How to drink your way through the fishing day: Upper Great Lakes

Your guide to the best beers, wines and spirits in the upper lakes of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan
Photo: Tom Hazelton
It doesn't really feel like summer up here until the solstice hits; I've always felt a little righteous about that. First day of summer, both on the calendar and outside. And in the Upper Great Lakes, the longest day of the year generally coincides with the start of the best fishing of the year. So we—myself and whoever I can drag along; this year, my wife—pack the truck and hit the road for a week or so.

Deep and green

Mining the waters of Chilean Patagonia for trout perfection
Photo: Chad Shmukler
We got our first look at the Rio Yelcho as we motored across a bridge spanning its mouth on the way to the lodge from Chaiten’s small airport. We’d been driving through Chile’s northern Patagonian rainforest for the better part of an hour, our attention diverted by the Jurassic flora and mountain scenery that just kept getting better with every passing bend.

Pogy are knocking, will you heed the call?

The future of gamefish from striped bass to tarpon are on the line this autumn
A silver king blasts a ball of menhaden off Jacksonville, Florida (photo: Zsolt Takacs).
It's not every day you are greeted by the smell of bait at your doorstep and is rarer still to revel in such a fishy odor wafting through your neighborhood. But there I was, following my sense of smell from my house in Melbourne, Florida to the ocean, several blocks away. I climbed the boardwalk steps and just past the shore break was a mass of pogy, swimming south.

The keepers of secrets

The dark fish—the most obvious and compelling—cannot be caught
Photo: Matthew Reilly
Ankle-deep and frozen in the reed-stagnated shallows of Lake Michigan, Brian Pitser stood alert, deep-bagged net crossed valiantly over his shoulder. His eyes—hopeful, calculating, and resigned—scanned a backwater bay for answers. For fishy shapes, movement, and lumbering shadows. For carp.


There's something to be said for fishing alone
Photo: Chris Hunt
There’s a bridge over a tumbling bedrock creek near the south entrance to Yellowstone National Park. It’s a good place to stop—if you walk a bit downstream, there’s an impressive set of waterfalls where the creek dives off of a plateau and dumps into the Lewis River just before the latter meets the humble beginnings of the mighty Snake.