Kola

  • By:
  • Photography by: Greg Thomas
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The young French martial-arts expert and gym teacher had saved up to accompany legendary salmon angler Pierre Affre to a river some contend represents the best chance for a truly big salmon: the bronze-tinted Kola, near Murmansk in Russia, and namesake of the remote peninsula east of Finland.

Bass in the West

  • By: Ralph Bartholdt
  • , Jeff Erickson
  • , Kirk Deeter
  • and Brian O'Keefe
  • Photography by: Ralph Bartholdt
  • , Jeff Erickson
  • , John Sherman
  • , Brian O'Keefe
  • and Tim Romano
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Sandpoint, idaho—calvin fuller has a pet bass that weighs a pound and a half and eats chicken burritos. He hooks it during lunch breaks less than a block from Sandpoint, Idaho’s main drag, under the watchful eyes of coffee-sippers at Starbucks.

Fuller, a local outfitter who operates the area’s only fly shop, cuts between storefronts and down an alley to reach the banks of Sand Creek, then casts a bug-eye streamer. I watch the fat line he’s throwing off a Sage Bass Series rod and it goes tight. He and his pet play again.

Spring Steel on Idaho's Upper Salmon River

  • By: Greg Thomas
  • Photography by: Greg Thomas
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I’ve created a problem for myself; I am a steelhead junkie who lives 500 miles from salt water, in a state where those big sea-run rainbows don’t even exist.

I like where I live—Missoula, Montana—and I’m quite sure this is where I will raise my daughters. But in the back of my mind there’s this idea to endear a Canadian scarlet, gain dual citizenship (plus healthcare, right), and move north, to Campbell River, Bella Coola or, even better, to Smithers or Terrace, British Columbia, where the greatest race of steelhead still pours into the Skeena, Babine, Kispiox, Kitimat and Sustut rivers. That’s the glory list, and I could see myself fishing those waters a couple hundred days a year while pretending that I care about hockey.

Swimming Hole

  • By: Scott Sadil
  • Photography by: Scott Sadil
Umpqua

I used to think an old river channel had forced engineers to link a pair of spans, end to end, where in essence they were building only one long bridge. Yet the more I look at it, the more I wonder if that side channel wasn’t put there for the purpose of diverting the river while they built the main bridge. How else could they have constructed the forms and secured the rebar and poured the concrete for the piling that supports what now spans the river in all its restless glory?

Should you venture under the bridge, you’ll notice that the piling stands in the heart of the river—not quite in the middle of it, but in the deepest, heaviest part of the current. If you know anything about rivers—or surf, for that matter—you know that this is how currents usually operate. Anchor a big obstacle in moving water, you can be sure to generate all kinds of concentrated energy—just as if you were to raise a metal flagpole into a stormy summer sky. Swing a big dark fly toward the piling, it will sometimes find a fish that feels like those same potent forces funneled through the end of your line.

Bushwhacking along the Talkeetna River, Alaska

  • Photography by: Gabe Rogel
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Specs: Canon A2 body; 28-200mm lens; Fuji Provia 100 film; f8; 1/100