Kneel before the trout

Don't believe what you've heard, smaller is better
Angler Chris Hunt and guide Nico Natalluci connect with a rainbow trout on Patagonia's famed Rio Malleo (photo: Chad Shmukler).

The canyon reach of Argentina’s Malleo River is hallowed water — it’s no less impressive than the Henry’s Fork, the Madison or the Frying Pan. Truth be told, it might fish better than any I just mentioned, and it feels every bit as trouty as any trophy river in the States.

Review: Scott F Series fly rod

Creek freaks, rejoice
Photo: Chris Hunt

I remember packing up at the trailhead of a small tributary to the South Fork of the Snake River that fateful evening some two decades ago. It was nearly dark, and the mosquitoes were on me the second I removed my waders. The sun had dropped below the Big Hole Mountains, and everything took on a chill that’s universal in the Rockies.

No sun. No warmth. We don’t get those sultry Southern evenings here in the mountains. When the sun goes behind the mountains, it steals the heat from the river bottoms. And the bugs come out. Sucks to be you if you’re caught out in it.

A cruel mistress, gentled

It's possible to give trout too much respect
Photo: Chad Shmukler

There’s always a fizz of elation when, after driving 75 miles with your mind set on fishing a certain stretch of a certain trout stream—and various happy scenarios playing out in your imagination—you arrive to find the parking area empty. This is especially the case here in Wisconsin, where the streams tend to be small and there typically isn’t a lot of room for competing anglers to operate comfortably.

5 dry flies for catching backcountry trout

These patterns will help lure voracious, high-country trout to the top
Releasing a feisty rainbow trout (photo: Chad Shmukler).

I’m not much of a list guy. I’ve just never been one to jot things down. The average trip to the grocery store is generally an adventure in random wandering that depends on me encountering visual clues to what’s needed to fill empty shelves at home.

But when it comes to fly fishing high-elevation trout water, I do, indeed, have my lists. They aren’t written down, per se. They live in the fishy part of my brain, where their compilations now consist largely of instinct rather than recall or reference.

Sage outs new SONIC fly rod and Euro-nymphing specific ESN reel

Two new trout-focused offerings from the renowned Bainbridge Island rod and reel maker
The new Sage SONIC (photo: Far Bank Enterprises).

Last week, with trout season kicking into high gear, Sage introduced two new products aimed squarely at those anglers. The Bainbridge Island, Washington company's latest rod offering, the Sage SONIC, is a multi-application rod that slots into its lineup just below its acclaimed, flagship X rod. Sage also debuted its new ESN reel, which is the first reel of its kind dedicated specifically to Euro and other tight-line nymphing styles.