Review: BOTE Rackham Aero inflatable paddleboard

Bote's angler-geared, inflatable, "Bugslinger" SUP is a stable, agile platform
Photo: Chad Shmukler

For going on a decade now, each spring I've been fortunate enough to be able to take my family to the incredibly fishy island waters of Martha's Vineyard, off the coast of Massachusett's famed Cape Cod. We arrive before the summer season starts, before we're priced out of all the vacation rentals, and spend as much time as we possibly can soaking up the salt air on the beaches and waters that ring the island.

Review: YETI Roadie 24 Hard Cooler

YETI's reincarnation of its tried-and-true classic is better than ever
The new-for-2020 YETI Roadie (photo: Chad Shmukler).

Long before YETI redefined the entire soft cooler genre with its well-loved Hopper series, it had another cooler built for portability and smaller loads—its vaunted Roadie hard cooler. The original Roadie 20 has been a staple in YETI's lineup for well over a decade and year after year has been one of the brand's best sellers.

Review: Korkers Terror Ridge wading boots

Does Korkers' inclusion of Heel Lock technology in its newest boots make for better wading?
Photo: Spencer Durrant

If you’re anything like me, you put a fair number of miles on your wading boots each year. From short one-mile wades after work, to long Saturdays spent alone in the high country. The distance racks up quickly — as does the wear and tear on boots not designed for miles of hiking rugged terrain.

Thankfully, manufacturers have started building boots to perform well in and out of the water, although it’s taken a few years for anyone to find a reasonable solution that balances the need for rigid stability on a rocky, unpredictable river bottom, and flexibility for longer hiking.

Thoughts on the killing of George Floyd

Systemic racism is everywhere. Even in the great outdoors.
Photo: Chad Brown

Wait before you judge. Take a deep breath. Because you can.

In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, I’ve seen countless people on social media expressing their rage — not about George’s death or about the underlying problem of inequality in our country — but about looting and physical damage to property.

I don’t support property destruction, but when there is a riot, there is no rule book.

As Dr. Martin Luther King said, “A riot is nothing but the voice of the unheard.”

The death of George Floyd is a horrific loss that has shined a spotlight on the systemic racism present not just in our nation’s police departments, but in our day-to-day lives, in our schools, offices, court systems, and elsewhere. It has highlighted the tension between white and non-white people in the United States. It has offered us a moment to pause and listen to the unheard voices of America — the voices of indigenous women missing and murdered on their own land, indigenous tribes fighting for their water rights (and losing), Hispanics facing the challenges of maintaining their identity and making a living through low-paid jobs, African Americans asking for equality and justice while seeing black boys and girls getting killed by merciless cops.

The reality of being black in America is being born with a target on you. You can’t separate from this target. It follows you wherever you go. Every time you step outside, your target is visible. You’re judged, spat on, called “nigger” time after time. You walk into a store or office and are falsely accused of a crime. You’re subject to traffic stops simply for being in the “wrong” neighborhood, and then you get harassed by the cops.

Once, when I was pulled over, the cop asked me if I was a U.S. citizen even though my driver’s license clearly indicates that I’m a United States veteran. My car tires have been slashed while fly fishing. Once, while I was fishing on Veteran’s Day, my brake lines were ripped out of my truck.

A better excuse for missing fish

Want to let yourself off the hook for those missed connections? Well, here you go.
Photo: John Juracek

While fishing the Lamar River in Yellowstone Park a few seasons back, I happened across a very fine cutthroat trout rising freely. I’d been attempting that day to photograph fish taking flies, so I called my partner over to have a go at this fish. After watching it rise a couple times, he waded into position and presented his fly. Promptly the trout rose, my friend tightened, and…nothing. Well, alright. Missed strikes constitute a part of fishing, even for competent anglers (which my friend surely is). Funny thing was, the fish never broke rhythm. A moment later he was back up again.