You’ve landed here for a reason. You love to fish and you like all that comes along with that affliction — road trips and tunes; drinks at dive bars; 20-ounce ribeyes at places called The Oasis or The Western; small town shenanigans; waves and weather, sometimes in less than desirable proportions; and all else that makes fishing such an adventuresome life.
Welcome to the redesign of Angler’s Tonic where, like always, you take a seat in the bow and we pull the oars. So let’s shove off. Need anything from the cooler?
I know Simms would have preferred that I write about their new campaign, called Fish It Well, a month or more ago when they sent me a hoodie emblazoned with a logo promoting the campaign.
But I wanted to wait and give the whole idea some thought. I am definitely from the mold that you get one life so you better make the most of it, and fishing and hunting have been instrumental in my efforts to do just that.
The package arrived at a time when I needed to make a decision between a few extra days with the kids or actually taking care of myself for once. On the table was a trip to British Columbia’s Dean River and BC West lodge—I’d been there before, landed 21 steelhead in six days, and didn’t want opportunity to slip.
Do this and you will live a good life.
In the end I accepted the trip and fished with three men I’d never met, the writer and founder of Spey Pages, Dana Sturn; Mike Walsh, who’s a serious fly tier and a salmon and steelhead junkie; and Dake Traphagen, who is a custom guitar maker, a dedicated fly tier, and a master of Pacific Northwest steelhead and salmon.
We’d chosen a week on the Dean that could be hit or miss—the second week of the season when water conditions might blow out completely. When we arrived, the river was high and muddy, but the forecast led us to believe that the river would drop and our timing might be perfect. Continue reading →
I lied. Too much good stuff going on when I was fishing the Dean. Couldn’t find the time to write. Was up at 3:45 a.m. for the first couple days, grabbing Cut Bank before anyone else could. Then fatigue set in (either that or I spent a little too much time at the Canada Day party on the beach) and I went to the Continue reading →
Several years ago, after trying for about 10 years, I got an invitation to fish British Columbia’s Dean River, and I took advantage of that opportunity—I had 16 steelhead to the beach by day four and ended up wit Several years ago, after trying for about 10 years, I got an invitation to fish British Columbia’s Dean River, and I took advantage of that opportunity—I had 16 steelhead to the beach by day four and ended up with 21 for the week. I’d set a goal to catch one and would have been happy if that was the way it had worked out.
That was some of the best steelheading I’ve ever enjoyed, of course, but that wasn’t what completely set the trip apart. Instead, it was the people who I shared camp with (BC West), those being George Cook, Andrew Bennett, Jeff Watt, Michael White, and Gary Berenson. We Continue reading →
The new American Angler should be hitting the shelves soon and there are some good reads to be had in its pages. The theme is DIY and adventure. And there are few adventures that rank as high as going into the mountains with a pack and a tent on your back, whether to find fish or for other reasons. When you’re in the crags anything can happen, whether that’s wildlife invading camp or
mountain storms bearing down. Most anglers never make it into the high country with a rod and reel, and they miss out on some seriously fun fishing. High country trout aren’t too skeptical and they can grow to good size. You’ll learn that in the story, If I’d Ever Been to Iceland, which recounts author Jeff Day’s hike into the Wind River Range for golden trout (and you’ll meet two memorable characters—Flu Guy and the Iron Haired Lady). You’ll also read about big time Continue reading →
I am trying to make my life a little easier these days and part of that equation is handing off some of my gear so that I can make room to try some new items. Over the years I’ve accumulated a nice quiver of fly rods, but some now have to go. If you are interested in any of these Continue reading →
Took a drive over the weekend and saw these brutes doing their spawn at Georgetown Lake. Can’t fish for these right now—nor should we while they’re doing this—but they are fun to watch. Dipped the Go Pro for a few seconds and came up with a little footage for you. GT
As most of you know I took over American Angler last summer and have been ripping through manuscripts, trying to bring the mag into the modern world. How-to is fine, which is what American Angler was, but I feel like you can get that info online or in book form and that magazines should offer something better . . . like a story to go along with the dirt.
You’ll find that in the coming issue, which should hit newsstands in the next week or so. I took a warmwater focus with this one, because there is more than trout and salmon and steelhead swimming around out there, and because I think Continue reading →
From Backcountry Hunters and Anglers here in Missoula, Montana. This is a group, among many groups, that you should support. However, if you can’t support many, chip some dollars in here. If you do so, you’l support an effort that influences our experiences, whether you hunt, fish, bike, hike, camp, etc., and you get a good mag as part of the deal. But the news: The Land and Water Conservation Fund has been permanently reauthorized. Continue reading →
If I were living in Anchorage, there’s no damn way anyone would be keeping me at home on Wednesday night. That’s because a bunch of mostly like-minded fishheads, who also like to eat some of their catch, are meeting at the William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery ( 941 North Reeve Boulevard) on Wednesday, from 6 to 8 p.m., to learn about smoking, canning and pickling fish. Attendees can also ask about canning methods for game meat, and if you are successful in canning any of those Sitka blacktails, or moose for that matter, I know someone who will taste test it for you.
Here’s the only problem: advance registration required and I don’t know if this class is booked out or not. Here’s the Continue reading →
Came across this short clip from a trip to Manitoba a few years ago. One of the most exciting trips of my life and what a moment . . . returning to camp after a successful hunt and a one-shot kill. Lots of meat for me and my girls, the leanest and healthiest you can find. Treasure this memory and hoping to repeat in 2019.