The Okefenokee is still in peril

A legal settlement has put one of America's last great wildernesses back in the crosshairs of a destructive mining operation
The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia (photo: Tim Parkinson / cc2.0).

One of the last great wild landscapes in the American southeast is still in peril thanks to a fall settlement between the company that wants to mine on the edges of the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge for heavy-mineral sands and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Simple nymphing: Part I

Simplify your nymphing rig and catch more trout
Photo: Todd Tanner

Some years ago, when I was just a bit younger than I am now, another fly fishing guide and I were fishing a well-known Montana creek right before run-off. He was using nymphs, while I was casting a dry fly. We split up for a bit, then met up and compared notes. I was doing pretty well, but he wasn’t having much luck. Then he mentioned that he didn’t think there were many trout around.

A small ship cruise of Alaska's Inside Passage

A family-friendly southeast Alaska tour for anglers and non-anglers alike
The M.V. Liseron seen from a hiker's perch above Red Bluff Bay (photo: Chad Shmukler).

It’s not just a fishing trip. Remember that. There will be plenty of fishing, but it’s not just a fishing trip.

As I gazed out over the deep, dark water of southeast Alaska’s Inside Passage from the observation deck of the Liseron, a refurbished military minesweeper that now serves as an intimate touring ship that navigates the fjords between Juneau and Sitka, these were the words I kept silently reciting.

It’s not just a fishing trip. It’s an experience.

Going driftless

And the evening sky is why I'm going driftless
Photo: Tim Schulz

Many people—including some who ought to know better—call Michigan’s Upper Peninsula a winter wonderland. But with two feet of snow on the ground in late April, my only wonder is why I still live here. In much the way a puppy accedes to the leash, I’ve come to accept March as a winter month. But April is supposed to be spring. Major League Baseball opened its season three weeks ago—even in Chicago and Milwaukee—and if I have to take one more strike standing in the snow with the bat on my shoulder, I will undoubtedly lose my Dodge Ram mind.

When I tell my wife about the mastodon tracks in our backyard, she hides the sharp knives and suggests I drive south to find open water in the temperate climate of Wisconsin. I would never deliberately manipulate her in this way, but when my subconscious plays a game with fishing as the prize, I don’t hold up the stop sign. Instead, I wave it around third and toward home with the exaggerated windmill motion of an excessively excited coach.

Saltwater anglers have a rare chance to chime in on fisheries management

Will recreational anglers make their voices heard?
Photo: Greg McFall/NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

Between now and the end of the year, recreational anglers who fish in the salt have a chance to influence the management practices employed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as it works to update the National Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Policy.