For the love of the Animas

By Ty Churchwell No one in Durango nor Silverton, Colo., will ever forget Aug. 5, 2015 — the day of the Gold King mine spill that sent 3 million gallons of ugly, toxic mine water down the Animas River in southwest part of the state. To say the accident was highly visible is an understatement. In today’s digital world, photos of the orange … Read more

Skating big dries for big trout

Nicco stood next to me along the middle reaches of Patagonia’s Malleo River in the fading Argentine light. Willows shrouded the creek, and I could only see the silhouette of the big Fat Albert as it drifted in the heavy water just across river. Nicco, my guide for the day, chose the hefty, foam monstrosity … Read more

Making a double spey cast

Spey casting is a growing discipline among fly fishers, even though the method has been employed for centuries. For many of us, though, spey casting is foreign and simply looks incredibly difficult. The long, two-handed rods appear unwieldy and complex. The graceful, yet foreign, motions of the spey cast don’t feel at all intuitive. Yet, … Read more

Hanging with the pros

Dave Kielar felt like he had to pinch himself. There he sat, surrounded by what amounted to fly fishing glitterati, at a dinner table at TroutHunter in Island Park, Idaho. Earlier in the week, he got to rub elbows with the venerable Craig Mathews, who for years owned and operated Blue Ribbon Flies in nearby … Read more

Everyone needs a tune-up

Most of us who have fly fished for years–decades, even–are likely self-taught casters who have learned the craft over many moons of trial and error. Casting becomes an intuitive activity, with alterations done to meet certain requirements on the water.  Over time, it becomes much easier to get that caddis fly to drift right under … Read more

Set your fantasy fly lineup

‘Tis the season. Over the weekend, my buddy and fellow TU-er Kirk Deeter and I faced off in fantasy football. We’re both underachieving this year–it seems we both have the bad fortune to play the highest-scoring opponents in the league every week this season, so we both find ourselves in the middle of the standings, … Read more

Ode to the Olive

It’s a tiny little bug, but it — and its many variants — might be the single-most important fly of fall. The venerable Blue-winged Olive, the vise-borne imitation of the tiny baetis mayfly, is the dry-fly king of autumn, even though it rarely materializes on the water in any form larger than a size 20. … Read more