Photo: Bryan Gregson

Patagonia and friends release Finding Fontinalis film to aid conservation fundraising efforts

Film chases world record brook trout and more on the other side of the world

Fishing records are kind of lame. You know, IGFA length records, tippet class records and so on? What species of fish you were able to haul in on what strand strength of monofilament doesn't tell us anything about the experience. Or the fish. Or the place. It might tell us something about why you're out there but, if it does, it probably tells us stuff we'd rather not know. As a general rule, fishing records don't tell us anything of value at all, except maybe that a lot of people are missing the point. But, as is the case with any rule, there are exceptions.

children's map of rivers in yarn
Photo: Kris Millgate

Coming of age

Recognizing the outdoor industry for what it is

Most moms save their child’s handprints smeared on construction paper with craft paint. I’m saving a smattering of blue yarn embellished with natural hues of brown and green. The keepsake is art in its most juvenile form and yet it is a masterpiece.

The blue yarn outlines our nation’s major rivers. Columbia, Colorado, Mississippi to name a few. The Gulf and Great Lakes are marked too. I’d like to say I’ve fished them all, but I haven’t. I’d like to say they’re all pristine, but they’re far from it. The Stream Protection Rule was supposed to help with that, but now it’s gone.

sunny angler
Photo: Pat Burke

High light, low light

Tips for using the sun, or lack thereof, to your advantage when fishing

Low sun angle provides a significant advantage to the angler. The shadows are deeper; they’re wider and longer. In the winter months, the sun sits lower in the sky, and that shallow arc creates more shadows with less direct sunlight. Trout love the dark areas and seek them out.

By contrast, the summer solstice has the sun directly overhead. The hard sunlight beats straight down, erasing the comforting shadows and putting trout on edge.

redfish tail
Photo: Johnny Carrol Sain

Vanishing Paradise III: Force of nature

The redfish doesn’t just live in the Louisiana marsh, the redfish is the Louisiana marsh

The drag was squalling. There’s no better word for it. No staccato clicks at all. No crescendo. Just one long note of protest.

The protest began as gills flared after a nervous cast and one strip. I remember outfitter Ryan Lambert yelling at me to set the hook, then raw power transmitted from leader to line to rod. The reel took the brunt of it with a silky smooth confidence and that shrieking battle cry.

Remington sonic-pro hdz waders
Photo: Spencer Durant

Review: Redington Sonic-Pro HDZ waders

Redington's burly new flagship waders offer supreme convenience and confidence

My first pair of “nice” waders were one of Redington’s early models. I forget the name of the product line but remember being so excited to own a pair of real, honest-to-goodness fly fishing waders that I used them as an excuse to fish more than I ever had before.

Unfortunately, they only lasted seven months before I had an unfortunate run-in with a rather large tree in Utah’s backcountry. Since then, I’ve worn a series of waders from other brands, many of which fell prey to similar foes (branches, rocks, cattle fences) as my original Redingtons.