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Redefining influence

To secure a future with sustainable fisheries, two iconic anglers are running towards the storm
Guide and outfitter Hilary Hutcheson speaks to a group of anglers at The School of Trout (photo: Todd Tanner).

The average American spends more than 5 hours on their phones each day, and not only that, but studies have shown that nearly 50 percent of consumers purchase items based on “influencer” input. It’s hard to debate the success of influencer culture in recent decades.

Anglers are no exception.

Exotic destinations, the latest and greatest in gear, gadgets, how, where, and when to catch the most and biggest fish. Scroll after scroll; anglers are pounded by the icons of our pastime, selling us what we didn’t — yet — know we needed.

Water, water everywhere

Take hydration seriously when fishing
Photo: Olgierd / cc2.0.

The unofficial kick-off to “Bug Week” in the Catskills came in hot, and I don’t mean the fishing. Air temperatures soared to the mid-to-upper 80s, while river temps, at least away from the direct influence of the tailwaters, eventually nudged into the low 70s, virtually shutting down miles of otherwise prime trout water.

Atlantic salmon are in trouble

Myriad threats have pushed some Atlantic salmon populations to the brink
Photo: Camden Spear.

Atlantic Salmon are in trouble. Ask anyone invested in their plight and they’ll tell you how bad it is and who’s to blame. It’s always someone else. It’s gotten so bad that Atlantic Salmon in the UK is now officially an endangered species and on the IUCN Red List. In Ireland, the population has collapsed by 80% in 20 years.

Junk shop fly rod

One angler's trash ...
Photo: Stephen Sautner.

God it was ugly.

An ancient fiberglass fly rod leaned awkwardly in the forgotten corner of a vintage/junk shop. It looked like a seven-footer; clearly home-built by someone either just learning their craft or perhaps giving up on it. Uneven wraps and too few guides clung to a rust-colored blank. A dozen grimy cork rings had started to unglue, losing their battle to stay unified as a grip.