The great fly fishing divide

A lot of anglers are wading off in opposing directions
Photo: Chad Shmukler

A troublesome divide has been growing more and more apparent in the fly fishing sphere. This shift may well stem from the unprecedented craziness we’ve all dealt with over the last year and a half. It might also spring, at least in part, from the increase in the number of fly fishers who have no experience with a spinning rod or a bait-casting rig, or the fact that so many of us engage on social media, or our burgeoning focus on species other than trout. Whatever the case, it sure seems as if a lot of anglers are wading off in opposing directions.

Big changes are in store for your National Parks and public lands road trips

National parks are iconic destinations for anglers and countless others. A new study finds warming temperatures could mean big changes in how we use our public lands.
Wildfire smoke-filled skies blanket Yosemite National Park (photo: Rennett Stowe / cc2.0).

Climate change is already shaking up the natural world, changing the timing of seasonal snow melts, flower blooms and animal migrations. Now a new study from researchers at Utah State University suggests that, not surprisingly, it will also change when people interact with those landscapes.

4 tips for becoming a better fly caster

Helpful advice for developing a roadmap to fly casting proficiency
Photo: Earl Harper

Fly fishing for trout isn’t rocket science, even though it seems like we try to make it so at times. If you present your fly to trout in a natural or somewhat natural manner, you stand a good chance of fooling many of them. The key to achieving that natural or somewhat natural presentation is fly casting. But the truth is, you don’t need to be a master fly caster to be a successful angler. You do, however, need to be proficient.

How to be a better stripper

Up your chance to connect with the strip-and-pause method
Photo: Stu Hastie

On a guided float in Wyoming some time ago — and I think it’s a great idea for every angler, regardless of skill level or angling proficiency, to take a guided trip now and then — I got a great tip that has paid dividends ever since, no matter where I’ve stripped flies or what fish I’ve chased.

After the third hit-and-run on my streamer from a big Salt River brown, I was frustrated. The fish were into my fly pattern, but I just couldn’t hook up.

Buying your next fly rod

Tips on how to wade through the sea of options fly anglers have these days
Photo: Chad Shmukler

Over the last few weeks I’ve been thinking a fair amount about the way hunters fixate on rifles. I’m not really a gun aficionado — it doesn’t matter to me whether my rifle has an embedded stock or a free-floated barrel, or whether a .280 shoots a little flatter than a .270 — but I’m fascinated by the fact that so many hunters focus on all the tiny details that go into a functional firearm. After all, a gun is just a tool — and last I checked, the majority of hunters are neither engineers nor tool-makers.