12 keys to becoming a great fly angler

What do you need to do to become a truly great fly fisher?
Photo: Chad Shmukler

I had an interesting phone conversation with angling legend Tom Rosenbauer earlier this year. Tom, who has been the face of Orvis fly fishing for as far back as I can remember, called and wanted to talk trout fishing. Specifically, he asked me what folks need to do to become truly great fly fishers for trout.

I thought it over, and then thought about it some more, and finally shared the following list with Tom.

A river runs under it

A bitter tale of loss and redemption
Artwork: V.R. Tapscott.

I was standing in the living room of the “nearly done” Craftsman looking at cracks running diagonally up the plaster walls and across the ceiling.

“Every house from Madison Park to the lake has those. From the ’65 quake,” beamed Penny, the pert little realtor with the brand-new white-on-white Land Rover parked out front.

“Oh.” Like that explained everything and made me want the house even more.

“Of course, everything on the downhill side of Broadway is on a fault. All sliding slowly into the lake.”

St. Croix poised for a big return to fly fishing

The award-winning, iconic Wisconsin-based rod maker once again has its sights set on fly
Twenty-five year industry veteran Tom Larimer was recently announced as St. Croix's new fly fishing brand manager (photo: Tom Larimer).

Some 15 years ago, the sales and marketing team from St. Croix Rods packed up the company’s fly fishing display after the annual International Fly Tackle Dealer show in Denver, loaded it into a truck and never returned.

Review: Skwala Fusion 3/2 Puffy jacket

Is newcomer Skwala's puffy jacket offering the best option for anglers?
Photo: Skwala

Skwala Fishing, the recently launched, Montana-based apparel company staffed by a veritable horde of industry veterans, isn’t just another new kid on the fly fishing block. And I doubt they’ll be a flash-in-the-pan company. Yes, they opened up shop in Bozeman, Montana, home to other fly fishing apparel industry giants. Yes, Skwala’s products are built to compete with the best in the industry.

Fly fishing through a western drought

Navigating yet another devastating drought year on tap for the American west
Lake Powell, seen half full in this 2014 Landsat satellite image. Today, Lake Powell is considerably lower, hitting its lowest recorded levels (photo: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center / cc2.0).

We’ve all watched and read about the record low water levels for iconic western reservoirs like Lake Powell and Lake Mead on the Colorado River, but the ongoing drought isn’t unique to the American Southwest. From New Mexico to southwest Montana and west across the Rockies to the Sierra-Nevada of California, some of America’s most-storied trout waters are in real trouble.