Articles

Dreaming Maine

Discovering a classic northern landscape
Photo: Matthew Reilly

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As a fly fisherman I do a lot of dreaming—of fish I’ve yet to catch, fish I’ve caught, and fish I’ve gotten to know personally, even without catching them. I dream of places—places I’ve been and fallen in love with, places I’ve not yet been, and places I’ll probably never have the chance to touch.

Rain gear required

Big storms equal big fish
Thunder bumpers are common in spring on Idaho’s Henry’s Fork of the Snake River (photo: Kris Millgate).

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It’s late afternoon in early spring and bad weather is coming in quick. The wind picks up as bright sun slides behind dark clouds. I recognize the overpowering signs of wet trouble rumbling down the canyon, but I’m not rowing away from it. Neither should you.

A late Winter's day dream

You might want to think of this story as an utter fabrication

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Since the odds are pretty good that you don’t live down the road in northwestern Montana, you might want to think of this story as a complete and utter fabrication. After all, it’s not likely that there’s a ton of snow outside your window right now, right? Your weather in Virginia or Texas or California or wherever you happen to be reading this probably doesn’t owe half it’s punch to a northern Pacific rain event and the other half to an Arctic front that extends from the Washington/ Idaho border all the way to eastern Minnesota.

Tell Seafood Watch to take wild steelhead off its menu

The respected Monterey Bay Aquarium's decision to recommend wild steelhead to consumers baffles and angers anglers
An Olympic Peninsula Wild Steelhead (photo: Chase Gunnel).

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There was a time not too long ago when anglers were allowed to kill as many as 30 wild steelhead a year in Washington State. This excessive sport harvest was a major factor in why Steelhead Country, a wondrous place where rivers once ran silver with wild steelhead, has transformed into a state with an abundance of steelhead habitat but a deficiency in wild steelhead.

Flatlining in the Andes

Chasing tail in the mountains of Patagonia
A Lago Yelcho flats trout (photo: Chad Shmukler).

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Imagine gliding over that stereotypical, crystal-clear Caribbean flat in search of bonefish or permit, your Spanish-speaking guide doing his best to meet you on your side of the language barrier. Everything is just as it should be. The wind is modest. The sun is bright. The sandy flat is primed to reveal that first tail.

And then you see movement off in the distance. A shadow at first, and then a subtle wake. Then the fish, solid and dark against the taupe background, comes into focus. It’s coming at you.

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