Hook set

When trout fishing, one should ignore the 'no trout sets' mentality
Photo: Mike Sepelak

The point was sharp as a tack. That wasn’t the problem. The foam hopper floated just fine, its hook angled properly, and my light hangover was just a dull buzz in the background and had no appreciable effect on my reflexes. So why was I missing fish after fish, hookset after hookset?

Review: Winston PURE fly rod

A close look at Winston's new dry fly specialist
Photo: Spencer Durrant

About a month ago, I finally got my hands on a 9’ 4wt review model of the PURE. Winston bills this rod as a light-line presentation stick for wary trout – much in the same way the company’s vaunted IM6 and WT series have been described.

The PURE isn’t a “modern” version of those classic rods, which is a good thing. The PURE stands on its own, much as the B3LS did, and performs admirably in most classic trout fishing situations. It may not be the company’s flagship rod, but at $850, it’s priced as a flagship stick for dry-fly enthusiasts.

Review: Rock Treads traction system

Can Rock Tread's aluminum discs upgrade your wading boots?
Photo: Matt Reilly

I learned early on as a hunter that training one’s self to walk quietly without having to focus on foot placement translates directly to greater success via less head movement and more time available to scan for movement. I quickly became a fan of shoes with soft, relatively thin soles, as they allow the wearer to walk more quietly and feel what’s underfoot.

How to drink your way through the fishing day: Classic Catskills

Your guide to the best beer, spirits and food on the famed waters of the Catskills region
Photo: John Fedorka

With hatches tapering down instead of ramping up, autumn fishing in the Catskills isn’t the celebration of life that it is in, let’s say, May. Rather, it’s a celebration of another season in the books and preparation for a long winter of either chipping ice off your steelhead rod or warming up behind the vice. It’s about sharing the water with friends and family while soaking up every bit of waning, post-autumn equinox sunlight. Don’t expect big numbers, but there’s always a chance for the elusive 25-inch brown. But hey, if you’re a real angler you know, it’s never about the fish.

Fixing what ails our forests

For the communities—and fish—that depend on them
On the morning of November 8, 2018, the Camp Fire erupted 90 miles (140 kilometers) north of Sacramento, California. By evening, the fast-moving fire had charred around 18,000 acres and remained zero percent contained (photo: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center).

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California is in the midst of its most deadly and damaging fire. At least fifty people have died, 6,700 homes burned, and more than 250,000 people evacuated. In response, President Trump tweeted: