- By: Will Rice
When you first take a look at a Stone Bomb, it looks like a lot of other big, nasty, rubber-legged stonefly imitations. Much like its designer, it is not until you dig a little deeper that the fly’s nuances become apparent. What you will find with Frank Smethurst’s Bomb Squad lineup is that attention to detail matters.
- By: Bob White
- Illustrations by: Travis Sylvester
Travis Sylvester is the only artist I know who works exclusively in colored pencils, and I must confess . . . I know very little about the medium, or the process he’s chosen.
- By: Bob White
- Illustrations by: Galen Mercer
Galen Mercer doesn’t think of himself as an angling artist. In fact, during a recent examination of a quarter century of his work, Mercer was surprised to find that, of the hundreds of paintings he reviewed, only three or four actually contained anglers, and fewer still included fish. “I’ve always been far more interested in the sporting environs than the particulars,” he explained. “Except for scale, I’ve never felt compelled to ‘humanize’ a landscape. Quite the opposite.”
- By: Robert S Tomes
Over the past decade, fly-fishing for northern pike has gained a solid footing with North American anglers looking for a new fix. Lured by the prospect of a visual—and often violent—take and a good fight, fly-fishing for pike is consistently fun and mostly lacks the pretentious attitude that trout and salmon fishing sometimes encourage.
It should come as no surprise that chasing pike with flies has taken hold in Europe, too. Known by different names depending on the language, pike fly-fishing is now an accepted and growing sport in countries as diverse as France, Denmark, Holland, The Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Just last year, an international pike fly-fishing tournament was held in Finland and included teams from Canada, England, Holland and Finland (Finland won).
- By: Bob White
Most sporting art, especially angling art, has a practical purpose or function. Painters, photographers and printmakers try to capture a moment in time and preserve memories. Sculptors recreate objects cherished by anglers, be they fish or fly. Rod makers, net makers, boat builders and fly tiers create the tools with which we pursue our passion.
- By: Thomas Whiting
The cree cape is a vibrant tweed, splashed with tints of red, white and black. Finding the origin of the term “cree” is nearly as difficult as finding a quality cree. Apparently, the truncated word was, at times, applied to creel. Creel (or crele), a label given to a rare Old English game fowl, is a bicolor hackle with white and red bars. Today we call the creel color a ginger grizzly. Evidently, through time the cree became a tricolor, a creel with black bars. Cree is a coloration, rather than a breed of bird. A simple description has worked in fly-tying: A cree is a tricolored hackle, with red and black on a white ground.
- By: Jim Bean
There are plenty of fly fishers who plunge boldly into swift and treacherous rivers without the aid of a wading staff. Indeed, there is a widespread sentiment that only a weenie or an overly cautious old fart uses one. I may fit both categories. It’s true that I have less to lose at this age, but I am also more loath than ever to lose it.
- By: Laura Munson
When i moved to northwest Montana, I was obsessed with books about place. As a city person and writer it was my way to make friends with this wild country I was trying to call home. Harrison, Duncan, Bass, Hugo—writers who allowed the land to get under their skin. Who felt a mystic pull to lessons of the natural world. I wanted those lessons. That pull. So I asked a friend to take me into it. Way into it. She sized me up and agreed. I felt chosen.
- By: Stanton Klein
As a fly guy, one thing has always stood out to me—what freshwater fly fishers consider to be a large fly in comparison to gear guys who are setting big-fish records by throwing eight- to 12-inch swimbaits. It’s common knowledge that predatory fishes, given the opportunity, eat the biggest thing they can get their maws around. Why, I wondered, don’t more fly fishers take advantage of the big-fly/big-fish equation?