The Gurgler

When a gurgler gets eaten, there's almost always some drama
Photo: Chris Hunt

buddy Jock and I stood on the deck of a flats skiff, fresh off a short run from the lodge we were staying at in the Bahamas. We were facing down an enviable dilemma. About 50 feet away, a giant school of bonefish — hundreds of them — balled together in a “mud,” where they were busy gobbling up shrimp and crabs from the bottom of the blond, sand flat. If we were to cast, it would be like shooting fish in a barrel.

Anglers need to demand action on climate change, says new report

The American Fly Fishing Trade Association is calling on anglers to become activists
Photo: BLM / cc2.0.

The American Fly Fishing Trade Association is challenging anglers with an ultimatum: get involved in climate politics now in order to save fishing for generations to come. In a new report titled, “For Tomorrow’s Fish,” AFFTA makes plain-language ties between the quality of recreational fishing and a changing climate that’s upping the intensity of storms, raising ocean temperatures and lowering oxygen levels in waters from coast to coast.

Mom has a meth lab in the basement

Author Ann Miller in episode 3 of Reading the Water
Photo: Joe Cummings

What does an avid fly angler do when they can’t find a comprehensive guide with information about insect hatches, taxonomy, behavior, and flies to match those hatches in their part of the country? Well, if you’re an aquatic biologist and writer like Ann Miller, you build streams in your basement and garage, analyze and photograph the bugs as they develop through their lifecycles, and then write the most comprehensive and authoritative books on the subject.


This isn’t the sort of thing that happens on my home water
Photo: Tim Schulz

I leave Glenn’s Sweetgrass Rods shop a little after 3 p.m., putting me in Livingston around 5. Physically, I stand more than a half-foot taller than Glenn Brackett. Figuratively, the man towers above me like an enormous redwood from his native California. His artistry is beyond reproach, but his humanity and decency make him a giant. Like Glenn’s, all our lives are the sums of everything we do and everything we don’t.

Thank you, suckers

Quit sneering, suckers are cool.
Largescale suckers in a stream in Montana (photo: Glacier NPS).

When I was in 10th grade, I bought a fiberglass fly rod and Pflueger Medalist reel and decided to try my luck at fly fishing for trout. It felt like a natural progression, having already spin-fished for bluegills in ponds, and bait-cast for bass and pickerel in lakes. Now it was time to cast flies into rivers for pretty fish that ate bugs. But I knew little about how to catch trout, except from what I had gleaned from a few Field and Stream articles with banner headlines like: “Ten Tips for Giant ‘Bows!”