Chad Shmukler's blog

Vote for the outdoors: Here's how

Cast your ballots for candidates with a record of voting for clean air, water and healthy landscapes
American public lands in Brown's Canyon National Monument (photo: BLM).

It's tempting to self-soothe by telling ourselves that despite how divisive political rhetoric has become, in truth, nothing much has really changed. We still have politicians that prefer a fiscally conservative approach, low taxes and industry-friendly policies that supposedly create jobs. And we have politicians that tend to favor greater oversight and regulation, believe in government spending and higher taxes on industry and wealthy individuals. When the campaigns are over, however, these folks get down to business and find ways to compromise and work towards common goals.

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.

Help capture what's at stake in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Photographers, videographers and writers aim to fight oil drilling with evidence
Arctic char (photo: Pat Clayton).

This summer, under the umbrella of the International League of Conservation Photographers, a large collaborative media effort will take a group of accomplished image makers far, far to the north. The group, made up of seasoned conservation photographers with unique specialities, will travel to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) with the goal of capturing the awe and splendor of the nation's wildest and largest tract of publicly owned land.

The President Stole Your Land and You Were Lied To

Patagonia continues its attacks on the Trump administration's campaign to degrade U.S. public lands
Source: Patagonia

"It was always about oil, gas and uranium," reads the title of a recent article from Patagonia's Lisa Sheehy, in which Patagonia continues to call out the Trump administration for its attacks on U.S. public lands.

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).

Photo: L.L. Bean

I tie flies at my dining room table. Or with my vice precariously balanced on the plastic storage shelves in my basement, a section of which houses the bulky cardboard box where my vice—and a respectable smattering of tying supplies—lives for around 363 days of each year. Among my many shameful inadequacies as an angler, predominant above all is my lack of dedication to tying.

4 more things all anglers should be thankful for

Where should we focus our gratitude in 2017?
Fat brown trout that swim off with vigor—something to be thankful for (photo: Chad Shmukler).

Back in 2014, we celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday as so many outlets do, by talking about what we should be thankful for. Generally, doing so is little more than an opportunity to state the obvious or share trite sentiments that are more an exercise of convention and repetition than an expression of gratitude based on thoughtful reflection. But we did our best not to mail it in and, in the process, shined a light on a few things we thought all anglers should take the time to acknowledge.

Video: The photography of Andy Anderson

YETI and Orvis' new short-film 'Andy' looks at the life of an iconic imagemaker
A still from the film.

It's hard to imagine anyone arguing that fly fishers are highly visual individuals. There's so much about our sport that's driven by appreciation for the beauty of the pursuit, whether that be the aesthetics of the landscapes in which we chase our quarry, the lashed fur and feather creations we tempt them with or the artfully crafted tools with which we ply the water. Fly fishing is a sport full of rich and diverse imagery.

203,748 comments is not enough

Yes, we're doing the Pebble Mine thing again
Returning sockeye salmon crowd a creek inlet in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska (photo: Chad Shmukler).

Recreational anglers, commercial fishermen, native tribal members, lovers of wild places and defenders of common sense worldwide breathed a massive sigh of relief when, in 2014, the Obama administration finally delivered what so many had spent years tirelessly working for: a Clean Water Act 404(c) veto that would prevent the use of certain Bristol Bay watersheds for use as disposal sites for dredge or fill material. Or, in other words, it would block construction of Pebble Mine.

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