Latest Blog Posts

Going commando on the flats

When wading the flats for bonefish or permit, sometimes less is more
Photo: Chad Shmukler

I’ve always had bad feet. High arches. Hammer toes. Stone bruises. As a high-school basketball player, I had horrible ingrown toenails that hurt more than any sprained ankle or buckled knee. As an angler, my feet have always given me problems. Finding footwear to alleviate the issues with calluses, recurring heel and ball-of-the-feet pain and even a bout with plantar fasciitis has been a never-ending quest that continues to end in futility. I have crappy feet. Period.

The sword and the Senate

The Sword of Damocles hangs over our angling. Congress needs to act.
Photo: Todd Tanner

Portland and Seattle are in the Pacific Northwest, a region known for its rain and cool temperatures. Until recently, the all-time high temperature in Portland was 107 degrees, a record set back in 1965. On Saturday, June 26th, 2021 — a little over a month ago — the city set a new record of 108 degrees. The next day — a Sunday — Portland broke its all-time record yet again with an astounding 112 degrees. On Monday, June 28th, the city literally blew that number away when it reached a hard-to-fathom 116 degrees. The average high temperature in Portland, Oregon at the end of June is around 76 degrees.

The fact that Portland set a new record high temperature on three consecutive days is certainly newsworthy. The fact that this happened at the end of June — a month not normally associated with high temperatures in Oregon — is more so. The fact that the new record exceeded the old 1965 record by 9 degrees and topped the date’s average temperature by 40 degrees is astounding. And when we consider that Seattle also set a new high temperature record of 108 degrees, and that Salem, which is 45 miles south of Portland, topped out at 117 degrees … well, it’s probably not all that surprising to learn that a subsequent headline in the Seattle Times proclaimed: “Crushing heat wave in Pacific Northwest and Canada cooked shellfish alive by the millions.”

Could the BLM finally get a real director?

The agency responsible for one-eight of all U.S. lands has a chance at effective leadership
BLM-managed Carrizo Plain National Monument (photo: Bob Wick / BLM / cc2.0).

The Bureau of Land Management has a huge job, and it has never been an easy one. Even with its billion-dollar budget, overseeing about 245 million acres—which represents about one-eighth of all U.S. land and roughly 25 percent more than the Forest Service, the next largest federal land manager—is no picnic.

The growing horde of new outdoor goers has longtime public lands users worried

Visitors continue to descend on national parks, forests, wildlife preserves and more in record numbers, often with negative results
A park ranger directs traffic at Yellowstone National Park's north entrance (photo: Jacob Frank / NPS).

If you need more evidence that Americans are escaping to the outdoors in droves, here it is: Over Memorial Day weekend, visitation numbers at Yellowstone National Park were up 50 percent from the same weekend in 2019. The only reason the National Park Service didn’t use 2020 data is because, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, a limited number of the park’s entrances were open to visitors last year.

A Montana fishing story

There are days when it feels like I’m Charlie Brown and the river is Lucy, just begging me to kick the football
Photo: Todd Tanner

There’s a river I fish on a fairly regular basis that’s less than a 10 minute drive from my front door.

While it’s relatively large — at least for a Montana trout stream — it runs warmer than our other local waters because it flows into, and then out of, a natural, un-dammed lake. Except for the cooling influence of the occasion spring or seep, the river water below the outflow is approximately the same temperature as the lake’s sun-baked surface — which means things warm up quickly in the spring and stay that way into October.