Upfront Notes

  • By: Greg Thomas
Greg Thomas

My girls have a book titled Swimmer. It documents the life cycle of a wild Pacific salmon, including the very end, when Swimmer starts to decompose and litters the river with shreds of her flesh. Her death feeds big rainbows and Dolly Varden, but more important, she fuels the river’s nutrient base and, eventually, her offspring.

Up Front Notes

  • By: Greg Thomas
Greg Editor Fmt

Having grown up in the Pacific Northwest, with much of that time spent in Alaska, I don’t think summer is as much about sunshine, Reef sandals and warm weather as it is about daylight, and the number of bright hours we get each day between the end of April and September.

Up Front Notes

  • By: Greg Thomas
Greg Editor Fmt

I shouldn’t have to explain those days, weeks, even months, when we’re mired in work or family and there seems to be no way out. If it’s raining outside, or the dog just slid its itchy butt across the living room carpet, so much more piercing the ordeal.

The quickest way to escape that funk is to pack a bag and head out for anywhere. I escaped with a recent trip to San Francisco, where I met representatives from Canada, all of them eager to share their fishing opportunities. That freed my mind and allowed the brain to envision appealing options, from northern pike in Saskatchewan, the Yukon and even the Arctic, to dryfly-scarfing rainbows and steelhead in British Columbia, and Atlantic salmon in Québec and New Brunswick.

Up Front Notes

  • By: Greg Thomas
Greg Editor Fmt

Almost every year in the northern Rockies, some morning in March or April, the weather forecaster comes on the air and says, “It’s finally going to feel like spring today.”

They call for a high of 58 degrees, but by 3:00 p.m. you’re in a T-shirt and wishing you were wearing shorts instead of waders, because the mercury is planted at 75 and there isn’t a breath of wind. Sweat rolls down your brow, and you vow this is the last time you’re on the water without sunblock. But that won’t ease the pain when you get in the shower that evening and water hits skin that resembles a cooked crab’s shell.

Upfront Notes

  • By: Greg Thomas
Greg Thomas

With more than 200 rainy days a year, plus battering Pacific winds and a cloud ceiling that rarely lifts higher than a person’s nose, Seattle, Washington serves as the ultimate test kitchen for cold-weather gear companies. This includes some—R.E.I., Outdoor Research, Ex Officio, Filson and Eddie Bauer—that are located just a few miles from the house I grew up in during the 1970s. Theoretically, if there was a place to be well outfitted for winter weather, western Washington was it.

Upfront Notes

  • By: Greg Thomas
Greg Thomas

On a recent trip to New Orleans I managed a day on the water for redfish and the guide reported, “You should be here at the end of October, because that’s the best time for the big bull reds. You’ll see 20-pounders all over the place.” And my reply? “Yea, what isn’t October best for?” Therein lies the fall quandary.

Upfront Notes

  • By: Greg Thomas
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I used to spend portions of each summer on Washington’s Kitsap Peninsula, stomping around our family’s 17 forested acres, which front a saltwater bay and offer quick access to sea-run cutthroat trout and anything else that might bite.

Upfront Notes

  • By: Greg Thomas
Greg Thomas

I was wandering Market Square, in Helsinki, Finland, checking out a variety of smoked and cured reindeer meats along with an array of seafood, ranging from mini-octopus all the way to Arctic char and deep-sea cod. And then I ran into the cheese gal—one of Helsinki’s ubiquitous blond, blue-eyed vixens.

Upfront Notes

  • By: Greg Thomas
Greg Thomas

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.

Upfront Notes

  • By: Joe Healy
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For more than a year now, we’ve published articles in our Short Casts section with the header “Giving Back.” These have included profiles on such organizations as Family Tyes, Casting for Recovery and Project Healing Waters, groups introducing the values of fly-fishing to broad-based audiences. In this issue, we hear from Kathy Scott on how she began a successful in-school fly-fishing program in Maine. Giving back…the phrase reminds me of a note I received recently from Greg Thomas, our managing editor, about fishing with his daughters.