Review: ECHO Dry fly rod

Tim Rajeff's dry fly specialist is effective and affordable
Photo: Cosmo Genova

I’ve never been a purist and will do just about anything to get a fish to eat, but there is something undeniably special about dry fly fishing. When the conditions are right on a river like the Delaware, I’d almost rather search for hours without a cast, waiting for a rise, than to pound the bottom where I might have better luck.

Squirrel tail clousers

In case you thought squirrels were only good for eating
Squirrel tail clousers (photo: Johnny Carrol Sain).

The morning’s hunt in the Ozark National Forest had ended with four fat gray squirrels riding home in my truck. As I cleaned the squirrels, readying them for a simmering pot of potatoes, carrots, onion, celery and a blend of seasonings, the white-tipped fur on each tail caught my eye. It seemed wasteful to throw them away.

The fishing lodge

A glimpse into anglers' heaven
Photo: Chris Hunt

The old dart board hangs from the split-log wall, inviting a game of 501. It’s just to the left of the bar, which rests in the shadow of a massive bull moose mount. The fireplace crackles nicely, spitting flames up the rock chimney and spreading the aroma of seasoned spruce throughout the lodge. It mingles with the earthy smells of whisky and the fragrances of dinner being carefully prepared in the kitchen.

Review: Sage SALT HD fly rod

Sage's latest saltwater specialist does it all
Casting the Sage SALT HD at a bonefish from the deck of a Bair's Lodge skiff (photo: Earl Harper).

When the Sage SALT HD was announced last year, it rode an enormous hype wave to the forefront of virtually any discussion about saltwater fly rods. It won"Best in Show" at the International Fly Tackle Dealer show in Orlando. And the proclamations came: it's a Scott Meridian killer, or a G. Loomis NRX killer, it's Sage's best saltwater fly rod ever and so on. Then came the naysayers, it's too heavy, the tip is too stiff, it's all marketing, ad infinitum.

Of these hills

Turkeys start gobbling, shad start running, and crappie start biting when the dogwood buds grow to the size of a squirrel’s ear
Photo: Matt Reilly

There’s a saying developed and propagated in the great state of Virginia that outshines and outperforms any watch or calendar of any make or ability—at least as far as its use in predicting the outset of the plethora of sporting traditions that burst into effect following the spring equinox. It’s a device fashioned of local knowledge by minds weathered and ecologically observant enough to do so, and it’s made truer with each passing year that it rings on time.