The plight of the Gila trout

Deep in the New Mexico desert, amongst Anasazi ruins and rough, wild country lurks the rarest of the rare
A Gila trout (photo: Chris Hunt).

Huddled as close to the fallen tree as we could get, Kirk and I looked at each other, our eyes wide with surprise and a touch of fear. The bullet had missed us by a wide margin, but the fact that we could hear it as it zinged overhead after the ricochet was unnerving.

"Wait for him to reload," Kirk said. "Then we'll get over that little rise and out of range."

Review: Hardy Ultralite LL fly rod

Is the new Euro-focused Ultralite LL also one of the best all-around performers Hardy has ever made?
Photo: Spencer Durrant

Hardy has revamped its entire rod lineup for 2020, replacing nearly everything they offered in 2019. Among the most anticipated new offerings is the Hardy Ultralite LL rod. This is the same rod that Hardy’s head designer Howard Croston used to win the 2020 FIPS World Championship. Euro-nymphing is the name of the game in the World Championships, and that’s exactly what the Ultralite LL was designed for. It’s an outrageously light, sensitive stick built to handle fish big and small.

Tyrant of the lakes

A one-of-a-kind catch in a one-of-a-kind place
Photo: Chris Hunt

Salvelinus namaycush. Tyrant of the lakes.

At the time, it was my nemesis. My fly fishing Ark of the Covenant. My angling El Dorado. As I stood on the banks of the Otherside River lining up the photo of the big fish, I felt a noticeable weight lift off my shoulders. The rain, for just a few minutes, stopped. A beam of sunshine poked through the low ceiling of clouds and I felt as though I'd just accomplished something nobody else on earth had ever done.

Truth be told, I probably did. But that's for later in this tale.

2021 Fly Fishing Show dates cancelled or postponed due to coronavirus

Skyrocketing COVID-19 case counts have forced unwelcome changes in the show's annual schedule
Checking out new gear at The Fly Fishing Show in Edison, New Jersey (photo: Chad Shmukler).

After several summer months of steady improvement in impacts resulting from the coronavirus across the United States, the last two months have seen COVID-19 case counts skyrocket throughout the nation. This second wave of virus cases has created a great deal of uncertainty regarding the safety and practicality of holding large, indoor events like The Fly Fishing Show, which is an annual winter pilgrimage for thousands of anglers. As a result of this developing situation, The Fly Fishing show has decided to postpone or cancel 2021 dates for several of its most popular destinations.

How to start a one-match fire

Crucial fire-starting skills that can pay dividends everywhere from the backyard to icy winter woods
Photo: Pasi Mämmelä / cc2.0

The cold front had passed, leaving rain-soaked wood and dropping temperatures in its wake. And I was concerned. Could I start a fire and warm my chilled backside and a chilled wife with the single match held between my forefinger and thumb? I thought back to the classic Jack London story “To Build a Fire” and wondered if I had what it took to survive the damp coolness of an Arkansas winter with minimal equipment and my wits, let alone the negative 75-degree frozen hell of the Far North where (spoiler alert) London’s character met his icy demise.