Mississippi highs and lows

Plans conjured from afar are best printed on cork
Sun bursts through storm clouds off the coast of Gulfport, Mississippi (photo: Johnny Marquez).

Catch a tripletail on a fly rod: That’s the plan. But as anyone who's spent a year south of I-10 knows: plans conjured from afar are best printed on cork so at least they'd float.

At oh-my-God-it's-early, we bark tires out of south Austin headed east by southeast in a hurry. If we do well and get lucky, we’ll get to the boat slip in time for a couple hours chasing tripletail before night falls. And, I’ll see the sun set on my home of Mississippi as a tourist for the first time.

Iconic mayfly populations have declined by as much as 84 percent

Scientists studying mayflies using weather radar have discovered dramatic population declines
Hexagenia limbata (photo: James. St. John / cc2.0).

The emergence of Hexagenia limbata mayflies, throughout the Great Lakes and parts of the mid-Atlantic region, is nearly a religious event in angling circles. Each year in early June, these enormous mayflies blanket the landscape, emerging by the billions each night, smothering waterways, riverbanks, roadways and more with thousands of tons of trout-candy biomass.

Searching for the right on climate

Balancing the practical and the ethical in combatting climate change
Climate change means more than drought; in many places it means unprecedented flooding. These cars are mired in the high water of the 2019 Missouri River floods (photo: Notley Hawkins).

“It was a great trip,” Christine said. “You can’t really appreciate Alaska until you’ve been there, and the scenery along the Alcan has to be seen to be believed. We had a great time. Still, it was an 8,500-mile round trip.” There was a pause on her end of the call. “It’s hard not to feel guilty. . . . How do you deal with that kind of thing?”

The Perdigon nymph: Don't call it a pellet fly

Let others snub their nose at this buggy, creative nymph while you're busy catching tons of fish with it
A victim of the Perdigon nymph (photo: Chad Shmukler).

Let’s get this out of the way first. The Perdigon nymph that has taken over competition fly fishing, thanks to both Spanish and French Euro-nymphers, has officially found its way to the four corners of the trout-fishing universe.

In December, an Argentine guide tied one to my tippet under a Chernobyl, and I spent an afternoon on the lower Rio Chimehuin catching fat rainbows and browns, seemingly at will. I began to think of the Perdigon as the “new” San Juan Worm. Rarely have I seen a fly work so well when nothing else seems to work at all.

The dishonest caddis

If you can remember important lessons, you can fool trout anywhere
A plump, healthy, Patagonian brown trout (photo: Chad Shmukler).

It was our last day in Patagonia, and it might have been the best day, at least as far as the weather went. Furiously blue skies. Not a breath of the wind that had punished us the day before. Clouds? What clouds?

Some days, you just feel it, you know?