Fly casting for beginners

5 things you need to know to improve your casting
John Juracek leads the fly casting instruction for School of Trout students on the Henry’s Fork (photo: Todd Tanner).

I watched a fly fishing film the other day and I was struck less by the size of the trout, and by the gorgeous scenery, and by the anglers — who were young, attractive and flashing great big toothy smiles — than I was by something that seems to fly under the radar on a pretty regular basis nowadays.

The people in front of the camera were poor casters.

It's time to stop starving Florida Bay

A lack of fresh water is smothering one of the world's most diverse and iconic fisheries
A Florida Bay snook (photo: Johnny Carrol Sain).

"Hey, there's a nurse shark," says Captain Eric Lund. His nonchalant tone doesn't jibe with the words. From my perspective as landlocked for life, a shark sighting is cause for exclamation.

The hulking burgundy form shadows the skiff, wig-wagging over turtle grass while I snap photo after photo. And they all suck. Too many shadows, and the shark is just too deep through the jade-shaded crystal water. Auto focus can't capture the fish and I'm too slow on the draw manually.

Invasive lake trout have rewired Yellowstone's food web

Bears, wolves, elk, birds and more have left the park or altered their behavior thanks to lake trout-induced changes
A cutthroat trout jumps a rapid on its way upstream to spawn (photo: Pat Clayton / Fish Eye Guy Photography).

The illegal introduction of lake trout into Yellowstone Lake has had a marked impact on the lake's drainage, but also on neighboring basins across the entirety of Yellowstone National Park and surrounding public lands, according to a new scientific report produced by Yellowstone's lead fisheries biologist and a host of researchers who gathered data dating back to the mid-1990s.

Bad cast? Fish it anyway.

Sometimes fishing can be just like horseshoes and hand grenades
Photo: Thomas Brimer

My 19-year-old daughter had driven over from her summer gig in the Tetons to chase some native cutthroats with me at our favorite little haunt high in the Caribou Range of eastern Idaho, and the fish were cooperating.

Delaney was using her tenkara rod—she can cast a traditional fly rod, but the tenkara rod is her favorite. It’s simple, packable and generally fool-proof, especially on small water where fly line has a knack for finding overhanging willows and getting caught on rocks and snags at your feet.

Requiem for a peregrine

One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds
A peregrine falcon soars over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York City. Peregrines can often thrive in urban environments (photo: MTA).

One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds.

—Aldo Leopold