Fluent redneck

It's best to speak the language of the locals when you can
Photo: Thomas Hawk / cc2.0.

The term “redneck” has a dubious history. It’s a label that’s been applied to me more than a few times. I’ve always been honored by the designation, but I’m not a full-fledged redneck.

Sure, I’ve patched more than a few things together with baling wire and duct tape. I’ve owned some beater trucks, still own several guns, eat a lot of squirrel, live on a dirt road, have a camo ball cap near permanently affixed to my noggin, rarely shave, swig on moonshine, and used to have a loose-leaf tobacco habit.

Are bears showing us new salmon streams?

Grizzlies may be revealing previously undiscovered salmon streams, while highlighting the folly of mining in sensitive arctic regions
A remote river in the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve (photo: NPS / cc2.0)

Are Arctic grizzly bears pointing the way to remote and previously undocumented Brooks Range salmon streams? According to a recent scientific paper published in the science journal Canadian Field-Naturalist, this might well be the case.

Gear we love right now: August 2020

What's working on (and off) the water
YETI's Hondo Base Camp Chairs (photo: Chad Shmukler).

Fly anglers are inundated with gear choices—rods, reels, boots, waders, lines, packs, bags, boxes, vests, apparel and more. Each year, it seems harder and harder to know what's worth coveting and what's worth ignoring. Sure, gear reviews are a great way to get a feel for what might be right for you, but not every piece of gear is suited to a full-length review and, even if it were, there's simply too much of it to get to.

Fishing the dry-dropper-dropper rig

Because 3 flies is better than one
Photo: Spencer Durrant

A few years back I joined a fishing club here in Utah. We did club tying nights, and a group of three or four of us usually fished together every weekend. On one Sunday, we decided to fish a stream that’s almost entirely pocket water for its 20-some-odd mile length. A few of the guys tied on indicator rigs and one went with a lone dry fly.

I tied on a Chubby Chernobyl, a Frenchie, and a zebra midge. One of the guys looked at my rig and jokingly said, “Hey look! It’s Triple-Threat over here!”

The nickname stuck for years.

Waiting out the storm

Local experience translates into clout
Photo: Chris Hunt

It was one of those hopeful moments, laced with a touch of experience from years of watching Rocky Mountain skies and trying to decide whether it would be wise to wave a 9-foot lightning rod around with a potential thunderstorm building on the horizon.

“I, uh, think it’s going to go north of us,” I said, waving my arms off to the west and pushing them to the right like a local TV meteorologist. Only my greenscreen was the Beaverheads and Centennials as they poked into stormy skies off in the distance “We might get a little spray, but I think we’re gonna to be OK.”