WELCOME TO VOL 1/ISSUE 1
High octane, line-peeling good times are in store for fly fishers hunting hardtails around the world. Hardtails come in all shapes and sizes, from true tuna—such as giant bluefin and yellowfin—to various species of kingfish and mackerel. Following are profiles of several hardtail species, fish that are bound to impress anglers with their appearance, speed, and determined fights.
It’s late January 2018. I’m staring out the window of our 10-person propeller plane, flying over hundreds of miles of Guyana’s virgin jungle. With a busted-up ankle wrapped as tight as a mummy, my mind races as I mentally prepare myself for the upcoming battle. My foe? Possibly a 350-pound scaled torpedo that can drive anglers to the brink of sanity.
Years ago on a flight to South America, I was forced to check my camera bag onto a small plane due to the size of that kit. When I reached my destination, the kit was missing. I called the airline, the terminals, and my homeowner’s insurance company. The kit surfaced three days later . . . along with a $700 bill for international calling fees. I knew right then, I needed a better communication plan.
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.
Back in 1985 William Golding did a reading at Simon Fraser University and answered questions about his work. He was touring in support of his To the Ends of the Earth trilogy, and seemed relieved when someone would ask him about it. Most of the lit majors (like me) asked him about Lord of the Flies, a subject you could tell was a bit tiresome for the great scribe. The strange little book about a strange little band of messed up schoolboys, alone on a jungle island, made him a literary star.
As someone who has flirted with the idea of guiding for close to 20 years (and, to be clear, has never come close to committing) I’ve thought a lot about how I’d grind through tough days on the water. If taking folks out for smallmouth, I’d slow things down, thrown on an intermediate line and dredge a leech or crayfish.
Spring is a much-heralded time for western U.S. trout anglers. This is when winter loses its grip on the land, the days grow longer, weather patterns generally stabilize, and fishing becomes a lot more comfortable and productive. Accompanying that warming air and water temperature is the appearance of multiple aquatic invertebrates. Steady midge hatches join heavy numbers of blue-winged olive mayflies.
Determining where trout live in lakes and, in particular, where they feed is critical to fly-fishing stillwater success. It is definitely worth the time to learn some basic facts about lake morphometry, biology and water chemistry, before you make your first cast. This knowledge relates directly to understanding the life-cycles of important aquatic food sources, including significant insect emergences.
You’re in a Caribbean state of mind, on salt flats surrounded by water every shade of emerald, turquoise and amber. It’s blissfully warm, the beer is cold, the flats are full of fish and adrenalin is squirting out of your ears. What could possibly go wrong? Even if Lady Luck proves to be a malicious bitch, you’re likely to catch lots of bonefish and maybe, just maybe, a permit.
As a fly-fishing traveler, guide and freelance writer, the Covid situation hit me on all fronts.In February the situation in China was coming to light and Italy was starting to fight the pandemic, too. In my country, Czech Republic, there was little indication of what would happen in the next couple weeks.
I was born in East Yorkshire, England. I have fished competitively, domestically and abroad while representing my country. I’ve also held many roles in the fly-fishing industry, including lodge manager, fisheries manager, river-keeper, fly and light-tackle guide, and fly shop consultant. Recently, I bought a fly shop and outfitter service based in southern Quintana Roo, Mexico, where I also guide.
As a result of Covid-19, Alaska’s overall tourism, including angling traffic, dropped dramatically in 2020. The Farm Lodge, where I have fished five out of the past six years, felt the pain; the lodge didn’t open for guests until July, and even after opening it never saw more than 80 percent of its regular bookings. By mid-September, with cold weather moving in and the birch trees already turning to a golden hue, the last of the guests were gone.