Fly fishing books everyone should read

A few essentials of fly fishing literature
Photo: Spencer Durrant

A few weeks back, I sat in my Monday afternoon contemporary American literature class while we discussed the current renaissance of love for the American West in film and literature. The class is small, required for my major, and I’m a junior in college, so everyone knows me as that “guy who writes about fish and killing elk.”

I protest that I only hunt elk; killing one is lucky.

So, the class deferred discussion to me when our professor said, “Give me some examples of your favorite contemporary Western literature.”

Eleven pounds of attitude

Letting genetics take over
Photo: John Klus

One night a few years ago John Klus walked into his home on Lake Waubesa, Wisconsin, and thought, "Why is there a mouse running around in my living room?" The next thing Klus knew his wife, Sarah, was scooping up the mouse in her arms, a mouse that upon closer inspection turned out to be a dachshund puppy.

Guns and responsibility

Have we lost respect for the power that guns possess?
Photo: Johnny Carrol Sain

During my rural childhood, I was taught, as I'm sure many of you were, that there were two appropriate places for guns -- either on the rack or in the woods. No one had to tell me that school or downtown was not the proper context for a gun.

In the court of the Tatsamenie kings

A journey into the domain of the Taku's giant chinook salmon
Photo: Shane Townsend

Cold fog hangs white like muslin over the Juneau morning, masking the waters of the Taku River. To the Native Tlingit, "taku" is "salmon." The river has long been central to the lives of people here and it's one of the most important salmon fisheries in the world. An hour bush flight up the watershed runs the glacier-fed Tatsatua River. This stream is known by few. And, the salmon are plentiful, gorgeous, and gear-busting big.