Been struggling to find just the right gift for the angler that has everything? Well, search no longer. Give the gift of Patagonia. Heck, for the price of a fly rod (if you're into really scarce, antique bamboo, that is), you can send your favorite angler on the trip of a lifetime, with us, when we head to Patagonia this April.
Patagonia's Malleo River (photo: Matt Jones).
Yes, that's intentionally a bit tongue-in-cheek. Fly fishing vacations aren't the sort of thing you toss under the tree in a box. But, if you've got Patagonia pegged high on your list of dream travel destinations -- and we've yet to meet an angler for which it doesn't -- you'll want to learn more about what we've got in store this April.
Each year, around this time, we take a look back to see which of our articles are read the most. Not only does it give us a great deal of insight into what our readers value, it's a lot of fun and there are always a few surprises in the mix. The three articles that follow reached more people in more places than everything else we submitted for your review this past year.
On Top: 12 Tips for Catching More, Bigger and More Difficult Fish on Dry Flies
Articles about tips and technique are almost always popular. For the most obvious of reasons -- we all want to catch more fish -- an angler that isn't fairly insatiable about learning is a rare one. Even the shortest tidbit about angling tactics and strategy can offer the potential for big changes in fishing success, and so most anglers are eager to lay their eyes on as much educational material as they can.
The Guarding Our Great Lakes Act, proposed by two Michigan senators, is being praised by groups seeking to protect the fisheries of the Great Lakes from an invasion from Asian carp. Both Trout Unlimited and the Great Lakes Commission issued releases today commending Rep. Dave Camp (R) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) for proposing the legislation.
The Brandon Road lock and dam site.
Asian carp, prevalent throughout much of the Mississippi River basin, pose what is regularly referred to as a "devastating" threat to the species regularly targeted by anglers in the Great Lakes region, such as king and coho salmon, steelhead, lake trout, brown trout, walleye and more. Many preventative measures are already in place throughout the region but the battle is an ongoing one and vigilance is required in order to keep Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes.
Hundreds of people turned out Saturday in Salida, Colorado, to show support for a Browns Canyon National Monument. The droves of green “I support a Browns Canyon National Monument” stickers were visible evidence of the overwhelming support, along with speaker after speaker urging administration officials to designate the canyon now.
Don’t let anyone tell you this is a top-down executive overreach. Local residents and stakeholders, frustrated by years of congressional fiddling, made it clear that this is a grassroots effort and that they want to get this special place protected.
The stretch of the Arkansas River that veers from the highway south of Buena Vista and rushes through a steep canyon full of Gold Medal Water fishing, amazing white water rafting, and pristine backcountry habitat is truly a unique place. Floating and finding pocket water within the canyon can produce over 20” trout, and the population of elk, deer, bighorn sheep, mountain lion and black bear create a healthy habitat for hunting and wildlife in general. This 22,000-acre rugged canyon is a truly wild place that I have visited more times than I can remember.
It’s an almost ungodly sight. It doesn’t seem real. Not when you catch that first glimpse, and not when you’re standing there among a throng of tourists at the Talkeetna overlook, each of whom is asking the same question: “Is that really Denali?”
It can’t be real, can it? Those rocky crags in front of it… the ones that look like the Tetons—only bigger—they might be real. But that massive white-cloaked behemoth of a mountain behind them? That’s not real. It can’t be.
But Denali is real, all 20-some-thousand feet of it. On rare clear days, it is the Alaska skyline—a massive preserve of rock and ice that looms menacingly over the interior like a moody schoolmarm just waiting for a reason to be cranky.