idaho watercraft check station
The watercraft check station is open on the Idaho-Montana border. All vehicles carrying or pulling watercraft must stop for inspection before entering Idaho (photo: Kris Millgate).

A closer look at the Yellowstone River fish kill

What Idaho can teach us about Montana's closures and PKD

Whitefish belly up on my right. Few minutes later, another one off the nose of the boat. It’s early fall on the South Fork of the Snake River in Idaho. The cool release following summer heat is a relief, but it didn’t come soon enough in this cottonwood-lined corridor. Dead whitefish are the fatal sign and the sight is alarming. Whitefish are a river’s canary in a coalmine. If something is wrong with whitefish, something is wrong with the river.

yellowstone cutthroat
Fly fisherman Todd Lanning shows off a native Yellowstone cutthroat trout caught on the Yellowstone River (courtesy Todd Lanning).

Cutting for cutthroat

Yellowstone throws net wide to save native fish

The message comes in via text: “Millgate, get up here. We gotta fish. The Yellowstone is like it used to be.”

Photo: Matthew Reilly

Breakfast, in the Maine woods

A soujourn in the wilderness

There’s not much more peaceful than a simple breakfast amid the chirpings of an awakening northern forest. Humans, with their God-like reign over fuel, need do little more than boil water and add it to oats and coffee grounds to enjoy a meal as comfortable as one prepared in the modern home. After doing just that, on a brisk morning on a remote pond in the Maine woods, I recorded those thoughts, and reveled in the opportunity to be where I was.

todd tanner fly casting
Photo: Jeremy Roberts

Fly casting 101

Before you can become an advanced caster, you need to master the basics

Most fly fishermen would like to become better casters. Very few of us throw the perfect loops that we all aspire to, and even fewer anglers boast a full repertoire of casts, starting with basics like the single haul and roll casts, and moving on to double hauls, reach casts, curve casts, bow and arrow casts, puddle casts, etc. I won’t list them all right now, but there are a dozen or more casts that can make your life a little easier when you’re out on the water. If you’re serious about your fly fishing, it makes sense to have at least a few of them in your arsenal.