Review: Simms’ Outdry Insulated Glove

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

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Swinging, for British Columbia Bull Trout (Video)

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

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Fall On Western Montana’s Rock Creek

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

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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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