Latest Blog Posts

How to save the world

First, you'll need a mason jar
Photo: Johnny Carrol Sain

For seven days and seven nights the rain came in drizzles, downpours and late-winter mist. When the sun finally appeared on the first of March, the golden rays summoned a dramatic transformation. Spring had been waiting just on the other side of those rains as the first wave of tentative green blanketed the neighbor’s horse pasture. Spring beauties and bluets had popped up in the yard while trout lilies glowed like an ethereal promise in the somber woodland behind our home. And from the freshened rivulets and filled forest potholes came the melody of frogs.

Learn the single-hand spey cast

A new video introduces the essentials of one-hand spey casting
Photo: RIO

The world of trout spey (or whatever moniker is most popular at any given time) is constantly evolving. For a few years, the development of smaller spey rods—typically 11 1/2 feet or smaller and lighter in weight—geared towards two-handed spey casting, but on a similar scale, predominated. While those rods remain popular, more recently, focus has shifted in part to single-hand spey casting, an option that allows anglers to reap the benefits of spey casting with a traditional, single-hand trout rod (and, often, an angler's existing rod).

What do we want the Skagit River to be?

Real talk about Skagit River steelhead
Raindrops on the Skagit River (photo: Sara Parker / cc2.0).

Nobody likes being the nostalgic steelheader in the room, but increasingly I find myself as the gray haired guy at the table waxing poetic about how great wild steelhead fishing on Washington’s Skagit River used to be. You know, back in the “good ole days.” Getting on in years sucks and watching my beloved wild steelhead waters deteriorate even faster than me just adds insult to injury.

Alex Diekmann Peak

Gravestones cheer the living, dear, they’re no use to the dead
Steam rises from the Madison River in Montana (photo: NPS / Jacob W. Frank).

The quote from the song "By for Me the Rain" by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band evokes a sad reference to how our memorials to the departed are tangible reminders to the living of the deeds of those no longer among us.

The song came to mind when I heard Donald Trump had signed the Alex Diekmann Peak Designation Act into law (Public Law 115-122) on Jan. 31, two years after Alex’s untimely death on Feb. 1, 2016. This new law designates an unnamed peak in the Lee Metcalf Wilderness in Montana as the "Alex Diekmann Peak."