Fighting bonefish to the boat in the Bahamas. By Jeff Edvalds/ Images on the Wildside


Bring them in. Let them go. A flash of muscle and color and girth slips from your hands. Just like that.

Fly fishing is a quixotic pursuit that is inevitably peppered with ebb and surge, high and low moments that require patience and good company. So often that grip and grin shot is the only proof of triumph. Every other effort is boiled down to this sensation when it all just seems so simple.

In turn, that one moment leads to the story, told in the same company of friends, for years to come, of a time and place when you held life itself in your palm. Just like that. 

In the retelling there is a reliving, and always hope, that you’ll have another moment that can conjure the same feeling. Seek. Find. Fish.


Classic steelhead flies from the boxes of Deschutes River guide Amy Hazel. By Jim Klug | A fly fisherman fights to bring a nice tarpon to the boat in the Florida Keys. By Tim Pask/Images on the Wildside

Jeff Rose lands a 17-pound peacock bass on the Araca River in Brazil. By Brian O’Keefe | Rita Adams releasing a hefty permit into the hallowed Yucatan waters of Ascension Bay, Mexico. By Bryan Gregson

Christine Marozick, of Bozeman, Montana, and Jack Kos, of Christchurch, New Zealand, pose with a large brown trout caught in New Zealand’s Southern Alps. By Ben Pierce | Brown trout caught with a skinny water cicada victim (Oreti River, New Zealand) By Brett Seng

A rod in the mouth means a barracuda in hand (Yucatan Penninsula/Mexico). By Denver Bryan/Images on the Wildside | What not to do: catch the photo but not the bonefish. By Val Atkinson

While fishing in Chile, angler Mike Mercer and guide Greg Bricker hooked what they thought to be an extremely large brown trout, but upon finally landing it they found it was a king salmon, never caught in these waters before. By Val Atkinson | A fly fisherman releases a large rainbow trout underwater. By Jeff Edvalds/Images on the Wildside | Rigged and ready — a quiver of rods on Christmas Island in the Pacific. By Jim Klug

Belizean guide Wil Flack sets free what he loves in hopes it will some day come back (Ambergris Caye, Belize). By Jim Klug | Risky business. Carefully releasing a blacktip shark in the Seychelles. By Jim Klug | Cathy Beck with a fall Erie steelhead. By Barry Beck

Hug that tarpon! Barry Beck and guide By Cathy Beck | Permit grip and grin — How big was your smile holding your first permit? By Brett Seng

A bumphead parrotfish on the flats of St. Brandon’s Atoll. The “bumpies” are one of the most bizarre fish that can be caught on a fly: more like a creation from the mind of Dr. Suess than a known and recognized sport fishing species! By Jim Klug | A detailed look at the tiny scales, colors and shapes of a native wild Alaskan grayling (Bristol Bay, Alaska). By Bryan Gregson

During a bonefishing trip in the Seychelles, my guide suddenly yelled “turn around quick.” Hundreds of spooked mullet were porpoising in and out of the water, heading right through our group. They were probably frightened by a shark or barracuda and I just happened to have my camera ready as they hurtled past us, several bumping right into me. By Val Atkinson | Light winds and sun on the flats; an early morning omen that makes a cup of coffee taste mysteriously better. By Brett Seng

John Hudgens and guide, Ron Sorenson, team up for a fantastic day of fishing for cantankerous wild brown trout on a lesser-known section of the Filo Hua Hum River in Argentina. By Bryan Gregson | John Gemmell, Cathy Beck and a nice brown trout on the South Island of New Zealand. By Barry Beck