The 10 most read articles of 2019

Reader favorites from the past year
Photo: James Joiner

At the end of every December, we take a look back at the top stories of the year. While each year's reader favorites always unsurprisingly contain a few stories from each of the areas we focus on most intently here at Hatch Magazine—namely conservation journalism, stories about gear, tips on how to become a better angler and so on—there are always a few stories that grab readers more than we expect them to.


We all have our anchors; those things that hold us in place when the storms come
Photo: Mike Sepelak

He hadn’t said a word all evening, the small, frail man in threadbare jeans and a faded fishing shirt two sizes too large. Slumped-shouldered and sunken-eyed, he’d arrived alone and had settled into the sparest chair in the lodge’s common room, the one near the window, and extended a thousand-mile stare out onto the plain, across the river, over the foothills that rose to our west. To where the sun would soon set.

Why—and how much—you should tip your fishing guide

There's a lot more to tipping your guide than how many fish you caught
On the good days, guides help you find (and hold for a photo) fish like this one (photo: Chad Shmukler).

What’s the biggest misconception about the life of a fishing guide? It’s a question I’ve been asked, and have heard asked, countless times. If I had to provide an answer, it would be that it’s easy. That it’s as simple and stress-free as simply taking someone fishing. That the day begins and ends at the boat ramp.

Patagonia raised $10 million for the planet and will match every single dollar

Thousands of donors will have their contributions doubled to grassroots environmental organizations
Eel Wild and Scenic River, California (photo: BLM).

On Black Friday, Patagonia kicked off its Action Works fundraising effort for 2019, dedicated to raising money for grassroots environmental organizations. Patagonia's pitch to those who would potentially support these organizations was simple: donate to support these environmental non-profits and we'll match every single dollar, up to $10 million. A mere 17 days later, Patagonia had hit that ceiling, effectively putting $20 million dollars in the hands of grassroots organizations that typically struggle with limited staff and budgets.

The dirtier dozen: 12 flies that will catch trout—and more—anywhere they swim

Dries, nymphs and streamers that all anglers should carry in the lower 48 and beyond
A conehead brown and yellow woolly bugger, complete with rubber legs (photo: Chad Shmukler).

A few weeks ago, a buddy asked me which flies he should tie for the upcoming season. I thought about it for a few minutes, e-mailed him some potential choices, and then remembered a little game I used to play with the annual Orvis Flies & Fly Tying catalog.