. Spinners and went back to the stream the next day. If you think I got lucky, you’re exactly right. The new fly was a killer.
- Photography by: A. K. Best
Used to be that a fly-rod company built the rod and sold it to a fly-shop guy. The fly-shop guy then wrapped some casting tips around that product, and sold it to you (with a markup, of course).
I am drawn to fish, and I look at each one as a precious jewel, so it’s not surprising that I admire Ellen McCaleb’s sculptures. Her carved wooden fish are elegant, subtle, and wondrously beautiful in their execution. They are as lovely as the fish that inspire her… and they seem alive, as if she’s magically breathed life into wood.
Fly Rod & Reel reviews the Ross RX reels and Evolution rods, Patagonia Nano Puff pullover, Abel's nipper and Nautilus FWX reels.
- By: Jim Butler
- , Darrel Martin
- and Ted Leeson
We were in my kitchen in northern Colorado on a warm August evening. I was at the stove stirring a pot of elk spaghetti sauce; Susan McCann, the journalist and editor I’ve lived with for the past 20 years, was constructing an enormous salad and Ed Engle, the fishing writer and my oldest continuous friend, was slicing French bread. Daniel Galhardo, owner and founder of Tenkara USA, had offered to help several times, but it was a small, crowded kitchen with cats underfoot and there was nothing left to do, so he’d settled for volunteering to wash the dishes.
- Illustrations by: Bob White