Articles

Beads are the best

Flies tied with beads almost always outfish their counterparts, but why?
Photo: Domenick Swentosky
I’ll fish any fly. Really, I’ll fish anything. I have zero hang ups about synthetic materials or fluorescent colors. I don’t care if the fly is fur and feathers or nylon and silicone. If a plastic minnow caught more trout than a Pheasant Tail nymph, I’d fish it. But the Pheasant Tail is better. Trust me. I’ve fished a lot of nymphs and too many plastic minnows.

Iceland for anglers: The guide's guide

Translating the island's fly fishing formula
Photo: Kris Millgate
There's 15 hours of sunlight daily while I'm in Iceland. I plan to drive two of that. Eat for one and fish for 12. I'm so serious about fly fishing Iceland that when the staff at Deplar Farm, where I spend the dark hours, calls to pick me up early, I decline. They've spotted 30 whales and commandeered an ocean vessel for viewing. They're sure I don't want to miss it. I'm sure I do.

On killing trout

Fish are food, not friends
Photo: Tom Hazleton
Killing trout is easy. The actual act, at least. I use a four-inch Mora knife for all my trout work, and even its light birch handle has plenty of heft for the job. For a hand-span length trout, one or two sharp raps above the eyes triggers that electric death-shudder, the final sparks of current, and the trout is perfectly limp in hand for the rest of the cleaning process. No twitches, no gill movement, nothing. If I’m lucky there’s some wild mint along the streambank to wrap the fish in before sliding it into my creel.

Partisan, Inc.

America for sale
Photo: Arian Stevens
Let’s say you’re looking for an easy score. Maybe you want to put a huge, dangerous mine in the middle of Alaska's Bristol Bay region, which is the salmon capitol of North America. Or maybe you want to keep dumping fracking waste water into the Gulf of Mexico. Or you want to tear the tops off West Virginia’s remaining mountains to get at those last hidden seams of coal. Or you want to keep showering massive quantities of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers on genetically-modified crops from Florida to Ohio to California. Or maybe you can’t wait to privatize our vast public lands.

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