Fly Fishing 2017 Feature Articles



Icon of the Rockies

Written By E. Donnall Thomas Jr.       Illustrated By Joseph R. Tomelleri      

I EXPERIENCED MY FIRST PERSONAL ENCOUNTER with a cutthroat trout during innocent times. I was still a kid, girls were still yucky. “Gunsmoke” and “Leave it to Beaver” were playing on television. The Yankees were leading the American League. Eisenhower was president, and the scariest person in the world was fat, bald Nikita Khrushchev, carrying on like someone’s drunken uncle at…

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The Lake

Written By Thomas McIntyre      

THEY SAY NEVER BEGIN A STORY with weather, but as the snow outside the window closes around like a shell shielding an egg, I think of the summers on the lake, and my old friend. “Old” performs in two senses of both aged and longtime, though when we first met he was several years younger than I am today. Raymond…

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The Perfect Day of Fishing

Written By Allen Morris Jones      

I USED TO HAVE A BLACK LAB. I bought him from a breeder in Amsterdam, Montana. Seven weeks old, he sat on the floorboard watching me drive him home to Livingston; platter-pawed, brown-eyed, lost. “You and me are going places, buddy.” I had him heeling at 10 weeks, blind retrieving at 12 weeks. As an adolescent, he was a revved-up…

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Home Waters

Written By John N. Maclean      

The trout rose in a smooth curving arc, never breaking the river’s surface, and grabbed my tumbling salmonfly. One beat, lift the rod, set the hook. I knew immediately from the weight on the line, 40 feet from my knees, that this fight would be on the rainbow’s terms. On that bright day in June, I hooked and brought to…

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Artists on the Hook

The Fat Albert by Brent Taylor Written by Chris Dombrowski THE FAT ALBERT WAS NOT ONLY Brent Taylor’s ticket to fly-tying fame: A couple dozen of the beloved Western hopper imitations got him a date with his future wife.  A veteran Dillon, Montana-based fishing guide, Taylor — who also guides each year in Chile — was rowing the lower Gallatin…

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Jack Unruh in the Northern Rockies

Written By Allen Morris Jones      

WHEN ARTIST JACK UNRUH passed away in May of 2016 at the age of 80, he had been working on his coffee-table book, FISH & Other Stories as My Pen Remembers Them. His widow, Judy Whalen, said, “To the day before he died, he was editing this book, and helping the designer fit and place and make things work.” An avid…

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Risky Business

Written By Tom Palmer      

ON A HOT SUMMER DAY LAST JULY, the Missouri River, my home water, was strewn with color. Kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and huge floating sofas with beer coolers in tow festooned the water. I sat on a bank with my rod, taking a break from fishing to consider the hubbub. From this spot, I could watch the fishing guides’ boats drift…

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Refuge by the River

By Jeff Erickson       Written By Jeff Erickson      

Just as you feel when you look on the river and sky, so I felt, Just as any of you is one of a living crowd, I was one of a crowd, Just as you are refresh’d by the gladness of the river and the bright flow,      I was refresh’d …  — Walt Whitman  |  From “Crossing Brooklyn…

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Guide Schools of the Northern Rockies

Written By Allen Morris Jones      

WHAT MAKES FOR A GOOD FLY FISHING GUIDE? Start with catching fish, of course. That’s the baseline. Or more to the point, showing us how to catch fish. Tie on a fly, point us (sometimes literally) in the right direction, row close (but not too close), tell us to mend, mend, mend dammit, then congratulate us on our … whitefish.…

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