Review: Orvis Clearwater 11-weight 9'4" fly rod

Orvis' purpose-built pike and musky specialist is a shockingly good value
Photo: Tom Hazelton

Minnesota and Wisconsin must have some of the highest tarpon-rods-per-capita in the country, outside Florida. Most of these rods, of course, will never see a drop of salt water, unless you count tears — because musky anglers shed plenty, whether from icy November gales, chronic tendonitis, or the worst of all, trout sets.

How to execute an effective figure-eight

Tips on how to make the most of this essential musky-chasing tactic
Photo: Matt Reilly

If you’ve spent any time around musky anglers, you’ve likely heard days measured in “follows”, “eats”, and, sometimes, actual fish in the boat. The elusive musky’s tendency to follow flies to the boat without striking is part of what makes them so frustratingly elusive and captivating. To combat this habit, Esox anglers regularly employ a boatside technique known as the figure-eight to convert those following fish into hooked and, hopefully, bagged fish.

12 tips for staying warm and safe when fishing in winter

Warm means safe when out on icy winter waters
Photo: Wesley White

It was brutally cold last week here in eastern Idaho and on the rivers of Yellowstone Country. One night last week, I huddled next to the fire inside while, outside, the mercury bottomed out at minus-22 degrees. It’s a bit early to be seeing such cold weather, but if you’re going to fish in the fall in the northern Rockies, you better be prepared for it.

And this time of the year is a great time to be out chasing trout. Winter doesn’t have to get in the way of that.

Want to try squirrel hunting? Here's how to get started.

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.