You’re here, towed the boat all this way, so you fish it
Photo: Tom Hazleton

We all love to fish clear rivers. Sun-lit crystal water intrigues the mind, enchants the imagination with possibility. A muddy blown-out river obscures, chokes, and demoralizes. Opacity means relying too much on faith. We are deprived of the little signs of life that we take to heart on long days of fishing: minnows, crayfish, logs, boulders, shadows, undercuts, even the reassuring side-to-side swim of a good fly. It’s as interesting as a dead television.

Small trout

Size matters, but not how you think
Photo: Spencer Durrant

I was near enough to death that I started worrying about who’d distribute my fly rods after my passing. I have a collection of sticks that makes it obvious I was a bachelor with little regard for financial responsibility for a good long while, and I want certain rods to go to certain folks. I knew my dad would take all my Winstons, every bamboo rod, and ensure that Ryan McCullough ended up with my Tom Morgan Rodsmiths. And there’s the matter of my bamboo rod shop, which must go to someone who will carry on the craft – but who?

The sail cat

Lost in the mangrove
Photo: Su-Lain / cc2.0

The sun hadn't quite poked over the mangroves off to the east, so it hadn't had the chance to burn off the thin film of humid mist hanging over the dark waters of Matlacha Pass. With each uncertain stroke, I powered the much-too-small, lime-green borrowed kayak across the bay, headed toward a cut in the mangroves about a half-mile away in hopes of arriving early enough to stake out some prime fly fishing water.

Beavers mean bigger trout

New study shows that when beavers and trout co-exist, trout populations can be healthier
An extensive beaver dam and resulting beaver pond (photo: Bering Land Bridge National Park / cc2.0).

If you fish for wild trout in the American West, you likely know that beavers and trout often occur together, particularly in backcountry streams where both are largely left to their own devices.

Review: ECHO River Glass fly rod

ECHO's smooth-casting, compact River Glass excels in the small-water environments it was built for
The ECHO River Glass fly rod in amber (photo: ECHO).

In Kenya’s Aberdare National Park, you can tip-toe the muddy churn and felled trees of elephant trails, sneak past bedded Cape buffalo, and crouch to cast into remote stretches of cold stream that’re barely wider than your wingspan. Limbs link to form arches overhead. Lichen and ferns cling to steep, lush, towering banks. And, there, you’ll find the progeny of Scottish trout that have been breeding mostly unmolested since 1905.