Fishing the crash

Sand River smallmouth on the lower Wisconsin
Photo: Kyle Zempel

“This isn’t something you normally say when you’re fly-fishing,” mused Kyle Zempel, “but thank goodness for the wind.”

What Zempel, the proprietor of the Black Earth Angling Company and our guide on this lower Wisconsin River smallmouth trip, meant was that without the wind’s moderating influence, we would have been standing in pools of our own sweat. The midday temperature had climbed into the 90s, and while it’s tempting to call such smothering heat “unseasonable” for Wisconsin in June, the definition of “seasonable,” in this day and age, has become increasingly slippery.

Review: Korkers River Ops BOA wading boots

Improving on Korkers best wading boots yet
The Korkers River Ops BOA wading boots (photo: Spencer Durrant).

Almost a year ago, I reviewed the original Korkers River Ops boots. If you didn’t read that review at the time it was published, it’s worth referring back to for the nitty gritty on the River Ops design. At the time of the original review, my only notable criticism of the River Ops was that they weren’t available with the BOA lacing system. Now, Korkers has introduced a BOA version of the River Ops, which only improved upon what I think is the best boot Korkers has built to date.

Permanently end old growth logging in America's Salmon Forest, study says

The Tongass National Forest in Alaska stores almost 20 percent of carbon in the entire U.S. National Forest system
Photo: Earl Harper

The Tongass National Forest in the U.S. state of Alaska is a special place for conservation biologist Dominick DellaSala, even after decades of traveling the world to study temperate rainforests.

“The trees are enormous,” DellaSala, chief scientist at the Earth Island Institute’s World Heritage project, told Mongabay. “It’s like being in a cathedral. It’s an amazing place.”

How to salvage your Yellowstone National Park fishing trip

A bevy of trophy trout alternatives to Yellowstone fisheries off-limits for 2022
Photo: Chris Hunt

The historic flooding that has shuttered the northern half of Yellowstone National Park, likely for the season, might have also put a damper on some serious fly fishing plans for anglers who come from far and wide to chase wild trout within the park.


You don’t wade the Deschutes for six hours without shoelaces and not miss them
Photo: Matthew DeLorme.

The old Subaru’s water pump blows up just outside The Dalles. Our already failing plan to make Macks Canyon before dark is now officially shot, and the whole trip appears to be in jeopardy. Visions of a week spent camping on hot asphalt behind the gas station while waiting for parts swim through my heat-addled brain. At seven o’clock on an unseasonably sweltering September evening in the central Oregon desert, I feel as far from catching a steelhead on a fly as you would in Phoenix, Arizona. Heat shimmers off the asphalt as I step onto the road and stick out my thumb.