A few thoughts on beer

The only reason I’d ever leave home for a day of fishing without it is because I intended to buy it enroute
Photo: W.A. Blair
For a number of years Andy Cook and I had a running debate about which tastes better: an ice-cold Kalik after a day of bonefishing in the Bahamas or an ice-cold Labatt’s Blue after an evening of bugging for smallmouth in Ontario. Actually, “debate” probably isn’t the right word; it wasn’t so much that we held opposing views on the subject as that we simply sought to clarify it.

Blowing out the candles

Can we keep the flame burning after Paris?
Photo: Gage Skidmore
I’m not sure how many Americans actually paid attention, but Thursday was a rough one for those of us who enjoy the outdoors, who love our kids, and who understand that climate change is a huge threat to our country, our economy and our future.

In case you haven’t heard, Donald Trump stood up in the Rose Garden on Thursday afternoon and announced that the U.S. was pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Watershed people

A farming community unites to restore a small mountain creek
Photo: Matthew Reilly
Tossing a concerned gaze downstream, and with a gesturing hand loosely gripping the thick agricultural air of the Shenandoah Valley, Jerry Black, a native and lifelong resident of the Valley, spoke hope for the future of Beaver Creek and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

“This water—all of it—ends up in the Bay, and what we do right here impacts it.”

Such responsible watershed thinking, in an area plagued by environmental transgressions, left me stunned.

Redfish in the surf

Bruiser reds can be found from the beach, if you know where to look
James Ferguson of Blackfly Outfitters tangles with a redfish in the Florida surf (photo: Andrew Mizell).
I admit it. I love redfish. Pictures of them adorn my living room wall and kitchen. It doesn’t matter where or when, I will try to find them.

I’ve caught them on the flats and in the river; on high tide and low tide; in spartina grass and turtle grass. Last summer, the surf became my focus.

I heard rumors of reds in the Northeast Florida surf for years, but most of my buddies scoffed at the notion of fishing for reds on the beach. But as it turns out, redfish do indeed make their way to the surf and yes you can catch them on fly.

Largemouth bass on the fly: Tips from the pros

Bass’ accessibility makes it an easy, fun target, particularly for novice fly fishers
Debbie Hanson shows off a bass caught on the fly from her kayak (photo: Pamela Mess).
So far this year, I’ve caught a few largemouth bass, but none of them were worth bragging about. The biggest bass I ever caught was more than 40 years ago on a small mountain pond in North Carolina. The fish probably weighed 5 pounds or so.