A native Alaskan arctic grayling.
A native Alaskan arctic grayling (photo: Chad Shmukler).

Guilt

Killing natives

I’ll never forget the look on my buddy’s face that fateful September day on the South Fork of the Snake River several years back, when I unhooked the little hybrid that had sucked in a small nymph and, without ceremony, knocked it over the head and tossed into the willows. Had it been just a bit bigger, I might have pocketed it and brought it home for the frying pan.

largemouth bass on fly
Photo: Cameron Rhodes

Trans-Angler: Old habits

Trouble getting stuck

In the journey to refinement of my piscatorial pursuits, I’ve fundamentally changed everything I knew regarding, rods, reels, casting, lures, and giving life to lures. Casting was the first hurdle and, though there are still acres of room for improvement, laying a fly in the water is not the voodoo art I once thought it was. Even the dreaded Clousers are becoming more responsive. And I’ve started to experiment with different casts. Roll casts aren’t too tough as long as line is in the water, providing just the right amount of drag.

fishing rv
Photo: Chris Hunt

That guy

Because toilets and showers are all they're cracked up to be

We’ve all been there. It’s summer. We’re headed somewhere fishy and the sooner we get there, the sooner we can assemble the 4-weight and hit the water. We’ve squeezed a weekend’s worth of beer and grub into the back of the SUV, and we’re ready to stand knee-deep in a trout stream and wash away all that’s wrong with the world. We’re on some two-lane highway in the middle of nowhere, and the speed limit is merely a strong suggestion.

clouser fly
Photo: Johhny Carrol Sain

Trans-Angler: Clousered

Some flies have a mind of their own

I’ve been at this fairy wand fishing thing for over four months now. This year’s peculiar winter, or rather lack of winter — a blessing from the climate change gods of doom — meant rarely a week went by that I wasn’t able to spend time on the water’s edge or at least practice casting in the yard. I caught a few fish. In fact, I’d lay a wager that I caught more fish this winter than any winter prior.

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