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Here's to spring

A lot of folks love fall, I hate it
Photo: Chad Shmukler

I’m certain I was the only angler in the remote Forest Service campground in the shadow of Lemhi Range. Labor Day had come and gone, and the backcountry now belonged bow hunters chasing elk.

I’d parked my little camper under the tall pines, and, with fire restrictions lifted just in time for hunting season, I imbibed of woodsmoke and the last of the clear liquor season. Cheap vodka poured over ice and seasoned with a diet Sprite—it’s my backwoods cocktail of choice. A “spritzer” as I and my summer drinking buddies jokingly call it, pinky fingers protruding defiantly as we drink.

The great bread hatch

On days of failure an angler may be said to go through four stages of feeling
Photo: Peter Harsagyi

Every day, fishing is an adventure. Today, Mauro and I went to the Slough, hoping to key in on what we call the “Decker hatch,” chasing the 500,000 smolt released by the Issaquah hatchery, through Lake Sammamish and into the Slough where they get concentrated. Our theory is that, naturally, the big rainbows and cutthroat in the lake will key in on these tasty morsels. Last week Jason (Decker, who figured this whole thing out and thus the eponymous naming) and I tested this theory by fishing the lake by the mouth of the creek, watched over by a family of eagles nesting nearby.

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.

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