Sharptails and Setters in Big Sky Country

Sharptails and Setters 1

Hunting in such open country offers the pleasure of following the dogs and watching them work.

photo by Bill Reed

Having spent nearly thirty-five years chasing grouse and woodcock throughout the Northeast, with an occasional foray for southern quail or pheasants in Iowa and Kansas, I was excited to get the opportunity to hunt sharptails and huns in north-central Montana. And in one word–Wow!

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Perfect Together: Beer and Fly Tying

TPFR's Beer Tie Event
Newcomer Tereasa tries her hand at tying a streamer.

The ladies of Tidal Potomac Fly Rodders show the guys at their monthly Beer Tie event that they know how to do more with hackle than just tie it in their hair!

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The Dangers of Learning to Fly-Fish

The Dangers of Learning to Fly Fish

Barbara geared up and ready to go.

photo Courtesy Steve Thomas

My interest in fly fishing emerged the moment I stepped foot in the Orvis store in
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
. Once every two weeks, I would go by and visit. I finally landed a position as a sales associate, and my thirst for knowledge about fly fishing grew even further. I thankfully acquired a couple of great “hand-me-down” rods from Jan and Mark, both of whom were previous fishing. . .

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Top 10 Flies for Lake Erie Steelhead


You wanna catch one of these? Try Jim Lampros’s Top 10 patterns.

photo by Mike Daley

Anglers chasing steelhead on the Lake Erie tributaries are faced with constantly changing water conditions. Though fish are not typically pattern-selective, finding them and getting them to actually see a fly can be a challenge. With that in mind, here are 10 flies that I fish with confidence throughout the fall, winter, and spring seasons: . . . 

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Tips for Creating Upland Bird Habitat

Thoughts about how to manage upland birds vary widely depending upon where your geographic location. One thing that is, unfortunately, the same everywhere is the decline in upland bird numbers, especially quail. For the past 50 years, the quail population has been slowly decreasing on a national level. Programs such as Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP), . . .

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Picture of the Day: Vermejo Monster

Vermejo Park Brown

Low water in Vermejo Park’s Costilla reservoir allowed guide William Leach to
sight-cast to this giant brown trout—34 inches long, 17 pounds. Wow.

photo courtesy William Leach

Fishing at Vermejo Park Ranch for many years, I had always heard stories of the large fish that lived in the depths of Costilla Reservoir.  I had never personally seen or caught any of these renowned fish, but with the conditions the way they were this season, with unusually low water due to minimal snow and little rain, it seemed that the opportunity to cast to a big fish in the reservoir would be slightly plausible.

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Fly Fishing 101 with the Red Hat Society

All the Orvis Rod & Tackle folks were in New Orleans last month for the International Fly Tackle Dealer Show, which is one of the highlights of our year. Also in town—for its international convention, the 2011 “Big Easy Bash”—was the Red Hat Society, which touts itself as “the world’s most distinguished women’s organization.” Our two groups ran into each other. . .

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Picture of the Day: Between-the-Floods Brown

Between the Floods Brown

Shawn Combs took this 20+-inch brown trout on an olive-and-white bunny streamer.

photo by Tim Daughton

With water in southern Vermont and eastern New York a mess after hurricane Irene ripped up the region last week, Tim Daughton and I decided to go out and survey the damage firsthand on one of my favorite super-secret streams. We packed up our gear and his two boys and headed out on Saturday morning.

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Searching for Gold in Colorado

Golden Trout in CO 1

Jonathan Hill with a Colorado golden trout, a fish that many thought had gone extinct.

photo courtesy Jonathan Hill

For the past eight years, I have been hiking in to some of the most remote high mountain lakes in Colorado. I am not saying that I’m a snob and I thumb my nose at the beautiful rivers we have here, but it is nice to get a little bit of exercise along with your fishing. It is also nice to get away from the crowds that frequent the Gold Medal fisheries that we are lucky enough to have across the state. This year, one trip in particular. . .

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