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I think we’re all at the end of our wits. Vaccine promised. Kind of delivered. But hell, most of us still don’t even know when we can get that stick in the arm. No true guarantee of completely safe travel in site. Not that there ever was such a thing.

            But you know what we’re getting at—there’s a lot of water to fish, a limited time to do so, and nobody is getting any younger. So what to do. Bitch and moan? Or fish?

            We choose fish. But we do so knowing that people have families to care for. It’s true, most of us would easily recover from a bout with the ‘vid, but there’s no guarantee that any of us wouldn’t. With that in mind, we’ve focussed on domestic travel and those waters we can reach by highway, or by taking relatively short flights, thereby limiting our exposure to the crud.

            As you scroll through this issue you’ll find some incentive to follow our leads. From pike and musky, to trout and steelhead, these articles should get you fired up and searching for a way, any way, to hit the water this late winter, spring and summer. We may not be globetrotting like we used to be, but who could complain if hooked up to 50-inch muskie, a 20-pound metalhead, or a 10-pound char? Or how about spending most of your spring “bobbing around” a British Columbia stillwater, employing Brian Chan’s super-effective chironomid methods on rainbows ranging between four and 10 pounds. Or maybe you live on the coast and tarpon are your jam. If so, let us know and we’ll steer you in the right direction.

            In the end, don’t despair. Things are happening and the end of winter is clearly in view. The tarpon don’t have Covid, and neither do the trout, whether they’re swimming in Alaska or the northern Rockies or anywhere else. They’ll still eat and the first big hatches of the year are here.

Greg Thomas, Editor

WELCOME TO THE FEBRUARY EDITION

Understanding Stillwaters

These tips should expedite your stillwater curve.
By Brian Chan

Charmageddon

Finding char crashing bait in southwest Alaska could lead to the best fishing day . . . Of . . . Your . . . Life.
By Dave Karczynski

The Best 90 Seconds In Fly Fishing

Tarpon are found on Florida’s Gulf and Atlantic coasts, but finding them on any given day—and getting them to eat a palolo worm—is what it’s all about.
By Pat Ford

Mano A Mano With Jungle Beasts: Part 2

We’d located and landed a giant arapaima. Now we focussed on other jungle fish, including payara, pacu and wolfish.
By Gil Greenberg

How Covid Nearly Crushed My Fly Fishing Life

Being an international fly-fishing guide during a world pandemic doesn’t paint the prettiest picture.
By Katka Svagrova

Skwala Stoneflies: The First Big Bug of the Year

Western trout are hungry during spring. Skwala stoneflies are the largest and the most appealing item on the menu.
By Boots Allen

Alaska’s American Creek Rainbows

American is just one of Bristol Bay’s array of amazing trout rivers, and it proved highly productive for this angler, whether casting for rainbows or Dollies.
By Matthew Dickerson

“Hardtails” Around The Globe

These “mini tunas” offer great challenge and big time reward.
By James Hamilton

The Fifty-Incher

You may have to test big lakes and open water to find giant muskie salvation.
By Robert Tomes

Fly Fishing British Columbia’s Southern Interior Lakes

Whether you live in Seattle, Spokane, or Vancouver, this array of western trophy trout lakes can’t be beaten.
By Dana Sturn

Novice On The Flats

Tips to avoid bonehead goofs with bonefish guides.
By Jim Dean

Fastest Way From Seattle To Montana, For Spring Hatches and Wild Trout

Leave the Emerald City at first light and you’ll be throwing big dries to western Montana’s hefty trout by mid-afternoon.
By Greg Thomas

Brown Trout

Brown Trout, (Salmo Trutta)
Species Profile Highlight

So You Want To Be A Muskie Guide

The fish are freaky big and it sounds cool. But do you have what it takes to fish a river for muskie and come home empty-handed more often than not?
By Dave Karczynski

Lords of the Fly

Heights of the tarpon craze.
By Dana Sturn

Travel Tips: Communication Breakdown

Avoid the massive phone bill and prepay for essential communication.
By Brian Irwin

Getting Salty

How one competitive freshwater angler turned to the salt and never looked back.
By Captain Will Robins

Everfloat Caddis Emerger

Stuck in the film, but still on top.
By Scott Sanchez

YouTuber Spotlight: Dan the Fisher

Daniel Favato, aka Cameraman Dan, is Fly Fishing International’s in-house videographer and social media manager—he doubles as a steelhead fanatic/spey junkie.
By Dan Favato

Dan’s Green Pacu Streamer

Dan’s Green Pacu Streamer is an extremely simple fly to tie, which is perfect because being in the piranha family, pacu flies get chewed up very fast.
By Dan Favato