The mysticism of peacock herl

And the flies it makes great
Photo: Chris Hunt

A good friend of mine from Fredricksburg, Texas, proudly wears the mantle of “former biology nerd.” Now and again, Mick McCorcle pulls out one of his microscopes and takes a detailed look at various fly-tying materials.

“One cold winter day,” he told me, “I pulled out some peacock herl and began to examine it under increasingly higher magnification. At each level, the herl was iridescent. As the magnification got higher, the field of view got smaller, but the iridescence was still evident. No matter how high the magnification, the iridescence never dulled.”

Korkers introduces new Wade-Lite wading boot collection

Two new lightest-in-class models aimed at active anglers
The new Korkers Stealth Sneaker in action (photo: Korkers).

Over the last half decade or so, bootmakers have focused intently on designing offerings geared towards making it easier for agile and active anglers to move and keep moving. Newer wading boot designs have not only shed pounds and ounces, they’ve also traded boxy, crude construction for a more athletic and hiker-friendly fit.

Review: Simms G4Z Waders (2024)

Simms' latest iteration of its longtime flagship wader is unquestionably its best
The G4Zs on duty in northeast Iceland (photo: Chad Shmukler).

For anglers who fish hard, their gear is everything. It keeps us warm. It keeps us dry. Sometimes, it keeps us upright — on our feet — when the river or the terrain has other ideas. It helps us achieve that desired connection with the fish we’re after. Good gear adds joy to fishing. That’s what it’s supposed to do, and those who scoff at the idea that quality gear is a significant component to good fishing might need to rethink the state of their fly fishing closet.

I've been there

Swimming in waders is never easy
Photo: Tim Schulz

Last night, I couldn’t find a campsite in the dark and rain, so I parked and slept in the day-use lot at Barretts Park Campground. When I crawl out of my truck this morning, I’m about two hundred feet from the Beaverhead River, which flows beside a four-hundred-foot-wide and sixty-foot-high rock formation Lewis and Clark called “Rattlesnake Cliff.”

Lower Snake River dams are greenhouse gas factories, new study finds

Annually, the LSR dams produce as much greenhouse gasses as burning 2 billion pounds of coal
Little Goose Dam, one of the Lower Snake River dams (photo: Matt Stoecker).

The four lower Snake River dams that produce, on average, about 1,000 megawatts of electric power every year are really “climate catastrophes,” according to the chief scientist for a non-profit that hopes to expose dams as significant greenhouse gas producers and not the generators of clean, green energy they’re often billed to be.