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Locavore 101: Putting your own (squirrel) meat on the table
Photo: Johnny Carrol Sain

Honey-colored light filters through the hardwoods on this, the first cool morning of the season. The hickory leaves, near chartreuse as newborns in April, are a tired olive after the sear of summer. It’s a transitionary shade, the first subtle strokes from autumn’s palette. Soon they’ll turn vibrant orange, fairly glowing amid the rusty browns, reds, and purples of the oaks.

Hidden in the forest canopy, I hear a gray squirrel’s incisors — those robust teeth that are the calling-card and tool of trade for the rodents — cutting through the thick hull of a hickory nut.

Scott Fly Rod's Jim Bartschi and Theresa Van Nooten accepting the overall "Best of Show" award for Scott's new Sector series of fly rods (photo: Chad Shmukler).

Every annual International Fly Tackle Dealers (IFTD) show is a momentous event, but this year's gathering was particularly notable given that it is the first time in many year's that the fly fishing industry has gathered on its own. After 6 years of partnership with the American Sportfishing Association's ICAST show, which brought the fly fishing industry and the conventional fishing industry together under one enormous roof, this year IFTD was back on its own back in its previous home of Denver, Colorado.

The dead drift

It is the ultimate challenge in all of fly fishing
Photo: Joe Cummings

A shadow moves slightly as the trico imitation rides the currents towards its holding place. The trout lies suspended in a pillow of water that’s eddying in front of a mid-stream boulder, watching for food in the faster flow on either side, ready to eat. It starts to rise as the fly approaches the soft spot but at the last second the leader tightens and pulls the tiny mayfly a fraction of an inch off-line, perpendicular to the flow. Startled by the unnatural movement, the fish spooks, turns into the faster water and is gone.

Boulder Boat Works marches on

Dedication to innovation continues under new ownership
Photo: Drew Stocklein

Boating technology has been evolving for as long as people have been taking to the water—the materials, hull designs, propulsion methods, and interior layouts products of the boats’ intended utilities. For the modern fly angler, these centuries of technological evolution have culminated in the form of the dory-style drift boat, crafted from wood, then metals, then the current, industry-favored fiberglass. But innovation and evolution are ongoing.

The nature of things

Why do some people never seem to catch a break?
Photo: Julien Pouille

I just got back from the river a few days ago. A friend and I spent an evening on the quiet stretch near Last Chance and, through a quirk of fate, nobody else was around. Still, the fishing was tough — insects blanketed the water's surface as if someone had spilled a giant bowl of aquatic mixed nuts, and the trout were sorting through the smorgasbord, picking out whatever caught their fancy.