Image of The Week: The Things You See

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

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Time for Cutthroats

If you’ve been holding off on a cutthroat foray in the northern Rockies, it’s go-time. I mean, September, in the Rockies with cool evenings and mornings and hot summerish days. What not to like?

The trout are a bonus and they’re scarfing all sorts of things right now. Mahogany duns are working although I’ve yet to see a mahogany. P-chute Adams’ and Continue reading

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TRCP and On X Maps Team Up for Public Lands

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

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Quick Turnaround at North 40 Outfitters

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

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British Columbia’s Thompson River Steelhead . . . are doomed.

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

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New North 40 E-mag

Ok, want to talk about a massive effort—110 pages of content with only two house ads, I believe. Hope you enjoy. And I’d love to hear your feedback on this, good or bad. I am trying to put together the North 40 e-mags so they are super entertaining, but also rich with useful info. Got ideas? Let me know. In this issue make sure to read Brian Chan, Chris Santella, Michael White and Robert Robinson. Good reads all.


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Underwater With Western Bull Trout Video

Nothing like dreaming on a winter day. I found these bull trout last summer while hiking deep into a Northwest forest. Unfortunately, they weren’t easy to come by. I caught a couple before they “wised up” and then landed some beautiful cutthroat from the same pool. Here’s the thing: I thought there were two or three bull trout, at the  most, in this pool. It wasn’t until I got home and examined the video that I realized it was packed. Probably should have changed flies Continue reading

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Stay Warm While Winter Fishing—Simms’ Downstream Jacket

I’m not a guy who easily gets chilled, and I surprise friends by wearing short-sleeve shirts all winter long. But, when I do get chilled, I get really chilled and the only thing that brings me out of the shivers is a long, hot shower. Showers aren’t readily available on Pacific Northwest steelhead streams, nor the Rocky Mountain trout streams I frequent, so when the big chill sets in Continue reading

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Celebrating an Eastern Canada Atlantic Salmon on the Spey Rod

It’s the start of the new year and about all I’ve been able to do in 2018 is dream about fishing. I did get a good throw on Washington’s Bogachiel River in late December, but that was it. And, it rained over an inch Continue reading

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Is Copying A Form Of Flattery

I was e-mailing a friend the other day, talking about the sad state of British Columbia’s Thompson River steelhead fishery (if you can call it that anymore) and he sent me a cover shot of  Trout & Salmon magazine that looked real familiar.

In fact, the cover looked almost identical to the cover I chose for the summer 2016 issue of Fly Rod & Reel magazine . . . down to the near exact coverline, which on FRR’s cover reads Land of Giants and on T&S’ cover reads, Land of The Giants. Continue reading

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