New Sea Run Cutthroat Research

Anyone who’s followed Angler’s Tonic over the years knows that I appreciate sea run cutthroat trout and consider them to be an extremely overlooked fish. Just last year I caught some of the largest sea runs of my life, fish that ranged toward 18 inches. I saw a few more than were definitely over 20 inches and could have been mistaken as a small steelhead. I plan to get back to Southeast Alaska again this year, to visit those same pools on a remote stream and see if I can break that 20 inch mark. But you don’t have to go that far fro sea runs. Puget Sound has an excellent fishery and you can find good options all year long. Here’s some recent info on sea runs, released by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

A new study by fishing community volunteers, a local conservation group and the Continue reading

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Solid Fly Fishing Reads

My new issue of FFI Magazine just went live. Check it out to read about fly fishing in the Galapagos and other cool destinations. All the quality writers you like have contributed to the issue, including Chris Santella, Stephen Sautner, Tom Keer, Dave Karczynski, Gord Ellis, Frank Sargeant and others.

Topics include shad, mako sharks, dock lights and snook, best flies for giant brookies, permit (of course), a summer adventure for smallmouth bass, tarpon “holes”, swinging for huchen, etc.

If you’ve got an hour or so and want to check out some great fly fishing reads, get on over to FFI mag right away.

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Olympic Peninsula to Close For Steelhead March 1

This should not arrive as any surprise. Washington State blew up its ability to manage wild steelhead when the 1974 Boldt Decision went into place. Wild steelhead populations declined immediately. Hatchery steelhead production shot through the roof. Tribes destroyed what they had access to. And things have never gotten better. They’ve only become worse. This decision to close steelheading on the coast should protect some late season spawners, but in no way secures the future of steelhead on the Washington coast. So, really, this post is only a reminder to schedule your steelhead adventure somewhere else this spring. The Skeena will be open, although returns are super low there, too. Southeast Alaska is a great option, but space at lodges and on motherships is extremely limited. You could fly to Ketchikan, stay in town, rent a vehicle and drive Continue reading

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Swimming With Giants—Read in FFI MAG

Just finished up the February version of FFI Magazine, which I like to call the best fly-fishing publication that nobody knows about.

This is the first issue of the second volume and the process has become more streamlined through the past year. We’ve added a stable of quality writers and photogs and hope that all of you will enjoy and appreciate this effort. This content is all original, all the time.

In the February edition you’ll swim with Pat Ford amongst giant striped marlin in Mexico. Robert Tomes details four modern patterns for laid-up tarpon, and Matt Harris climbs into the saddle for Continue reading

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Simms/Costa Release Mighty Waters

One of the least heralded islands in the Bahamas chain is Bimini. This small island rests just 50-some miles away from Miami and was one of the inspirations for Hemingway’s book Islands In The Stream. It it’s also where Hemingway chased marlin and other pelagic species when he wasn’t doing the same in Cuba.

While Hemingway’s time on Bimini is well documented, you may not have known that Martin Luther King Jr., also frequented the island. In fact, he penned material for his classic speeches while on Bimini and also spent considerable time chasing bonefish Continue reading

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Bull Trout on The Dry Fly

Big bull trout aren’t restricted to eating fish. They crush large nymphs and adult terrestrials on the surface, too.

I’ve often wondered why more people don’t fish bull trout with dry flies. I’m not talking about dainty PMDs and micro caddis. Instead, I’m visualizing terrestrials—ants, beetles and hoppers. And a recent article from Idaho Department of Fish and Game kind of backs up my argument.

I admit that most of the bull trout I’ve caught are taken underneath the surface on streamers. I mean, bull trout eat fish right? And the thought of prospecting a big river, like the upper Columbia in Canada, or the mainstem Continue reading

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Southeast Alaska Steelhead . . . Thanks Alaska Style

The Hawkeye II on anchor in Southeast Alaska with the jet skiff returning to its side.

Back in April I flew from Missoula to Petersburg, Alaska—my old stomping grounds and the place I was born—and climbed aboard the mothership, the Hawkeye II. The idea was to cruise a portion of the Inside Passage with Thanks Alaska, stopping to prospect remote wild Southeast Alaska steelhead streams just about wherever we pleased.

I wasn’t knew to this deal—back in the day I took a semester off of college and cruised around the area in an 18-foot long open skiff, hiking up streams, camping next to their Continue reading

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Simms and 10 Barrel Brewing Collaborate to Save the Gallatin River

The Gallatin River is under extreme pressure due to population growth in and around Bozeman, Mont., but a collaboration between Simms Fishing Products and 10 Barrel Brewing should help shed light on just what this river needs to survive.

And, because a portion of proceeds from the sale of 10 Barrel’s Reel Good Summer Ale will go to Trout Unlimited’s Home Rivers Initiative, the Gallatin could see some direct benefit from your choice of suds. Continue reading

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Two Great Fly Boxes, Orvis and Tacky, for 2021

Let’s just say someone failed you. Went through the stocking. Opened all those presents. And not a fly box to be found. Say what? Just where in the hell do you want me to store all those patterns I’m tying this weekend, you may have asked. On the kitchen counter? On your nightstand? In your slippers?

No fear brothers. If you didn’t get what you asked for, there should be no fear n buying what you need. If you are tying maniac, and thinking Continue reading

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Final American Angler Cover: Which Would You Have Chosen?

The publishing world is weird. It’s interesting, for sure, but a bit more challenging than any of us would like. Over the years, I have worked for four titles that have perished and I’ve watched many other great mainstream titles die (even Anthony Bourdain’s magazine, Lucky Peach, died after just a couple years of existence).

As many of you know, I was at the helm of American Angler when Morris Publications announced it would kill the print edition earlier this year. There was talk about keeping a digital presence alive and building, but that idea died in July.

I wanted to make a big statement with the final cover of AA and thought we had it Continue reading

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