Fishing the Murdich Minnow for smallmouth bass

One of the most effective bass patterns is also one of the most affordable and simplest to tie
Photo: George Daniel.

It has been said that anglers go through several stages during their angling lives. Recently, I’ve entered the stage where I am focused on simplifying the gear and patterns I use. I’ve also transitioned to fishing more warm water species within the last 6 years, including my current favorite—smallmouth bass. As a recreational smallmouth angler, I find it easy to decrease my selection. I’m not guiding for bass or entering bass tournaments where carrying a greater range of patterns might prove useful during the rare times when my staple patterns fail to produce a strike.

Smith's new ChromaPop Glass Polarchromic Lenses are worth paying attention to

New lens tech in the world of sunglasses doesn't come around often
The new ChromaPop Glass Polarchromic Lenses from Smith (photo: Smith Optics).

Truly meaningful product news in the world of sunglasses comes few and far between. Often, years go by in between impactful product releases. Sunglass makers do their best to fill the gaps in between, mostly by releasing new styles and frame designs. While frame construction definitely matters — frames play a big role in fit, comfort, coverage, durability and more — lenses are the real engine of every pair of quality sunglasses on the market.

Go deep for early season pike

Early pike fishing can be some of the best of the year, if you know where to find them
Photo: Chris Hunt

My friend Hardy Ruf is a big proponent of early-season pike fishing. As the owner and operator of Dalton Trail Lodge in the Yukon, he’s always suggested that I visit in early June, just to see how good the pike fishing can be.

“The earlier the better,” he says. “For pike, you can’t go too early.”

Alaskan rivers are turning orange

Melting permafrost is changing the makeup of some Alaskan rivers, in some cases disappearing fish species in the process
A tributary of the Kugororuk River runs orange in 2023 (photo: Josh Koch / USGS).

Dozens of once-pristine rivers and streams in Alaska’s Brooks Range are turning an alarming shade of orange. The discoloration, according to a new study published in the journal Communications Earth and Environment, is likely caused by the thawing of permafrost, which is exposing previously frozen minerals that are now leaching into the waterways.

Do what the river tells you to do

Talking fly fishing, conservation, and more with Craig Mathews
Craig Mathews at The School of Trout (photo: Jeremy Roberts / Conservation Media).

Craig Mathews got his start in the fly-fishing business when he and his wife Jackie opened Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone in 1980, and over the next three to four decades, they established their company as one of the nation’s most highly regarded fly shops. Along the way, Craig authored and co-authored many books on fly fishing, including The Yellowstone Fly-Fishing Guide, Simple Fly Fishing, Fly Fishing the Madison, Fly Patterns of Yellowstone, Fishing Yellowstone Hatches, and Western Fly-Fishing Strategies.