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Shut up and fish

Your guide is your guide for a reason
Antonio, a guide at Mexico's Palometa Club, hoists a client and guide-earned permit (photo: Chad Shmukler).

A decade or so ago, my buddy Kirk Deeter, now a colleague of mine at Trout Unlimited, flew north to Lake Athabasca for some serious late-summer pike fishing.

Deeter, in addition to being an author and the editor of TROUT Magazine, is also a fly-fishing guide, so it was interesting to watch him interact with the native Dene First Nations guides we fished with over the course of a week.

Not on my pants, not again

A totally meaningless journey down the eastern seaboard
Photo: James Joiner

"Ah man, not on my pants. Not again."

A knowing sadness weighed the voice bursting sharply from beneath the bathroom stall, startling me mid-stream. Not sure what to say or do to help, I finished depositing an afternoon of coffee and beer and made for the exit, tired from a long weekend talking fishing, wiggling fly rods, and knowingly peering at gear.

A nearby faraway

Standing outside the woods, peering into it, became ritual
Photo: Johnny Carrol Sain

“When I call to mind my earliest impressions, I wonder whether the process ordinarily referred to as growing up is not actually a process of growing down; whether experience, so much touted among adults as the thing children lack, is not actually a progressive dilution of the essentials by the trivialities of living.”

Orvis Guide to Fly Fishing now free on Amazon

All 13 episodes of the celebrated TV and DVD series are now free for Prime members
Photo: Chad Shmukler

The Orvis Guide to Fly Fishing, a 13-part documentary series, is now available for free viewing on Amazon Prime. Originally released as a TV series and subsequently as a four DVD box set, Orvis says the series aims to "demystify fly fishing, make it fun and clearly demonstrate it is both accessible and affordable" and to teach "the fundamentals of fly fishing for all species, in all waters."

Are there any adults in the room?

It's time grown-ups held up their end of things
The author, 13 year-old Kian Tanner, fishing the Elk River in British Columbia (photo: Todd Tanner).

You probably live in a city, or in the suburb of a city. I don’t. I live in Montana. Geese honk as they fly overhead. Our dogs bark at the deer. We have bears in our yard. Every morning I walk outside and I look to the east, past our creek, where huge mountains rise up from the valley floor. I look to the west, where the sun shines on the valley’s farms and ranches. And I know that it’s all at risk. Why? Because adults can’t seem to take climate change seriously.

A few months ago, my dad and I left my mom and our two golden retrievers at home and drove down to the Henry’s Fork in Last Chance, Idaho. We stopped in Helena, Montana, where we picked up an Adipose drift boat. We met up with Jeremy Roberts, who was there to film my dad and me, along with Hilary Hutcheson and her two daughters, as we fished the river. The last day of filming was there in the blink of an eye and I was excited to float the Box Canyon one more time. We were almost finished with the float when a huge fish took my dry fly. I fought with her and she jumped five times before I was able to bring her to the boat. It was one of the biggest fish I have ever caught, a 21 inch rainbow trout. Right after we released her, it started to pour rain and our trip was finished.

Every time I am out on the water, I leave with great memories and I feel like I have been blessed. I don’t want to lose the amazing experiences I receive when I’m in nature. In July of this year I flew to Florida. While I was there I saw algae, but it wasn’t the kind I had seen before. I didn’t think that it looked like it was supposed to be there. I have heard it’s part of an algae bloom that is linked to pollution and warmer ocean temperatures, and that it is destroying aquatic life.

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