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Photo: Chad Shmukler

My wife and I took our 9-month-old son, Fisher, to our favorite river over the weekend. It was his first trip there, a cause for celebration, but the occasion was tinged with sadness. We were also there to spread the ashes of our recently deceased dog, a fiery little corgi named Murphy who made numerous fishing trips to that stream.

Which anglers have influenced your fly fishing?

Todd Tanner shares his "dream team"
Photo: Matt Shaw

When I first started fly fishing back in the ‘80s, I used to drive forty five minutes to a lonesome stretch of river, leave the pavement behind for a bumpy dirt road that twisted through the maples and oaks of rural New England, park, and then hike a half mile or more down an overgrown trail through the briars and brambles that paralleled the river’s edge.

Today is the last day to speak up on Pebble Mine (again)

It's time for common sense to prevail once more
One of millions, this sockeye makes its way up a small creek in the Bristol Bay region (photo: Chad Shmukler).

Just a few short years ago, it seemed as if recreational anglers, commercial fishermen, conservationists, Alaska's native peoples and more had, after years of tireless advocacy, claimed victory in their battle to prevent the Pebble Mine in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska.

The snake advocate

Catching of venomous snakes by nonexperts is stupid—monumentally stupid
Photo: Johnny Carrol Sain

Serpent encounters are part of growing up in Arkansas. My first introduction was through Sunday School, in the pages of an illustrated Bible, with the depiction of a serpent wrapped around an apple tree. This was pre-kindergarten age. I learned that snakes once had legs and could speak before being driven onto their bellies to eat dust and rendered dumbstruck simply for offering Eve an option. Sure, the option was directly opposite what the Almighty had commanded, but I never viewed the snake as an archetype for evil.

Cleaned and gutted

There’s a fine line between being a conservationist and being a zealot
Cleaned trout prepared for cooking (photo. W. Works / cc2.0).

There’s a fine line between being a conservationist and being a zealot. That’s why both of my kids will be getting a refresher course in the coming days on how to properly dispatch, clean and gut a wild trout. Over my dead body will they succumb to zealotry.