Shipped Fly Rod & Reel’s winter issue to the printer. Always a big relief, meaning we got ‘er done and now can concentrate on the Spring issue. I like the feeling of a clean deck and all the possibilities. So, Spring. Wondering what all of you like most about the late-winter/spring season. Trout? Getaways to the saltwater for permit, bones and tarpon? Striped bass migration or late winter steelhead? Or is it a time to concentrate on tying flies? Get that arsenal built up for summer? You know, tie enough for your clients and still have plenty left for the off-day fish-fests? I’d love some feedback on what you would run if you could pick a focus for the issue and run five feature articles. Also what you think would make great reads for our standard columns—Practical & Useful; Angle on Art; Traveling Angler; Books; New Media; Guide Flies; and Personal History.

I have my ideas already, but I thought it would be fun to put you in the editor’s seat and see what you could come up with. Give me an idea or a few and we can discuss the merits. Also, what would you run for a cover shot? Saltwater? Trout? Steel? Scenic? Stripers?Flies? Profile? Have fun with it.

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9 Responses to NEW FLY ROD & REEL Ships

  1. Malachi says:

    If I read this right, you want to hear the 5 articles I’d run?
    I’d focus on the great variety of possibilities that winter/spring brings. To that end, and in no particular order…
    1. Winter nymphing tactics for trout.
    2. Swung flies for late winter steelhead.
    3. Fishing tailwater baetis and midge hatches.
    4. Pike/Muskie tactics (rivers not lakes) for the early season(smaller flies, what water types to fish, etc.)
    5. Some sort of tying segment. Probably tips and tricks, more so than certain patterns.

    But what do I know? I’m a college student, not a writer.

  2. bob mallard says:

    I’d like to see…

    * Late Winter/Early Spring Nymphing (low, clear & cold…)
    * Late Winter/Early Midges (small, 7-8x…)
    * Early Stoneflies (the ones that crawl around in the snow…)
    * Early Spring Hardcore Trout Destinations (Rapid River ME, Greys Reef WY…)

    Standard stuff…

    * Fish Food (bugs, minnows, crustaceans….)
    * Flies (From the Experts…)
    * Conservation (Go Ted or Go Home……)
    * Book Reviews (The Gunn’s 50 Best Tailwaters to Fly Fish…)
    * Tackle Reviews (Early Spring outerwear…)
    * Featured Cigar (My last vice…Drew Estate’s Acid’s…)
    * Featured Micro Brew (My other last vice…)

    As corny as some thought it was, I liked the old “Who Fly Fishes” pieces.. My wife and I actually bumped into the ex CIA guy who was featured in a piece on Slough Creek in YNP… That led to a polished off bottle of wine at the tailgate using plastic water bottles with the tops cut off them to allow our new friends to join us.. I might start with someone like Tim Carbone from the Jam Band Railroad Earth–I met him at a concert and he is an avid ffer…

    As for the cover… Snow on the ground and short sleeves on the body…

  3. sculpinator says:

    a celebration of baetis and their favorite venues.
    bob quigley (aka mr. mayfly)
    trouting with 2 handers (not “switch” rods with bobbers ! why has no one taken this seriously yet?)
    kerry burkheimer graphite vs. bob clay bamboo
    dirtbag winter steelheaders (as apposed to b.c. lodge vacationers)
    jess mcglaughlin bikini shoot

  4. Travis says:

    All I know Greg, is if I have to read one more article about how hardcore and hard (in any time of the year) steelheading is, I’m gonna vomit. I would love a piece about how fun and “bright” steelheading is. Bright in the sense of Im so happy to be out here with friends in a beautiful place doing something that I love.

    I’m very over “…I’ve been sleeping in my car for 2 weeks (cuz I’m so tough), my beard is frozen (cuz Im hardcore), and that was my 10 000 cast (but that’s ok cuz I’m a lone wolf and I’m pretty hardcore). Broh brah the drake my comped waders are leaking its in my blood blah blah.

    Steelheading is fun, and yes it can be tough. But please please leave trash like that for other magazines. Light hearted and fun is what we need in the winter. Leave hardcore and extreme for articles about guys skiing peaks in AK. For the most part, any form of flyfishing is not that crazy. Yes it may be cold, and the fish might be few and far between. BUT it is FUN!!! Keep the fun and relaxation the focus.

    Good luck!

    • Greg Thomas says:

      Hmm. Lots to think about here. But I guess the way I see it is that there is a lot of effort and overkill to justify fly fishing as an extreme sport. I don’t think it belongs in that realm. However, I think it does more damage to present a NW steelheading experience as a piece of cake than to say what it really can be. Seems to me that the harder it becomes the more popular it becomes. Does that dictate editorial content? Hell no. But let me tell you after growing up in southeast Alaska and Seattle, if you want to fish winter steel, prepare to get your ass kicked . . . unless you go in early because your hands are frozen and you can’t feel your toes. My dad was hardcore. The guys who I grew up steelheading with were hardcore. Didn’t matter if you were comfortable. It mattered if you caught fish. So we stuck it out. We didn’t quit. We just continued to try. And that meant, a lot of times, we were miserable. It was all because we had a goal. What else is there? That made the reward greater. I believe, as you do, that a lot of people are trying to make it sound like the most difficult thing in the world but, you know, some days it is. I’ll never depict NW steelhead as easy. I think that would be a disservice. Maybe a guide has a few roped up and you can go out there and knock ‘em anytime you want. Maybe you know a river completely and can bang one behind a rock every time. But a guy who doesn’t know a river who shows up in winter and figures it out on his own, which is one of the greatest achievements in our sport, that guy will suffer until the reward is made magnificent. And that is NW steelhead in my opinion.

  5. Travis says:

    Well said Greg, and I totally see your point. In no way do I think NW steelheading should be depicted as easy. And believe me I know some very tough steelheaders who gut it out in all types of conditions and fish counts. You asked about articles and my point was this. If its 85 on the Deschutes, we re swinging and swigging, fish or not, smiles and laughter should be heard. If its 25 degrees in Northern BC, we re swinging and swigging, fish or not, smiles and laughter should be heard. A cold fishless day steelheading is still an amazing day. When I’m fishing and its cold, solo or with friends, I don’t feel hardcore and none of the guys in my boat are rocking a 1000 yard stare. Beards are still frozen (not mine cuz I can’t grow one), we re still fighting over the heater in front of the boat, but we re still grinning and having a blast. Speaking very specifically about steelhead articles I simply feel like the grinning and having a blast often gets left out and replaced with more serious talk.

    However, Im not doing the writing and I would never want to alter how a writer decides to pen their experience. I’m simply saying I’d love to see a winter steelhead article loosely based on the fishing and more about laughing about the circumstance the fishermen have put themselves in. Very specific, I know. For example, I did really dig your Deschutes article an issue or two ago, because it was fun.

    • Greg Thomas says:

      That Deschutes story was fun to write. It was relaxing and the fish were there.
      I think all of your points are valid and I know it’s coming from someone who gets out there. We pretty much see eye to eye. I agree that people try to make it too sound too tough. Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t, which is pretty much what we can say about most fishing. Thanks bud.

  6. Glenn says:

    How about an article on good spring steelhead destinations in the Pacific Northwest or Northern California. Particularly focused on suitable three-day weekend trips for those of us having to fly to a destination and drive to the rivers.

    • Greg Thomas says:

      You’ll see something like that in the Winter issue. Already had it in the works. With your comment, I may add some airline and distance info. Thanks a lot for the suggestion. Great help to me.

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