Tying flies you can see

You don’t require a purist’s blessing to go fly fishing
Photo: Chris Hunt

A couple of summers ago, hunched over my tying vise high in the Caribou National Forest, I diverted from my usual Stimulator recipe and kind of went rogue. There were two reasons for my deviation. First, I realized that I’d finally reached an advanced enough age to where my eyesight — even with corrective lenses — was impacting my ability to see dry flies intended for the cutthroats I’d spent a couple of days chasing. Second, I’d just refilled a giant insulated cup with my third vodka and Sprite Zero cocktail, and my brain was just altered enough to consider something different.

Roatan's silvery treasure

Off the coast of Honduras lies an island rich with history and fly fishing opportunity
Photo: Earl Harper.

In 1638, the British established a colony on the southern coast of Roatan. Officially, the settlers of Old Port Royal were directed to harvest timber from the forested slopes of the island. Unofficially, the colonists invested quite a bit of time in piracy — Spanish galleons loaded with Central American treasure were frequently intercepted and ambushed, and the treasure often never left the Caribbean.

Fish with someone better than you

Want to up your skills? Hit the water with anglers whose talent exceeds your own.
Photo: Chad Shmukler

I love fishing with really good anglers — anglers who possess those innate fly fishing traits that, while they can be taught, come more naturally to some than to others. It’s fun to watch a really good angler with a butter-smooth cast unleash a haymaker across the river. It’s enjoyable to watch someone with a lot of experience in the salt not only put the cast on the money, but then spend the next half hour battling a big tarpon to the boat.

The Gurgler

When a gurgler gets eaten, there's almost always some drama
Photo: Chris Hunt

My buddy Jock and I stood on the deck of a flats skiff, fresh off a short run from the lodge we were staying at in the Bahamas. We were facing down an enviable dilemma. About 50 feet away, a giant school of bonefish — hundreds of them — balled together in a “mud,” where they were busy gobbling up shrimp and crabs from the bottom of the blond, sand flat. If we were to cast, it would be like shooting fish in a barrel.

Anglers need to demand action on climate change, says new report

The American Fly Fishing Trade Association is calling on anglers to become activists
Photo: BLM / cc2.0.

The American Fly Fishing Trade Association is challenging anglers with an ultimatum: get involved in climate politics now in order to save fishing for generations to come. In a new report titled, “For Tomorrow’s Fish,” AFFTA makes plain-language ties between the quality of recreational fishing and a changing climate that’s upping the intensity of storms, raising ocean temperatures and lowering oxygen levels in waters from coast to coast.