Fly Fishing 2016 Feature Articles

Truth and Trout

Photography By Jessica McGlothlin       Written By Jessica McGlothlin      

"IT'S SO ... OPEN, " JACKIE MURMURS ABSENTLY, looking over the sweep of the Bridger Mountains as we drive the frontage road back from the airport. For a girl from Boston, the Gallatin Valley is a new world, and those are some tall towers of rock she’s just flown over. It is her first glimpse of an entirely different way…


Fish Tales

Moby on the Madison by David Abrams Lately, I’ve been thinking about my Moby — that bronze, freckled whale of a trout  — on my daily commute along the busy interstate of the Madison River. I first dreamt of my elusive monster fish in the late 1980s when my young family arrived in Ennis, Montana (population: slightly larger than a…


Spring Trout

Written By H. William Rice      

SPRING COMES SLOWLY HERE at the edge of the mountains. There are the days when the sun shines warm with a quality of light — the soft yellow of the outer petals of daffodils — forgotten in the long, slow months of winter. But just when you think that light will stay, snow and wind roar and pelt in the…


Montana’s Island Ranges

Written By Jeff Erickson      

EVEN A THOUSAND VERTICAL FEET ABOVE the surrounding plains, July heat in northcentral Montana’s Bears Paw Mountains climbs into the 90s. My wife Mary and I drift flies through the riffles, runs and pools of crystalline Beaver Creek, south of Havre. But the furnace-blast afternoon makes the trout grumpy. So, we fluidly morph to Plan B like fly rod-wielding Zen masters:…


The Missouri River: A Love Story

Written By Jennifer Olsson      

IT HAS BEEN SAID THAT AN UNKNOWN river has no friends. In the case of the Missouri River below Holter Dam near Craig, Montana, such a river has lots and lots of friends. “Maybe as many as 40,000 a year,” suggests Jerry Lappier, co-owner of The Trout Shop. As a tailwater fishery, the Missouri River produces some of the finest…


As the Crow Flies

Written By D.E. Steward      

“ULRO, SPOKE THE CROW” — Guy Davenport And the crow called. Three long days and two nights out, on the road by three for a six o’clock Denver flight from Philadelphia, with everybody until almost Center City doing over 75. Who are they, who pull up close in muscle cars for an intimidating gawk and then cut away? What are…


Color of the Spawn

Written By Bryan Anglerson       Photography By Bryan Anglerson      

Brook Trout  American Natives Steely-cold Pennsylvania green slate of the back Melts away, eaten by wormy vermicules Slithering down its side, burrowing under Burnt umber of spent cornfields of late summer. Native American turquoise jewelry adorns its sides Consumed from within by red flames, blue-hot around. Autumn bursts forth in its belly’s pumpkin-orange patch Annual sentinel of fecundity and orgasmic…


Lightning Rods

Written By Bruce Smith      

MY WIFE, DIANA, TELLS ME THAT I have no regard for lightning. She may have a point. The first time I took her fly fishing we had no more than waded into a local stream when thunderheads began billowing on the southwestern horizon. As so often happens, the trout started to rise. Clouds of dusky caddis flitted above the water…