drift boat
Photo: Todd Tanner

Drift boats

Thoughts on buying your next (or first) drift boat

Drift boats are one of the best things about fly fishing. Sure, wade anglers catch their fair share of fish, but those lucky guys floating downstream in their drift boats, sneaking one cast after another under overhanging tree limbs and behind midstream boulders, are having more fun than the proverbial kid in the candy store.

Umpqua Ledges 650Z Waist Pack
Angler Maddie Brennerman (right) sports the Umpqua Ledges 650Z waist pack (photo: Nick Kelley).

Review: Umpqua Ledges 650 ZS waist pack

Umpua's newest waist pack makes a strong case for leader of its class

Admittedly, I’m a bit “pack obsessed” and very particular. I’ve always been surprised, unpleasantly most of the time, that in more than 30 years of fishing, I haven’t found a vest or a pack of any type I absolutely loved and utilized until it had to be retired.

Umpqua’s new Ledges 650 ZS Waist Pack makes a strong case for becoming one of the first pleasant surprises in this category of gear.

bridge construction jackknife creek idaho
Rockin’ T Construction dismantled the car bridge over Idaho’s Jackknife Creek in one day. Some of the beams are now in use farther up the trail. The new pedestrian bridge is 55 feet long instead of the old 24-foot bridge that bottle necked the creek (photo: Kris Millgate).

Restoring hope

Fish return to reconnected waterway

I have my eye on a bend in Jackknife Creek. I know it holds fish. It has to. It’s perfectly sculpted to host a hotel for fish with a deep pool to swim in and overhanging willows for shaded cover. I position myself on the bank across from the bend. I hand my rod to my son. He hands it back. He wants me to cast first so he can watch what happens. My husband is watching too. We’re pretty competitive and we both like to be right so we’ll place bets on just about anything. We have a bet running on this water. If fish are in here, I win.

Redington Hydrogen

Review: Redington Hydrogen fly rod

A lightweight offering from Redington that's unconventional in both appearance and performance

I first fished a Redington fly rod about a dozen years ago—they were a premium partner with Trout Unlimited (and still are, through their parent company, Farbank), and I was able to purchase a rod-and-reel combo for an affordable price in advance of my first-ever trip to Prince of Wales Island in southeast Alaska.

tex creek wildfire
Fish face a more serious threat after wildfire because of erosion. Rain washes ash down steep hillsides into waterways (photo: Kris Millgate).

Fire turned Tex Creek into a black hole

Looking for wildlife in wildfire

I've stood on this ridge at least a dozen times. I've shot photos and footage every time. In every season. At any hour. Seeing all colors but black. Now I have black. Wish I didn't. Black is depressing personally and difficult professionally. My lens struggles with the stark contrast of smoky-white sky and tar-colored ground.