Iron Creek - Yellowstone National Park
Photo: John Juracek

For the classics

Why is some of the best fly fishing writing disappearing?

For quite some years now, the classic books of fly fishing have been skating on thin ice. Very thin ice. Recently it appears—at least from where I stand—that the ice has finally given way. With luck a couple of classic titles may flounder for awhile, but the bulk of them seem to be plunging unceremoniously to depths from which only the most intrepid of future anglers might dredge them. Yes, the classics are pretty much gone. I’m taking it hard.

Private trout stream connecticut
Photo: Steve Zakur

Wait, do I have to share too?

When private-ish water goes public

There's this small brook, a couple of towns over, that I fish from time to time. It's little known except to a small cadre of small stream anglers. The fishing cannot be described as good, but that's not what turns on people who crawl along thin blue lines. Wild fish. Tricky casting. Ample opportunity to lay out f-bombs when you tangle in a pile of twigs for the third time in consecutive casts. That’s a full day for a small stream angler. Sometimes I go down to this brook with the sole intent of smoking a cigar and sipping single malt. Losing a fly to a tree is just a bonus.

winter trout stream
Photo: Christine Peterson

In this season of goals, set one that takes you outside

Join the trout of the month club

It was cold. Not, damn-I-wish-I'd-put-on-another-layer cold. It was I-hate-my-life, I-should-move-to-the-desert cold.

Any reasonable person would have gone home - or not suited up to begin with. But it was Dec. 31, and I hadn't caught a trout yet that month. So it didn't matter that it was near zero with God-only-knows what real-feel temperature courtesy of sustained 30 mph winds and I had to stop every other cast to break ice out of each crusted eyelet.

winter fly fishing
Photo: Joe Rossi

Winter fly fishing: A different world

Winter is the most unique of all fly fishing seasons

Spring, summer, and autumn remain distinctly different seasons of the year yet fish in a faintly similar fashion. Blue-winged olives are a staple spring and fall hatch, while a reasonably sized elk hair caddis will produce fish more often than not for three-quarters of the year.

fly fishing south dakota
Photo: Christine Peterson

Fishing for normal

Finding peace during a time of upheaval

No one plans to have their first kid two months early. All the books and blogs and listicles about impending parenthood offer tips on anything from nursing to diaper rash, but none explain what it’s like to spend the first month of your child’s life visiting her in the hospital. They don’t describe what it’s like to talk to your tiny creation on the other side of a plastic box with impossibly small tubes in her hands and nose.

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