Trout tactics: stocked vs. wild

Know your target and you'll know success
Photo: George Daniel.

I teach basic fly-fishing skills at Penn State University. Most of my students have little experience fishing for wild or native trout but have spent plenty of time targeting stocked trout. Our class takes at least three field trips to fish for wild trout on Spring Creek, near Bellefonte, PA. This fishery is full of wild trout which are not easy for inexperienced anglers to catch. Every semester, I witness students with extensive experience targeting stocked trout fail to catch a single wild brown trout during the combined six hours of class time spent fishing the creek.

Pike and leeches: Star-crossed lovers

Pike and leeches' prey-prey relationship
A Reindeer Lake pike that grabbed a black Slumpbuster (photo: Chris Hunt).

Some years back, I had the opportunity to fly fish for trophy northern pike on Reindeer Lake, a massive and unspoiled boreal lake that straddles the border of Saskatchewan and Manitoba. We hit the lake right around the summer solstice — the ideal time for trophy pike in the northern reaches of Canada’s southern provinces. We arrived during a short cold snap that quickly retreated and spent a week watching the lake go from spring to summer in just a matter of days.

Fishing was good. Really good.

Biden administration rejects destructive Ambler Road project

BLM declares road project would 'significantly and irrevocably impact resources'
Photo: U.S. Department of Interior.

Yesterday, the Biden administration rejected the “speculative” Amber Road Project that would have constructed an industrial-grade road some 210 miles into the Alaskan interior in order to allow minerals to be transported to market from the Ambler Mining District.

Fly fishing with a worm

Other anglers may snub their nose. Let 'em.
Photo: Earl Harper

Bliss Perry was a pioneer in American literature. He taught at Williams College, Princeton, and Harvard and edited the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, among others. But I wouldn't know anything about Professor Perry if he hadn't written a book called Fishing with a Worm.

His short book—published in 1916—begins with an indictment of the fishing gene:

A defective logic is the born fisherman's portion. He is a pattern of inconsistency. He does the things which he ought not to do, and he leaves undone the things which other people think he ought to do.

Review: Simms Pursuit Shoe

One of the most versatile wet wading shoes available
Photo: Darcy Bacha.

Flats fishing is an active pursuit, and the terrain isn’t always as friendly as we wish it was. And when you’re wading, it’s all about stealth and balance. Keeping your feet safe and comfortable over a weeklong trip where you’ll wade across everything from eelgrass to jagged Caribbean limestone is every bit as important as the rod you cast and the fly you choose to put in front of bonefish and permit.