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?
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.
I could not pay 80 bucks for a pair of these gloves. These things could come with all the sophistication of Ironman’s right hand and I still couldn’t pay 80 bucks for them. Single father with two mouths to feed, exorbitant AAU basketball dues to pay, and college resting dead ahead. Thanks for your condolences.
But . . . if I were an Alaskan fishing guide, or any other angler/guide who spent a lot of time on the water during late winter, early spring and fall, I’d pay 80 Continue reading →
Spent some time in British Columbia in October and recently put together a little video on that trip for American Angler. The target was bull trout because I’d gotten word that there were some brutes eating streamers, including patterns that specifically imitate landlocked kokanee salmon. I found that these fish didn’t exactly eat on a deadline swing, like a steelhead or king salmon might, but they were plenty aggressive if I added a little action to the fly. Looking forward to going back and hitting it again this coming summer or fall and Continue reading →
There aren’t enough September’s in a guy’s life. It’s the best month of the year, by far. Bird seasons are open, archery for elk, too. Big bulls ripping up trees and barking at their cows. Call one in, feel your knees shake, knock an arrow and hope for the best. Continue reading →
Just ran across this image from a trip to British Columbia to fish Kamloops rainbows with the stillwater master, Brian Chan. We caught scads of solid rainbows on deeply fished chironomids, and laughed our heads off during our two days worth of conversations. I also fished with Geoff Moore of the Caribou-Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association and we ran hard. We spent some time at Corbett Lake Lodge but mostly camped in the woods with enough supplies to embalm ourselves. Hey, that’s fishing life, right? And give us some credit, we got up early each day and fished, as all real fisherman would. A few pics here, but the helmut one makes me really laugh. Continue reading →
Two great Missoula, Montana-based groups are backing this effort, one being the Theadore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and the other being On X Maps. I’ve encountered this situation—of not being able to get at public land because it’s surrounded by private turf—many, many times. Some of these inaccessible parcels are large and in some of cases I’ve considered chartering a helicopter to deposit me in the center of those public swaths. Fortunately, I Continue reading →
I’ve been a little delinquent with Tonic over the past year or so, but I’m making a new effort to keep you abreast of my observations in the West and beyond. Part of my new commitment is having the time to do so, that arriving with a departure from North 40 Outfitters on June 18, just a day short of a year of having been hired on with the Great Falls, Montana-based company.
Make no mistake: North 40 is a player in fly-fishing and a rock in the PNW. You’ll need to check out their stores and pay attention to their online sales, which can be terrific, Continue reading →
I’ve followed this steelhead disaster for a while now and watched it slip away into the abyss. You may or may not know that British Columbia’s Thompson River steelhead are regarded as one of the best races of metal on the planet. And their brethren that swim in the Chilcotin River are their equals. Many anglers formed their entire fall plans around chasing these awesome brutes—Thompson steelhead run large, with many fish hitting the 10 to 20 pound mark . . . and they rise to the surface for skaters. But over time their numbers have declined due to interception on the Fraser River during a chum salmon fishery. In addition, natives Continue reading →