Review: Loon Camo Drop Sinkers Get Down To Big Fish

I’m not sure how excited a guy or gal should be about split shot, but I think I’ve found my split-shot solution: Loon’s Camo Drops are made of tin, not lead (meaning they are non-toxic), they come in a variety of volume and container options, and they sink like rocks, straight towards bottom, which is exactly where I want my nymphs ‘bout this time of the year.

Camo Drops can be purchased in square containers that hold six or eight shot sizes, depending on your preferences and what you fish for. And these containers slip nicely into a pack and are Continue reading

Posted in Gear | Leave a comment

Is Print Media Dying: American Angler Ends Print Edition, Focuses on Digital

American Angler has ceased publishing print and digital editions and will focus on its digital assets.

If most print publications weren’t struggling right now, and hadn’t been for many years, with full-staffed mainstream titles included in the mix, I would say you could call me a print media killer.

I used to work for a commercial fishing publication called Alaska Fisherman’s Journal and that went under a few years after I stopped working for it. And several years after I took the helm at Fly Rod & Reel magazine that title disappeared. And, unfortunately, I have to announce that American Angler magazine, which I’ve run for the past two years, recently  pulled the plug on its print and digital versions, effective immediately. It makes me feel like print media is dead.

A lot of the American Angler decision has to do with Covid 19, but all editors and Continue reading

Posted in Industry | 10 Comments

Kelly Galloup’s Favorite Streamer Flies

A nice streamer chowing brown on Montana’s Big Hole River.

The water is up this weekend and some rivers probably aren’t fishable at this time. Others will be on the marginal side, but may offer some opportunities to fish streamers. All you need is a foot or two of visibility and those bank-hugging browns and rainbows can find your flies. Just don’t yank them back to the boat at warp-speed. Give the fish a chance to catch up.

A few years ago I wrote this post on Kelly Galloup’s streamer tactics, and the flies he likes best to tie and fish. Thought this post on Galloup and his streamers would be timely, given the rise in river levels. If you are headed out this weekend, be careful and make sure to pack some Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Flies, Montana | Leave a comment

Get Bent To The Cork Fly Fishing Newsletter #2

Just letting you know that the second edition of Bent To The Cork, the newsletter I put together for American Angler, is now available. Hustle over to to sign up for delivery to your inbox. In this month’s newsletter you’ll get a sneak peak at my story on Dean River chinook salmon. And you’ll get links to full stories on the mother’s day caddis hatch, where to find giant muskie with mentions of a 57-incher and a 60-plus incher. You’ll also learn about Gonzaga basketball coach Mark Few and his addiction to fishing, especially casting surface flies for steelhead. And you can read a review of Dave Hughes’ classes book, Western Streamside Guide. In addition, you can access the full story on Michigan’s attempts to reintroduce grayling, from Alaska, to some of that state’s most storied waters. Let me know what you think of the read. —GT

Posted in Culture, Industry | Leave a comment

All Time 10 Best Fly-Fishing Nymphs for the Rocky Mountains

Opinions on the greatest nymphs of all time are as ubiquitous as the people who now fish them. In fact, over time nymphs have only gained popularity as anglers learn that trout conduct 90 percent of their feeding under the surface. So, you can sit around in the grass all day, hitting that calabash-style pipe of yours and wait for a hatch, or you can tie on nymphs and actually fish. Your choice of course, but if you opt for the latter, here are some of the most effective nymphs you could ever knot to the end of your tippet. These should work well this summer on your homewaters and elsewhere if we are allowed to travel and fish.

1) Flashback Pheasant Tail

You can keep your beadhead squadrons tucked into their neat little rows. If I need a mayfly imitation I’ll dig into my own box, grab a sparsely tied traditional Flashback Pheasant Tail Nymph, and Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Flies, Northern Rockies | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Best Montana Fly Fishing Trips—South Fork Flathead River

It’s time to start dreaming about the best summer fly fishing trips for 2020, and if we are limited to doing so within our state borders this year, I drew a good card—Montana offers a lifetime of fly-fishing adventure and gas is cheap right now. One of the best Big Sky Country trips you could take is to the South Fork Flathead River in northwest Montana. This river flows through the Bob Marshall Wilderness and is loaded with native westslope cutthroat trout. These aren’t the largest trout you’ll ever see, but they average about 10 inches and stretch up to 17 or 18 inches on the large end. The river also offers bull trout, which can range past 30 inches, and you can legally fish them in this river, if you have a special bull trout permit, which you can buy over the counter. You can’t just say one day, I’m going to fish the South Fork and race up there. Access is via horseback, backpacking, or day Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Montana, Northern Rockies | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Blow Up The Dams—Patagonia airs Dam Nation for Free on YouTube

As most of you know, dams are death to fish and it would be nice if we could get those barriers on Washington’s and Idaho’s Snake River out of the way. That would help to restore fish runs on the Snake and its Continue reading

Posted in Conservation, Culture, Industry | Leave a comment

Get Bent To The Cork by American Angler, A Great Fly Fishing Newsletter

As most of you know I serve as American Angler’s editor in chief and put together six issues a year.  Currently I’m working on the July/August issue, which has a bunch of great stories, including one I’m writing about my trip last sumer to British Columbia’s Dean River. If you like spey rods, big rivers, bulky chinook salmon and chrome-bright steelhead, you’ll want to read. And, I wanted to let you know Continue reading

Posted in Absinthe Lounge, Culture | Leave a comment

Wild Dean River, British Columbia Steelhead: Why They’re Worth The Effort

Thought I would share this photo of a wild Dean River steelhead, as inspiration to get out over the weekend, where allowed, cast a line and find a little me time on the water.

That’s what I did last summer, as previously posted . . . I said F’ all to everything going on in life and booked flights to British Columbia on Pacific Coastal Airlines, and then a helicopter ride from Bella Coola to the Dean River.

I bring this up because I finally sank my teeth into Continue reading

Posted in British Columbia, Northwest, Spey | Leave a comment

The Angler’s Tonic Archive: Clearwater Steelhead and Labrador “Sleep”

Note: This story occurred several years ago. The two main characters, Shadow and Moose, are long gone.

I’m on night one of a five-day trip to Idaho’s Clearwater River, an attempt to land and release as many of those big, meaty B-run steelhead as is humanly possible. Butit’s 4 o’clock in a narrow, mountain canyon and, to my surprise, already dark. Suddenly, I have no idea what I’ll do during the 14 hours before daylight returns, sentenced to the back of the truck with two spoiled Labrador retrievers. Already, I’ve tied enough egg-sucking leeches and conehead muddlers to supply Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Idaho, Spey | 4 Comments