Everything you need to experience natural wonder is in your DNA
Photo: Johnny Carrol Sain

As my eyes scanned the tangle of honeysuckle, other communications — a faint, familiar scent carried on the breeze and quick footfalls on dew-softened leaves — told me to be patient and keep watching. Something was coming. And based on this thread of information, I knew it wasn’t a deer; it wasn’t a squirrel. It was likely something canine.

5 tips to help your flies last longer

Tested tips to extend the life of the flies you tie or buy
Photo: Cody Kirbyson

I watched “Mysis Mike” Kingsbury throw a cast upstream to a pod of feeding browns. Mysis Mike’s dry fly disappeared in a swirl, and he waited a full count before firmly lifting his rod, driving the hook point home. His rod buckled and bounced, and I waltzed upstream to see the fish. Blue-winged olives hatched in earnest all around me.

“What fly are you using?” I asked Mike, once he pulled the hook free. He knelt and cradled the big brown — a nice 21-inch trout — in the water, admiring the fish’s pale yellows and bright blues.

“A hook,” Mike replied.

Backyard fire

Our favorite fire pits, ovens, grills and more for hardwood warmth and cooking
The Stahl Fire Pit [foreground] and Stadler Oven [background] at work (photo: Chad Shmukler).

Though few positive side effects resulted from the coronavirus pandemic that descended on the globe in early 2020, one of the most significant may be the nationwide and worldwide rekindling of people’s desire to spend time outdoors. Though initially a product of necessity—leisure activities or socializing with others, in many parts of the country, required one to be outside—this shift, for many, quickly blossomed into a revitalized love affair with all things outside.

Protecting the Vjosa, Europe's last wild river

Europe's last untamed river is threatened by over 30 hydropower projects
Photo: Andrew Burr

The Vjosa River is the last of its kind. The river and its tributaries flow uninterrupted from their headwaters in the mountains of Greece to Albania where the Vjosa empties into the Adriatic Sea. It is the only major wild river system that exists in Europe today and it has long been imperiled by hydropower projects that would destroy the culture and ecology of the regions the river courses through. Today, over 30 different hydropower projects are proposed on the Vjosa and its tributaries.

Getting your fly gear organized and ready for a new year on the water

Tips on getting your lines, fly boxes, and more ready for the coming season
Photo: Chad Shmukler

Every winter I look forward to prepping for the upcoming fly fishing season. I like to set the stage for a successful season with gear maintenance and preparation. For me, organization is the key to an enjoyable time on the water. There are those who can excel in a chaotic and disorganized environment, but unfortunately, I’m not one of them. The only way I can reduce my anxiety and increase my enjoyment on the water is to maintain some level of fly gear organization.